1. Education
The twentieth century was shaped by scientists, leaders, civil rights workers, entertainers, and so many more. Learn more about some of the influential people who molded the century, including both the heroes and the villains.
  1. Activists & Humanitarians
  2. Artists & Writers
  3. Athletes
  4. Aviation & Space
  5. Business Leaders
  6. Criminals & Spies
  1. Entertainers
  2. Scientists & Inventors
  3. U.S. Presidents & First Ladies
  4. Women
  5. World Leaders & Revolutionaries

Activists & Humanitarians

A picture of Mahatma Gandhi.

Many people wake up each day and notice the inequities of the world; yet most people do nothing about them because they think, "How much could one person do?" Each person on this list proves that one person can do a huge amount.

Artists & Writers

Andy Warhol

Whether they paint, draw, sculpt, write, or photograph, artists and writers make us look at the world in a different way.


A picture of Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player in the Major League.

They jumped, hit, ran, swam, boxed, wrestled, threw, and played better than anyone else. Follow the lives of these amazing athletes.

Aviation & Space

Laika, the First Animal in Space

Leaving the ground far below them, these men and women traveled into the skies to explore areas as yet unknown.

Business Leaders


The captains of industry shaped the 20th century by supplying jobs, creating products, and invigorating the economy. Learn more about these men and women who created fortunes.

Criminals & Spies

A picture of Bonnie Parker jokingly pointing a gun at her lover, Clyde Barrow.

Some people who made an impact on the 20th century did so not by good deeds, but rather by their crimes. These crimes included stealing, spying, rape, and mass murder.


Picture of Louis Armstrong, jazz musician and masterful trumpet player.

We, as their audience, have been mesmerized by their Academy-Award-winning performances, roused by their innovative uses of both voice and instrument, and shocked by their daring exploits with magic. Entertainers help us escape our mundane, everyday lives by dazzling us with mastery of their craft.

Scientists & Inventors

A picture of the wax figure of scientist Albert Einstein at Madame Tussaud's.

From the creation of atomic bombs to Henry Ford's use of the assembly line, science and inventions dominated both the lives of individuals and the interactions of people around the world in the 20th century.

U.S. Presidents & First Ladies

A portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

There have been 18 presidents who have led the United States within the 20th century. The country has changed and been molded under their leadership. Learn more about these influential men and their wives through these resources.


Picture of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan.

In many ways, the 20th century could still be considered a "man's world"; however, there were numerous women who changed the way the think, act, and live. Here are just a few of their stories.

World Leaders & Revolutionaries

Portrait of Adolf Hitler

Some were strong; others were weak. Some were good; others were bad. Learn more about the men and women around the world who were leaders during the 20th century.

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