When asked from young kids about what they want to become when they grow up, you would have come across answers like “I want to become a scientist like Albert Einstein” or “I want to become a cricketer like Sachin Tendulkar.” It is exciting how great personalities influence not only adults but also children. Reading stories of successful people can leave an indelible impression on the people and their lives. From their struggles to their passion and achieving great reputation, there is an endless number of things that you can actually learn from such personalities. Keeping that in mind, we have formulated a list of great personalities who not only excelled in their careers but also gave the power to dream to million others.
This Blog Includes:
- List of 20 World Famous Personalities
- Inspiring Personalities in India
- 20 Great Personalities Inspiring Children!
- Great Personalities Quotes
- Nelson Mandela
- Abraham Lincoln
- A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
- Coco Chanel
- Anne Frank
- Albert Einstein
- Walt Disney
- Sachin Tendulkar
- Michael Jackson
- Marilyn Monroe
- Thomas Alva Edison
- Kalpana Chawla
- Rosa Parks
- Leo Tolstoy
- Satyajit Ray
- Other Great Personalities
- Famous Personalities of India
List of 20 World Famous Personalities
Before we delve deep into knowing the great personalities of the world and their inspiring endeavours, let’s take a look at the top 20 world famous people which are as follows:
- Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865), 16th President of the US; Leader of the American Civil War
- Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882), English Scientist and Naturalist; Known for his contributions to the Science of Evolution
- Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), American inventor and businessman, Known as America’s greatest inventor
- Walt Disney (1901-1966), American motion-picture and television producer and showman, Created characters like Mickey Mouse, Founder of Disneyland and Disneyworld
- Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997), Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary
- John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963), 35th President of the US; Youngest person to be elected in the Office
- Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013), South African Anti-Apartheid Revolutionary
- Marilyn Monroe (1926 – 1962), American Actress, Singer and Model
- Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968), American Activist who led the Civil Rights Movement
- Anne Frank (1929-1945), German-Dutch Diarist, Known for the Diary of Young Girl
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German Theoretical Physicist, Renowned for developing the Theory of Relativity
- Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Renowned Russian Writer, Known for his phenomenal works like Anna Karenina and War and Peace
- Rosa Parks (1913-2005), American Activist, Best known for her role in Montgomery Bus Boycott
- Coco Chanel (1883-1971), French Fashion Designer and Businesswoman, Founder of the world-famous brand Chanel
- A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (1931-2015), Indian Aerospace Scientist and 11th President of India
- Michael Jackson (1958-2009), American Singer, Songwriter and Dancer, Renowned as the King of Pop
- Kalpana Chawla (1961-2003), Indian-American Astronaut and Engineer, the First woman of Indian origin to go to space
- Satyajit Ray (1921-1992), Oscar-award Winning Indian Filmmaker, writer and illustrator; Known for films like Apu Trilogy and Jalsaghar
- Sachin Tendulkar, Indian Cricketer
- Muhammad Ali (1942 – 2016), American Boxer, Activist and Philanthropist
Inspiring Personalities in India
There are many great personalities of India who faced failures, dropped out of college, fought against the country’s independence, brought many social reforms and emerged as the inspirational success stories! Here are the greatest Inspiring Personalities in India:
- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), the Father of India, Anti-colonial Nationalist, Led the Non-violence movements against British colonisers for India’s independence.
- Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (1891–1956), Indian Social Reformer, Led campaigns against social discrimination towards untouchables, and Social Advocate of rights of women and labour.
- Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964), the First Prime Minister of India, an Indian Independence activist
- Indira Gandhi (1917–1984), the First and only Female Prime Minister of India till date
- Mother Teresa (1910–1997), Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary
- A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (1931–2015), Indian Aerospace Scientist and 11th President of India
- Homi J. Bhabha (1909-1966), Indian Nuclear Physicist, Founding Director and Professor of Physics at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
- Kalpana Chawla (1961-2003), Indian-American Astronaut and Engineer, the First woman of Indian origin to go to space
- Ratan Tata, Indian Industrialist, Philanthropist and Former Chairman of Tata Group
- Mary Kom, Indian Boxer, the Only female boxer with a medal in each one of the first seven World Championships, Padma Vibhushan
