famous people

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1 Abraham Lincoln

He saved the Union, freed the slaves, and presided over America’s second founding.

2 George Washington

He made the United States possible—not only by defeating a king, but by declining to become one himself.

3 Thomas Jefferson

The author of the five most important words in American history: “All men are created equal.”

4 Franklin Delano Roosevelt

He said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” and then he proved it.

5 Alexander Hamilton

Soldier, banker, and political scientist, he set in motion an agrarian nation’s transformation into an industrial power.

6 Benjamin Franklin

The Founder-of-all-trades— scientist, printer, writer, diplomat, inventor, and more; like his country, he
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37 J. P. Morgan

The great financier and banker was the prototype for all the Wall Street barons who followed.

38 Susan B. Anthony

She was the country’s most eloquent voice for women’s equality under the law.

39 Rachel Carson

The author of Silent Spring was godmother to the environmental movement.

40 John Dewey

He sought to make the public school a training ground for democratic life.

41 Harriet Beecher Stowe

Her Uncle Tom’s Cabin inspired a generation of abolitionists and set the stage for civil war.

42 Eleanor Roosevelt

She used the first lady’s office and the mass media to become “first lady of the world.”

43 W. E. B. DuBois

One of America’s great intellectuals, he made the “problem of the color line” his life’s work.

44 Lyndon Baines Johnson

His brilliance gave us civil-rights laws; his stubbornness gave us Vietnam.

45 Samuel F. B. Morse

Before the Internet, there was Morse code.

46 William Lloyd Garrison

Through his newspaper, The Liberator, he became the voice of abolition.

47 Frederick Douglass

After escaping from slavery, he pricked the nation’s conscience with an eloquent accounting of its crimes.

48 Robert Oppenheimer

The father of the atomic bomb and the regretful midwife of the nuclear era.

49 Frederick Law Olmsted

The genius behind New York’s Central Park, he inspired the greening of America’s cities.

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