20 Most Influential Americans Ever

'Time' magazine chooses its favorites

By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 29, 2012 4:32 PM CDT | Updated Jul 29, 2012 5:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – In its 236 years, America has been shaped by legions of intelligent, courageous, and noble characters. Time singles out 20 as the most influential in history, including:

  • Sacagawea, Meriwether Lewis, and William Clark: Sacagawea was 16 and pregnant when she helped the explorers trek through the unknown lands of the new Louisiana Purchase, forging an "epic vision" for the young and expanding nation.
  • Abraham Lincoln: A master of politics and a "voice for freedom," the self-taught Lincoln preserved the Union by winning the bloodiest war in American history.
  • Alexander Graham Bell: In 1876, the Scottish-born scientist, then only 29, constructed the first-ever telephone. He continued his career as a prolific inventor and "one of science's great modern Renaissance men."
  • Steve Jobs: The visionary behind the iPod and iPhone, Jobs was the "high priest of the computer age." The project he started in his garage is now the world's most valuable company.
Read the full list here.

Abraham Lincoln makes the list.
Abraham Lincoln makes the list.   (AP Photo/University of South Carolina)
Alexander Graham Bell built the telephone.
Alexander Graham Bell built the telephone.   (AP File Photo)
Apple CEO Steve Jobs was the high priest of the computer age.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs was "the high priest of the computer age."   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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