20 Great Personalities Inspiring Children!
There are many well-known personalities in Science, Literature, Politics, Technology, Business and Arts which are truly inspiring children to give their best and learn the complexities of life! Here are the greatest personalities who are truly an inspiration to children:
Great Personalities in Science
- Albert Einstein, German Theoretical Physicist, Renowned for developing the Theory of Relativity
- Isaac Newton, English Mathematician, Physicist, Astronomer, Created the theory of relativity
- Thomas Alva Edison, American inventor and businessman, Known as America’s greatest inventor
- Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American Engineer and Physicist, Designed the alternating-current (AC) electric system
- APJ Abdul Kalam, Indian Aerospace Scientist and 11th President of India
Great Personalities in Social Welfare
- Nelson Mandela, South African Anti-Apartheid Revolutionary
- Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the US; Leader of the American Civil War
- Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of India, Anti-colonial Nationalist, Led the Non-violence movements against British colonisers for India’s independence
- Mother Teresa, Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary
- Kailash Satyarthi, Indian social reformer working towards the elimination of child labour in India; Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2014
Great Political Leaders
- Martin J. Luther King, American Activist who led the Civil Rights Movement
- Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the First Prime Minister of India, an Indian Independence activist
- Rajendra Prasad, Indian Independence activist, lawyer, the First President of India
- Barack Obama, American Politician and Attorney, the first African-American President of India
- Subhash Chandra Bose, Indian National, Founder of Indian National Army
Great Personalities in Innovation & Technology
- Steve Jobs, American inventor, the Co-founder of Apple Computers
- Mark Zuckerberg, American Entrepreneur, the Co-founder of Facebook
- Jeff Bezos, American Entrepreneur, CEO and Founder of Amazon
- Jack Ma, Chinese Entrepreneur, Co-founder of Alibaba Group
- Elon Musk, American businessman, Engineer, CEO, CTO & Chief Designer of SpaceX
Greatest Personalities in Arts & Literature
- William Shakespeare, English Playwright, Poet and Actor, One of the greatest playwrights in English Literature
- Rabindranath Tagore, Indian writer, poet and composer, Nobel Laureate in Literature, Best Known his literary works in Bengali Literature including Gitanjali, The Home and The World and Gora
- Jane Austen, English Novelist, Best known for Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Sense and Sensibility
- Anne Frank, German-Dutch Diarist, Known for the Diary of Young Girl
- Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Renowned Russian Writer, Known for his phenomenal works like Anna Karenina and War and Peace
Great Personalities Quotes
Here are the motivational and inspiring quotes by great personalities in the world:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein
“However difficult life may seem, there is always something good you can succeed at.” – Stephen Hawking
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. “ – Nelson Mandela
“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” – William Shakespeare
“Don’t spend time beating on a wall hoping to transform it into a door.” – Coco Chanel
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.“ – Nelson Mandela
Born in a small village named Mvezo in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was originally named as Rolihlahla Mandela and grew up listening to the stories of valour of his ancestors during the wars of resistance. In the early 1940s, he chose to study a law degree at the Witswaterand University where he got to know people from all races and backgrounds. During these years, he went on to join the African National Congress in which a group of young Africans aimed to bring a mass grassroots movement to voice the concerns of rural peasants and working people through ANC. Bringing unique methods of revolution, ANC accepted their effective ways of petitioning like boycott, strike, non-cooperation and civil disobedience. What ensued ahead is a long journey of defiance against the oppressive South African regime and its apartheid policies.
Amongst the great personalities in the world, Mandela spent almost 27 years in prison, arrested and detained continuously, and emerging as a potent symbol of black resistance. HIs release happened in 1990. In 1993, Mandela received a Nobel Peace Prize for dismantling apartheid in South Africa and in 1994, he was elected as the first black President of South Africa in the country’s first-ever democratic elections.
“My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.” – Abraham Lincoln
Renowned for bringing emancipation of slaves in the United States, Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1849, and raised in Kentucky where he pursued a meagre education as he had consistently juggle between jobs to work for his family. As a self-taught lawyer and legislator who went on to become one of the American heroes and the great personalities of the Americal Civil War, he was appointed as the 16th US President shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War, Lincoln adopted an unconventional approach as a war leader in which he preferred to react to arising problems and circumstances rather than originating new policies and laying out designs.
