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
Abraham Lincoln makes the list.   (AP Photo/University of South Carolina)

(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.

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Showing 3 of 46 comments
Mr_Joshua
Jul 30, 2012 6:07 AM CDT
I call BS on Alexander Graham Bell. He did not become a US citizen until towards the end of his life, way after he had invented the phone, and a Scotsman is always a Scotsman in his own heart. It is simply absurd that the US claim him as one of their own. Bull-Fuckin-shit !!!!!! And you can call me...............The son of a Scotsman
lvan
Jul 30, 2012 1:21 AM CDT
Really?! you gonna put that condom with Einstein, Bell, Franklin and Wright brothers and don't even mention Tesla? Oh that's right, he wasn't 'merican but Einstein apparently was. Typical hypocrisy.
Utgard_Loki
Jul 30, 2012 12:37 AM CDT
Ben Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt, Samuel Gompers, Chief Pontiac. I figure Pontiac was more influential than Sitting Bull. How about Susan B. Anthony? By American do we mean U.S. citizen? Shall we include all the Americas or how about just North America? And influential doesn't necessarily mean positive. So we can include Castro and Santa Anna and I'm trying hard to think of something important someone in Canada has done but I've got nothing. Oh wait! That guy who invented basketball. That Canadian basketball guy.