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His book (The 100)

The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History is a 1978 book by Michael H. Hart. It is a ranking of the 100 people who, in his opinion, most influenced human history and He rank Muhammad(P.B.U.H), first amongs 100's ranks. Since publication the book has been hotly debated and its concept widely copied.

The book was reprinted in 1992 with several notable revisions made to the original list of 100 people and their associated rankings. Chief among these revisions was the demotion of figures associated with Communism, such as Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong, and the introduction of Mikhail Gorbachev. Hart took sides in the Shakespearean authorship issue and substituted Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford for William Shakespeare. Hart also substituted Niels Bohr and Henri Becquerel with Ernest Rutherford, thus correcting an error in the first edition. Henry Ford was also promoted from the "Honorary Mentions" list, replacing Pablo Picasso. Finally, some of the rankings were re-ordered, although no one listed in the top ten changed position.

Hart's Top 15 (from the 1992 edition)

Rank Name Influence


Prophet Muhammad

Prophet of Islam


Isaac Newton

physicist, theory of universal gravitation, laws of motion, major developments in mathematics, optics, thermodynamics


Jesus(Esa) Christ

central figure of what would become Christianity


Siddhartha Gautama

founder of Buddhism



founder of Confucianism


St. Paul

proselytizer of Christianity


Ts'ai Lun

inventor of paper


Johann Gutenberg

developed movable type and made great advances in printing


Christopher Columbus

explorer, led Europe to the Americas


Albert Einstein

physicist, relativity, Einsteinian physics


Louis Pasteur

scientist, pasteurization, Germ Theory


Galileo Galilei

astronomer, accurately described heliocentric solar system, led way to Newton's work



Greek philosopher



Greek mathematician, Euclidean geometry, author of various influential theories.



major prophet of Judaism and leader of Israel


Both the selection of the 100 individuals and their ranking in relationship to each other are highly subjective enterprises. While Hart makes an effort to justify his selection and ordering, he makes it clear that both are entirely his own opinion. For example, Hart is a scientist, which may be reflected in his emphasis upon scientific figures, such as his choice to rank Isaac Newton above Jesus Christ.

Hart admits that any assessment of historical significance depends on a perspective which only time can provide. To rate the historical importance of contemporary figures is almost impossible, while in other cases ranking will depend on an individual's assessment of the relative importance of the fields of scientific, cultural and religious endeavour.

Hart makes the point in the book that prior to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Vladimir Lenin was ranked much higher on the list.

This article is taken from ""

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