Taking an experimental approach, he blended statecraft with the direction of armies and utilising his practical insight and common sense, he brought triumph to the country as a brilliant military strategist and savvy leader. It was not just his military genius that set him apart, but his gradual plan to bringing emancipation of slavery through his tactical Emancipation Proclamation which imperatively paved the way for the abolishment of slavery in America.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
“Dream, dream, dream. Dream transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
People’s favourite leader, the Missile Man of India, Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam also known as APJ Abdul Kalam was a millennial Aerospace scientist who brought in astounding technological reform in the country. From introducing the launch vehicle facility and ballistic missile to supporting the second round of nuclear tests at Pokhran, he did everything necessary for the nation’s civilian space programme and military missile development. Dr. Kalam spent close to 4 decades in ISRO and DRDO as a scientist and administrator. After retiring as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007, he became a visiting professor at the IIMs, IITs, and other universities to motivate students to innovate and compete with the world. From Prithvi in 1988 and Agni missile in 1989, his contribution and achievements have acquired him Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, King Charles II Medal, Hoover Medal, and the list is endless. He is a hero for millions of people making him one of the great personalities of all times.
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” – Coco Chanel
Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel, a French fashion designer and a businesswoman who established the prolific fashion brand Chanel. From little black dress, tweed jackets, bell-bottomed pants, gold-chained handbags, menswear and womenswear to signature scent, Coco Chanel has contributed to the sphere of fashion and designing making her one of the great personalities. Her intense belief that fashion cannot be restricted to couture clothing brought accessories and fragrances as an essential part of fashion. She worked as a seamstress and stage performer to save money to put up her first store. In 1913, Coco managed to open her first shop in Paris followed by another in Deauville. Her affection and passion for every item produced by the brand made her a fashion icon in no time. Who knew a young girl who learned sewing at an orphanage would someday not just design the famous Chanel logo herself but also inspire millions of people looking out for opportunities to make a career in Fashion Designing.
“When I write, I can shake off all my cares.” – Anne Frank
The world-renowned German-born diarist who jotted down her experiences as her family went into hiding from Nazis during the Holocaust, Anne Frank spent two years in a “Secret Annex” somewhere in Amsterdam before being discovered and deported to concentration camps. Anne got her diary as a gift for her thirteenth birthday and wrote down the different events during the two years of hiding with her family. She expressed her feelings and thoughts, began a novel as well as wrote a bunch of short stories because according to her, writing helped in passing time during those years. Her diary was later discovered by two helpers and then her writings were published as “The Diary of Anne Frank”.
Anne’s father Otto survived the Holocaust and got to know about her diary from his friend and realised that it was an entirely different girl that he knew and said, “I had no idea of her depth of thoughts and feelings”. The Diary of Anne Frank has been translated into 57 languages and tells an incredible perspective of the holocaust through the point of view of a thirteen-year-old girl in hiding and shows her extraordinaire storytelling as well as unfaltering spirit even amidst the horrible circumstances.
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein
You must be aware of the world’s most famous equation E=mc^2, the theory of relativity, which helped to complete theories that had been put forth by Newton and the discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect which is an important step in the development of quantum theory. A German-born theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein is the man behind these innumerable findings. As a fact, do you know that Einstein took a diploma from Federal Polytechnic School and was later awarded a PhD by the University of Zurich? He started his career by working in a patent office but later shifted to research & development domain completely. The famous scientist greatly contributed his knowledge to students in various educational institutes like the University of Bern, Humboldt University of Berlin, Caltech, University of Oxford, etc. Awarded with a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921, Albert Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century. With his great personality and contribution, many leading scientists and physicists are actually trying to complete Einstein’s ultimate dream of a “theory of everything.”
“All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
The legendary pioneer of Disney cartoons, Walt Disney created the beloved animated character of Mickey Mouse and was the mastermind behind mesmerizing animations as well as scintillating theme parks! Growing up in a poor family, his artistic talent was sparked by a doctor in his neighbourhood who asked him to draw a horse. Young Walt fell in love with drawing and painting and worked on improving his art by drawing cartoons from father’s newspaper. He joined the Mckinsey High School as his family moved to Chicago but dropped out at the age of 16 determined to join the army. With his relentless efforts, he somehow entered the Red Cross and then travelled to France with the army.
