Adherents.com Home Page

The 100 Greatest Heroes:
Inspiring Profiles of One Hundred Men and Women Who Changed the World

The list below is from the book The 100 Greatest Heroes: Inspiring Profiles of One Hundred Men and Women Who Changed the World (Kensington Publishing Corp./Citadel Press: New York City, 2003), written by H. Paul Jeffers.

Text from inside book jacket:

In Greek and Roman mythology, the world hero was used to describe men whose courageous actions brought favor from the gods. Today, a hero can be just about anyone--from a steadfast politician working to secure world peace to an average man or woman who demonstrates remarkable bravery. H. Paul Jeffers has searched the annals of world history to identify the most influential heroes of all time--chronicling one hundred intriguing real-life tales that are sure to fascinate and inspire.

The 100 Greatest Heroes includes profiles--ranked in order of significance--of the world's most spirited warriors and explorers, politicians and entertainers, innovators and peacekeepers, police officers, doctors, and nurses. It brings to life exciting figures from history, including the father of our country, George Washington; Mahatma Gandhi, who promoted the use of nonviolent tactics to bring about peace; baseball player Bab Ruth; and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Included among the list are many of the extraordinary women who distinguished themselves through their astonishing achievements and bravery. Among them are suffragette Susan B. Anthony; the fearless warrior Joan of Arc; the first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell; pioneering social worker, activist, and reformer Jane Addams; and aviator Amelia Earhart, whose daring exploits captured the world's attention before costing her her life.

But not all of the heroes profiles are those whose lives played out on the world stage. Some are everyday people who found their own way to make a difference, such as Harriet Tubman, a runaway slave who overcame enormous odds... Other exceptional people who made the list include Lech Walesa, an ordinary shipyard worker whose Solidarity Movement helped bring down the Iron Curtain; New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose leadership during the tragedy of September 11, 2001, brought him worldwide acclaim and admiration; and Raoul Wallenberg, whose heroics helped rescue Jews from the Holocaust.

Spanning from biblical to modern times, The 100 Greatest Heroes pays homage to the men and women whose life stories serve as an inspiration to the world.



