[There are certain people I know have to be in this book, whether they’re referenced in a quote, story, or case study.
I tend to reference dead people, because their stories are more stable than those of the living. While there may be debate about the exact legacies of individuals like Churchill, Gandhi, Hitler, and Jesus, their legacies are relatively cemented for all time compared to that of Donald Trump.
Just because I reference someone doesn’t mean they are a positive role model. To say Hitler was a talented public speaker is not to insinuate that what he did with his talent was admirable. While I prefer to use positive examples where possible, I believe this book would be lacking if it completely ignored the great harm that can be caused by influential individuals with unworthy objectives.
Just because I list someone doesn’t mean I am intent on including them. Some I already know where they’ll fit in, others I think I know, others I have no clue but I want them in there somewhere, others I simply know were very influential so perhaps I should study them more before finishing this book.
Got anyone I should add to the list?]
Muhammad (570–632 AD) Prophetmar of Islam.
Isaac Newton (1642–1727) — British mathematician and scientist.
Jesus Christ (c.5BC — 30 AD) Spiritual teacher and central figure of Christianity.
Buddha (c 563–483 BC) Spiritual Teacher and founder of Buddhism.
Confucius (551–479 BC) — Chinese philosopher.
St. Paul (5 — AD 67) — Christian missionary and one of the main writers of New Testament.
Ts’ai Lun (AD 50–121) Inventor of paper.
Johann Gutenberg (1395–1468) — Inventor of the printing press.
Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) — Italian explorer landed in America.
Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German/ US scientist discovered Theory of Relativity.
Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) Italian scientist — confirmed the heliocentric view of the universe.
Aristotle (384 BC — 322 BC) — Greek philosopher and polymath
Euclid (c. 325–265 BC) — Greek mathematician
Moses (c 1391–1271 BC) A key figure of Jewish / Christian history gave 10 Commandments of Old Testament
Shih Huang Ti (259–210 BC) — King of the state of Qin who conquered and united different regions of China in 221 BC.
Augustus Caesar (63 BC-AD 14) — First Emperor of Rome
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who believed Sun was the centre of Universe — rather than earth.
Constantine the Great (272 AD — 337) Roman Emperor who accepted Christian religion.
Martin Luther (1483–1546) Sought to reform the Roman Catholic Church — starting the Protestant Reformation.
George Washington (1732–1799) — Leader of US forces during American Revolution and 1st President of US.
Karl Marx (1818 - 1883) — German Communist philosopher.
Genghis Kahn (1162–1227) — Military and political leader of the Mongols.
Adam Smith (1723–1790) Scottish social philosopher and pioneer of classical economics.
William Shakespeare (1564- 1616) English poet and playwright.
Alexander the Great (356 - 323 BC) — King of Macedonia and military leader.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821) — French military and political leader.
Thomas Edison (1847–1931) — Inventor and businessman helped introduce electricity and electric light bulbs.
Guglielmo Marconi (1874–1937) Italian engineer who helped develop radio transmission.
Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) — Dictator of Nazi Germany.
Plato (424 - 348 BC) — Greek philosopher.
Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658) — Leader of Parliamentarians in English civil war.
Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922) — Scottish inventor of the telephone.
John Locke (1632–1704) English political philosopher. Locke promoted a theory of liberal democracy and a social contract.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) German composer of the classical and romantic period.
Louis Daguerre (1787–1851) French artist and photographer, who is credited with the invention of the camera.
Rene Descartes (1596–1650) French philosopher and mathematician. “I think, therefore I am
Michelangelo (1475–1564) Renaissance sculptor, painter and architect
Pope Urban II (1042–29 July 1099) Influential Pope who ordered the first Crusade to the Holy Land and set up the Papal Court
Umar ibn al-Khattab (584 CE — 644 CE) Powerful Muslim Caliphate and senior companion of Muhammad. Influential figure in Sunni Islam.
Asoka (c. 260–232 BC) Powerful Indian King who established large empire by conquest before converting to Buddhism and pursuing a peaceful approach
St. Augustine (354–430) Influential Christian saint and writer, who shaped much of Western Christian thought.