Amidst the grim injuries and bloodshed that he witnessed on a daily basis, Walt found comfort in imagining new cartoon characters to fulfil his dream as an artist. Then, he came back to the city and took up a job as a cartoonist though soon fired with a decline in revenue given the reason that “he lacked imagination”. He wrote “Alice in the Wonderland” while struggling with the fall of his two businesses and then shifted to Hollywood to sell his story. But destiny had something else for him as he went on to produce the Alice in the Wonderland under the Banner of Disney Bros. Studios and then there was no looking back as the studio reached new heights and established itself amongst the top film studios in the country as well as the world!
“People throw stones at you and you convert them into milestones.” – Sachin Tendulkar
Famed all across the world and carrying the nation’s pride on his No. 10 jersey, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is prominent in the list of great personalities. Popularly known as ‘master blaster’, he is a true inspiration for all the cricket lovers. This finest right-handed batsman in the history of international cricket started his cricket journey at the age of 11 and made his first-class debut when he was 15 and the first test debut against Pakistan at the age of 16. We know, that in India cricket is a religion and Tendulkar is a modern legend and India’s very own God of Cricket. After his retirement in 2013, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna – the youngest person to receive this award. With a career of 22 years 91 days, he has records like the only player to score over 30,000 runs in international cricket, only one to secure 100 international hundreds and the first player to score a double hundred in limited-overs cricket, 62 Man of the Match, 15 Man of the Series, and the list is endless. He was among the first Indian players to become a part of the Yorkshire club. Not just this, being an active member of Rajya Sabha, he has donated his entire Rajya Sabha money to the Government of India for the country’s welfare. Tendulkar carried the hopes of millions every time he walked up to bat and still continues to be the biggest reason students across the world aspire to make a career in Sports and Sport Management. Watching his memorable knocks and win many games single-handedly, people started watching cricket just to see him bat.
“If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, then make that change.” – Michael Jackson
Popularly known as the “King of Pop”, the best-selling American singer, songwriter and dancer, Michael Joseph Jackson was a multi-talented musical entertainer who enjoyed a topping career both as a solo artist and with the Jackson 5. Encouraged by his father, Joseph Walter Jackson, MJ started his musical journey at an early age of 5 and later came to be recognised as the greatest entertainers of the 20th century. With his popular moonwalk dance move and fashion specialism like his crystal gloves, immortalised solitary, trophy jacket trend in the 80s, he was in the limelight for more than 4 decades. Jackson’s most famous work was exhibited in Thriller which was the second best-selling albums in history and he later released a series of hit records like Bad, Dangerous, Off the Wall, HIStory and Invincible. Some of his greatest achievements include 31 Guinness World Records, 13 Grammy Awards, 26 American Music Awards, Billboard 100 top ten single in five different decades, etc. People across the world consider him amongst great personalities for the kind of excellence he had towards his work while others sign up for Music Production courses to be a legend like him.
“I am not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful.” – Marilyn Monroe
Popularly known as the Blonde Bombshell by her millions of admirers, Marilyn Monroe was one of the kind. Famous for her bold acting roles, she was a complete star with great modelling and singing skills. Monroe was born in 1926 in Los Angeles and was named as Norma Jeane Mortenson. With a rough childhood where she was constantly moving parts from foster homes to orphanages, she met her first love and decided to get married at the age of 16. 1946 was the golden year of her life, as she established a great career as a Model and also signed her first movie. As she had no pre knowledge or background of acting, her performance was judged by the people to a great extent. But, in no time she became one of the great personalities of all times. Her best work includes The Seven Year Itch, The Prince and the Showgirl, Some Like It Hot, The Misfits and Bus Stop. Due to the struggle, anxiety, depression and family issues, she died at an early age of 36.
Thomas Alva Edison
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” – Thomas Alva Edison
Known for the most creative inventors of all times, Thoma Alva Edison spent most of his life in bringing in new inventions to people’s lives by feeding his ideas with a correct approach. Edison was born in 1847 in Milan, Ohio and spent his early childhood days in Michigan. His family was a canal owner and with time, the business declined. To support his family, he started selling candies and vegetables in trains. Later he became a telegraph operator and spent a handful of years in this profession. At 19 he moved to Kentucky to work at the AssociatePress Beuro and requested for the night shift, this would give him plenty of time to read and experiment. Due to an incident that occurred at the press house, because of his experiment, he was fired. This is when he decided to open his own research laboratory. His most famous inventions were Photograph, Motion Picture Camera and the life changing – Ligh Bulb. Edison is also regarded as the very first inventor who promoted teamwork while processing the invention with researchers and employees.