1 George Washington 1732-1799 Episcopalian
2 Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865 Regular Baptist (childhood);
later ambiguous -
Deist, general theist or
a very personalized Christianity
3 Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1882-1945 Episcopalian
4 Winston Churchill 1874-1965 Anglican
5 Ronald Reagan 1911- Presbyterian
6 Alexander the Great 356-323 B.C. Greek state paganism
7 Christopher Columbus 1451-1506 Catholic
8 Martin Luther 1438-1546 Catholic; Lutheran
9 Samuel Adams 1722-1803  
10 Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821 Catholic (nominal)
11 Dwight D. Eisenhower 1890-1969 Jehovah's Witness; Presbyterian
12 Theodore Roosevelt 1858-1920 Dutch Reformed; Episcopalian
13 Ulysses S. Grant 1822-1885 Presbyterian; Methodist
14 Pope John Paul II 1920- Catholic
15 George W. Bush 1946- Methodist (former Episcopalian)
16 Harry S. Truman 1884-1972 Baptist
17 George C. Marshall 1880-1959 Episcopalian
18 Mikhail Gorbachev 1931- Russian Orthodox
19 Lech Walesa 1943- Catholic
20 Boris Yeltsin 1931-  
21 John F. Kennedy 1917-1963 Catholic
22 John Glenn 1921- Presbyterian
23 Neil Armstrong 1930-  
24 Susan B. Anthony 1820-1906 Quaker; Unitarian
25 Senator Margaret Chase Smith 1897-1995 Methodist
26 Whitaker Chambers 1901-1961
27 Simon Bolivar 1783-1830 Catholic (nominal); Atheist
28 David Ben-Gurion 1886-1973 Judaism
29 Charles A. Lindbergh 1902-1974  
30 John Paul Jones 1747-1792  
31 Sergeant Alvin York 1887-1964  
32 Sergeant Audie Murphy 1924-1971  
33 General Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964  
34 Davy Crockett 1786-1836  
35 King George VI 1895-1952 Anglican
36 Charles de Gaulle 1890-1970  
37 Joan of Arc 1412-1431 Catholic
38 Clara Barton 1821-1912 Universalist
39 Elzabeth Blackwell 1821-1910  
40 Anne Hutchinson 1591-1643 Unitarian
41 William Bradford 1590-1657  
42 Fiorella La Guardia 1882-1947  
43 Raoul Wallenberg 1912-?  
44 Ira Hayes 1923-1955  
45 Harriet Tubman 1820(?)-1913 Methodist
46 Galileo Galilei 1564-1642 Catholic
47 Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968 Baptist
48 Sir Thomas More 1478-1535 Catholic
49 Andrew Jackson 1767-1845 Presbyterian
50 Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826 raised Episcopalian; later no specific denomination
held Christian, Deist, Unitarian beliefs
51 Meriwether Lewis 1774-1809  
52 John Quincy Adams 1767-1848 Unitarian
53 Amelia Earhart 1897-1937  
54 General James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle 1896-1993  
55 Admiral Chester W. Nimitz 1885-1966  
56 Admiral David Glasgow Farragut 1801-1870  
57 Colin Powell 1937- Episcopalian
58 Nathan Hale 1755-1776  
59 Alexander Hamilton 1757-1804 Episcopalian
60 Giuseppi Garibaldi 1807-1882 Catholic
61 Admiral Horatio Nelson 1758-1805  
62 Admiral George Dewey 1837-1917  
63 Moshe Dayan 1915-1981 Jewish
64 Golda Meir 1898-1978 Judaism
65 William "Wild Bill" Donovan 1883-1959  
66 Lord Louis Mountbatten 1900-1976 Episcopalian
67 Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi 1969-1948 Hindu (mother was a Jain)
68 Ralph Bunche 1904-1971  
69 Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. 1887-1944  
70 Captain Edward "Eddie" Rickenbacker 1890-1973  
71 Lieutenant Giuseppe Petrosino, NYPD 1860-1909  
72 Melvin Purvis 1903-1960  
73 Lou Gehrig 1903-1941 Lutheran
74 George Herman "Babe" Ruth 1895-1948 Catholic
75 Joe Louis 1914-1981  
76 Branch Rickey 1881-1965 Methodist
77 Jackie Robinson 1919-1972 Methodist
78 Admiral Richard E. Byrd 1888-1957  
79 Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962 Episcopalian
80 Margaret Thatcher 1925-  
81 Anwar el-Sadat 1918-1981 Islam
82 Edward R. Murrow 1908-1965  
83 General George S. Patton 1885-1945  
84 General Omar N. Bradley 1893-1981  
85 General Jonathan Wainwright 1883-1953  
86 Rudolph "Rudy" Giuliani 1944- Catholic
87 Chief Sitting Bull 1831-1890  
88 Eugene V. Debs 1855-1926  
89 Jane Addams 1860-1935  
90 Willy Brandt 1913-1992  
91 Haile Selassie 1891-1975  
92 General Gouverneur Kemble Warren 1830-1882  
93 John McCain III 1936- Episcopalian
94 Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North 1943-  
95 Howard Hughes 1905-1976  
96 Vaclav Havel 1936- Catholic
97 Todd Beamer 1969-2001  
98 Sergeant Nathan Ross Chapman 1971-2002  
99 Sir William Stephenson 1896-1989  
100 Bob Hope 1903- Catholic

Search Adherents.com

Custom Search
comments powered by Disqus

Webpage created 11 June 2005. Last modified 7 July 2006.
We are always striving to increase the accuracy and usefulness of our website. We are happy to hear from you. Please submit questions, suggestions, comments, corrections, etc. to: webmaster@adherents.com.