John Calvin (1509–27 May 1564) Christian theologian who developed a strict brand of Protestant Christianity which stressed doctrine of predestination.
Gregor Mendel (1822–1884) Czech/Austrian scientist and friar — who founded modern science of genetics.
Max Planck (1858–1947) German theoretical physicist who developed a theory of Quantum physics and discovered energy quanta.
Joseph Lister (1827–1912) British surgeon who pioneered the use of sterilisation and antiseptic surgery.
Nikolaus August Otto (1832–1891) German engineer who developed compressed charge internal combustion engine to run on petrol
Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) 3rd President of US. Principle author of the US Declaration of Independence.
Joseph Stalin (1878–1953) Absolute ruler of the Soviet Union from 1924 to his death. Led the Soviet Union in WWII.
Julius Caesar (100 BC — 44 BC) Roman ruler who oversaw the demise of Roman Republic to be replaced with a Roman Emperor. Militarily strengthened the power of Rome.
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) An Austrian neurologist who founded psychoanalysis, which involved the investigation of the subconscious, dreams and human mind.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) Composer and organist who created some of the world’s most beautiful music.
Lao Tzu (6th Century BC — ) Author of Tao Te Ching and founder of Taoism
Voltaire (1694–1778). A key figure of European Enlightenment. His satirical writings played a role in the French Revolution.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) — French philosopher, author of Social Contract
Nicoli Machiavelli (1469–1527) Italian diplomat and Renaissance writer considered the father of political science.
John F. Kennedy (1917–1963) 38th President of the US. Served at the height of the Cold War and helped defuse Cuban Missile Crisis.
Lenin (1870–1924) Leader of the Russian Revolution and new Communist regime from 1917 to 1924.
Sui Wen Ti (541–604) Founder of China’s Sui Dynasty and reunifying China in 589
Cyrus the Great (600–530 BC) Founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian Empire. Relatively enlightened ruler.
Mao Zedong (1893–1976) Leader of the Communist Revolution and dictator of China from 1949–1974.
Francis Bacon (1561–1626) Creator of the scientific method and key figure in Scientific Revolution of the Enlightenment.
Henry Ford (1863–1947) Owner of Ford Motor Company. Revolutionised mass-production techniques
Mencius (385–303BC) Chinese philosopher one of principal interpreters of Confucianism.
Zoroaster (c. 1200 BC) Iranian prophet who founded the religion of Zoroastrianism.
Queen Elizabeth I (1533–1603) Queen of England from 1558 to her death in 1603. Cemented England as Protestant country, defeated Spanish Armada.
Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 — ) Leader of Soviet Communist Party who pursued reform — perestroika and glasnost to open Eastern Europe to democracy.
Menes c. 3000 BC Egyptian pharaoh who united Upper and Lower Egypt to found the First Dynasty.
Charlemagne (742–814) United Europe to form Carolingian Empire. First western Emperor since fall of Rome.
Homer Greek poet who wrote Iliad and Odyssey
Mandela — words brought peace rather than revenge
Gandhi — didn’t use notes, find quote
Ronald Reagan — “the great communicator”
Rush Limbaugh — popularized modern talk radio
Harriet Beecher Stowe — author Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Lincoln “So you started this war…”
Stephen R. Covey
Stephen M.R. Covey
John Adams — quote, I was prepared for this moment
Martin Luther King
Yogi Berra — more influential the more quotable you are?
Susan B. Anthony
Philo T. Farnsworth — TV inventor
Robert E. Lee
William T. Sherman
Sun Tzu — author of Art of War
Leonardo da Vinci
Ferdinand de Lesseps — Panama Canal, convinced many
Will Durant & Ariel Durant: The Story of Civilization
Will Durant quotes:
Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.
Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.
Education is the transmission of civilization.
Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art.
Knowledge is the eye of desire and can become the pilot of the soul.
The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds.
It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.
Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos.
The family is the nucleus of civilization.