How Jesus is most famous person in history … and Cameron is only 1,483rd, according to internet searches

July 17, 2014 3:49 pm 0 comments Views: 114

  • Figures are ranked according to opinions expressed on the internet
  • Algorithm predicts how important people will remain 200 years after death
  • Highest ranked Briton on the list is William Shakespeare
  • Software developed by computer experts Steven Skiena and Charles Walker


Jesus is the most important person history, according to a new internet search programme that ranks Napoleon second and Mohammed third.

The software, developed in the US, scours the internet for opinions expressed about famous people and uses a special algorithm to predict how important they will remain 200 years after their death.

And it has thrown up some unusual and potentially embarrassing results with Prime Minister David Cameron all the way down in 1,483rd place.

Jesus is the most famous person in history according to a software programme that scours the internet to rank people's importance

Jesus is the most famous person in history according to a software programme that scours the internet to rank people’s importance

The highest ranked Briton on the list is William Shakespeare in fourth place, who comes above US presidents Abraham Lincoln (fifth) and George Washington (sixth).

Adolf Hitler is ranked at number seven, Aristotle at eight, while Alexander the Great at nine and another US president Thomas Jefferson help make up the top 10.

Kings and Queens of England rank highly with Henry VIII in 11th place, Elizabeth I in 13th, Queen Victoria in 16th and Charles I in 39th, although Oliver Cromwell, the leader of the short-lived Commonwealth of England following the civil war, is not far behind at number 50.

Surprisingly Nelson Mandela ranks only 356th well below President Barack Obama at 111th and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at 271st.

William Shakespeare was in fourth place
Napoleon Bonaparte was in second place

Lasting impression: William Shakespeare was in fourth place while Napoleon was deemed the second most important person in history

Steven Skiena, professor of computer science at Stony Brook University, in New York and one of the people behind the programme said the algorithm can also be used to measure social changes, notably the importance of women in society.

He told the Sunday Times: ‘We can prove that women have required substantially greater achievement levels than men – equivalent to around four IQ points – to get noticed for posterity’.

Mozart is the highest ranking musician on the list at 24th, Beethoven follows in 27th and Bach in 48th.

Queen Elizabeth I was the highest ranking woman in 13th place, just two behind her father Henry VIII

Queen Elizabeth I was the highest ranking woman in 13th place, just two behind her father Henry VIII

Madonna, at 121st trumps Bob Dylan (130th) and John Lennon (162nd), however Elvis reigns as the most famous pop musician in 69th.

Winston Churchill in 37th place is well beaten by Theodore Roosevelt in 23rd place and even by George W Bush who is one place ahead in 36th.

Mr Skiena and his colleague Charles Ward, who works as a Google engineer, have published their finding in a new book called Who’s Bigger.

Poor show: David Cameron was found languishing in 1,483rd place

Poor show: David Cameron was found languishing in 1,483rd place

From Jesus to John Locke (English philosopher and enlightenment thinker): The Top 100 most important people in history


1. Jesus

2. Napoleon

3. Muhammad

4. William Shakespeare

5. Abraham Lincoln

6. George Washington

7. Adolf Hitler

8. Aristotle

9. Alexander the Great

10. Thomas Jefferson

11. Henry VIII of England

12. Charles Darwin

13. Elizabeth I of England

14. Karl Marx

15. Julius Caesar

16. Queen Victoria

17. Martin Luther

18. Joseph Stalin

19. Albert Einstein

20. Christopher Columbus

21. Isaac Newton

22. Charlemagne

23. Theodore Roosevelt

24. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

25. Plato

26. Louis XIV of France

27. Ludwig van Beethoven

28. Ulysses S. Grant

29. Leonardo da Vinci

30. Augustus

31. Carl Linnaeus

32. Ronald Reagan

33. Charles Dickens

34. Paul the Apostle

35. Benjamin Franklin

36. George W. Bush

37. Winston Churchill

38. Genghis Khan

39. Charles I of England

40. Thomas Edison

41. James I of England

42. Friedrich Nietzsche

43. Franklin D. Roosevelt

44. Sigmund Freud

45. Alexander Hamilton

46. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

47. Woodrow Wilson

48. Johann Sebastian Bach

49. Galileo Galilei

50. Oliver Cromwell

NUMBERS 51-100

51. James Madison

52. Gautama Buddha

53. Mark Twain

54. Edgar Allan Poe

55. Joseph Smith, Jr.

56. Adam Smith

57. David, King of Israel

58. George III of the United Kingdom

59. Immanuel Kant

60. James Cook

61. John Adams

62. Richard Wagner

63. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

64. Voltaire

65. Saint Peter

66. Andrew Jackson

67. Constantine the Great

68. Socrates

69. Elvis Presley

70. William the Conqueror

71. John F. Kennedy

72. Augustine of Hippo

73. Vincent van Gogh

74. Nicolaus Copernicus

75. Vladimir Lenin

76. Robert E. Lee

77. Oscar Wilde

78. Charles II of England

79. Cicero

80. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

81. Francis Bacon

82. Richard Nixon

83. Louis XVI of France

84. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

85. King Arthur

86. Michelangelo

87. Philip II of Spain

88. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

89. Ali, founder of Sufism

90. Thomas Aquinas

91. Pope John Paul II

92. René Descartes

93. Nikola Tesla

94. Harry S. Truman

95. Joan of Arc

96. Dante Alighieri

97. Otto von Bismarck

98. Grover Cleveland

99. John Calvin

100. John Locke

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