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.



1George Washington1732-1799Episcopalian
2Abraham Lincoln1809-1865Regular Baptist (childhood);
later ambiguous -
Deist, general theist or
a very personalized Christianity
3Franklin Delano Roosevelt1882-1945Episcopalian
4Winston Churchill1874-1965Anglican
5Ronald Reagan1911-Presbyterian
6Alexander the Great356-323 B.C.Greek state paganism
7Christopher Columbus1451-1506Catholic
8Martin Luther1438-1546Catholic; Lutheran
9Samuel Adams1722-1803 
10Napoleon Bonaparte1769-1821Catholic (nominal)
11Dwight D. Eisenhower1890-1969Jehovah's Witness; Presbyterian
12Theodore Roosevelt1858-1920Dutch Reformed; Episcopalian
13Ulysses S. Grant1822-1885Presbyterian; Methodist
14Pope John Paul II1920-Catholic
15George W. Bush1946-Methodist (former Episcopalian)
16Harry S. Truman1884-1972Baptist
17George C. Marshall1880-1959Episcopalian
18Mikhail Gorbachev1931-Russian Orthodox
19Lech Walesa1943-Catholic
20Boris Yeltsin1931- 
21John F. Kennedy1917-1963Catholic
22John Glenn1921-Presbyterian
23Neil Armstrong1930- 
24Susan B. Anthony1820-1906Quaker; Unitarian
25Senator Margaret Chase Smith1897-1995Methodist
26Whitaker Chambers1901-1961
27Simon Bolivar1783-1830Catholic (nominal); Atheist
28David Ben-Gurion1886-1973Judaism
29Charles A. Lindbergh1902-1974 
30John Paul Jones1747-1792 
31Sergeant Alvin York1887-1964 
32Sergeant Audie Murphy1924-1971 
33General Douglas MacArthur1880-1964 
34Davy Crockett1786-1836 
35King George VI1895-1952Anglican
36Charles de Gaulle1890-1970 
37Joan of Arc1412-1431Catholic
38Clara Barton1821-1912Universalist
39Elzabeth Blackwell1821-1910 
40Anne Hutchinson1591-1643Unitarian
41William Bradford1590-1657 
42Fiorella La Guardia1882-1947 
43Raoul Wallenberg1912-? 
44Ira Hayes1923-1955 
45Harriet Tubman1820(?)-1913Methodist
46Galileo Galilei1564-1642Catholic
47Martin Luther King, Jr.1929-1968Baptist
48Sir Thomas More1478-1535Catholic
49Andrew Jackson1767-1845Presbyterian
50Thomas Jefferson1743-1826raised Episcopalian; later no specific denomination
held Christian, Deist, Unitarian beliefs
51Meriwether Lewis1774-1809 
52John Quincy Adams1767-1848Unitarian
53Amelia Earhart1897-1937 
54General James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle1896-1993 
55Admiral Chester W. Nimitz1885-1966 
56Admiral David Glasgow Farragut1801-1870 
57Colin Powell1937-Episcopalian
58Nathan Hale1755-1776 
59Alexander Hamilton1757-1804Episcopalian
60Giuseppi Garibaldi1807-1882Catholic
61Admiral Horatio Nelson1758-1805 
62Admiral George Dewey1837-1917 
63Moshe Dayan1915-1981Jewish
64Golda Meir1898-1978Judaism
65William "Wild Bill" Donovan1883-1959 
66Lord Louis Mountbatten1900-1976Episcopalian
67Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi1969-1948Hindu (mother was a Jain)
68Ralph Bunche1904-1971 
69Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.1887-1944 
70Captain Edward "Eddie" Rickenbacker1890-1973 
71Lieutenant Giuseppe Petrosino, NYPD1860-1909 
72Melvin Purvis1903-1960 
73Lou Gehrig1903-1941Lutheran
74George Herman "Babe" Ruth1895-1948Catholic
75Joe Louis1914-1981 
76Branch Rickey1881-1965Methodist
77Jackie Robinson1919-1972Methodist
78Admiral Richard E. Byrd1888-1957 
79Eleanor Roosevelt1884-1962Episcopalian
80Margaret Thatcher1925- 
81Anwar el-Sadat1918-1981Islam
82Edward R. Murrow1908-1965 
83General George S. Patton1885-1945 
84General Omar N. Bradley1893-1981 
85General Jonathan Wainwright1883-1953 
86Rudolph "Rudy" Giuliani1944-Catholic
87Chief Sitting Bull1831-1890 
88Eugene V. Debs1855-1926 
89Jane Addams1860-1935 
90Willy Brandt1913-1992 
91Haile Selassie1891-1975 
92General Gouverneur Kemble Warren1830-1882 
93John McCain III1936-Episcopalian
94Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North1943- 
95Howard Hughes1905-1976 
96Vaclav Havel1936-Catholic
97Todd Beamer1969-2001 
98Sergeant Nathan Ross Chapman1971-2002 
99Sir William Stephenson1896-1989 
100Bob Hope1903-Catholic

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Webpage created 11 June 2005. Last modified 7 July 2006.
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