“You are just your intelligence.” – Kalpana Chawla
A girl born to change the vision of a country towards women, born to bring in the change in the world with her starry imagination, Kalpana Chawla is a true name that stands to be in the list of great personalities of all times. She was born in 1962 in Haryana and since the beginning of her school life, the universe fascinated her the most. She was an ordinary girl with towering dreams and indomitable courage that made her the first Indian woman and the second Indian person to fly in space in 1997. As she recalls in an interview before the Columbia mission, how she and her brother used to hop on their bicycles to see where the aeroplanes were headed to. From choosing her own name ‘Kalpana’ which means ‘imagination’ to draw colourful aeroplanes, her creativity led her to embark on an explorative journey which gave a reason for many young minds to pursue their dreams.
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.“ – Rosa Parks
Known as the woman who refused to give her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist whose single act of defiance led to nationwide efforts to abolish racial segregation in America. Having spent her school education in segregated schools, Parks witnessed racial segregation throughout our life and when she refused to stand from her seat in the bus, she was arrested and during her trial, around 500 supporters were present for her in the court and later in her support, a city-wide boycott of buses happened when African-American commuters chose to walk to work rather than taking the buses.
Parks is amongst the foremost activists to take a stand against racial segregation carried out in the buses during that time and emerged amongst the great personalities who led the largest and successful mass movements in the American history. She was later honoured with the Martin Luther King Jr. Award by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy
With notable work in the realm of Literature, Leo Tolstoy, a Russian novelist and moral philosopher is regarded as one of the great personalities for bibliophiles. Ranked as one of the world’s leading writers, Tolstoy has worked intensely on philosophical essays, short stories and numerous plays that turned out to be best sellers. Some of his renowned work includes The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Anna Karenina, Resurrection, War and Peace, Hadji Murad, The Kingdom of God Is Within You, to name a few. Tolstoy did his schooling at home with the help of German and French tutors and later went for a course in oriental languages. Although writing was something which always fascinated him, Tolstoy later joined the army as a junker for a short span of time and was a part of the Crimean War in 1855. Leo is often acknowledged as having possessed a skill for describing characters’ unconscious motives. With a belief that novels are not just a source of entertainment, but tools for psychological education and reform, Tolstoy’s finest achievements have continued to inspire young writers and students planning to pursue BA English Literature, MA English and PhD in English.
“The director is the only person who knows what the film is about.” – Satyajit Ray
“Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.” The personality of Satyajit Ray cannot be better explained than the words about him by Akira Kurosawa, one of the most influential filmmakers. Revered among the best storytellers of the 20th century, Satyajit Ray has left an indelible legacy in film direction which continues to inspire the modern industry. Born in Bengal in 1921, Satyajit is counted among the very few filmmakers having mastery over a number of fields. A Screenwriter, Music Composer, Graphic Artist, Lyricist, and Author, Ray has an unmatched reputation as a polymath in the modern cinema. Regarded as among the greatest film directors of all time, he has a number of awards to his credit which includes prestigious National Film Award, BAFTA, and Ramon Magsaysay award. Having produced a number of films, the critically lauded ones include Pathar Panchali, Charulata, Music Room, and The Big City. The cynosure of Indian cinema, Satyajit’s genius is incontestable making amongst great personalities. His dedication motivates many to pursue Film Studies, Film Editing, and Acting Courses.
Other Great Personalities
|Great Personalities||Known For|
|Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton||Antarctic Exploration|
|Virginia Woolf||Her novels like Mrs. Dalloway, To The Lighthouse, Monday or Tuesday.|
|Muhammad Ali||Professional boxing. He also won a Gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics.|
|Alfred Hitchcock||Directing and producing movies. Best known for his movies “Vertigo”, “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, “Psycho”, etc.|
|Helen Keller||Her political activism, steps she took to educate physically disabled students. She was also the 1st deaf-blind student to receive a BA degree.|
|Tenzin Gyatso||Tibetian Buddhism. He’s the 14th Dalai Lama|
|Tim Berners-Lee||His immense contributions to the field of Science and Technology. World Wide Web was invented by him.|
|George Orwell||His world-famous novels – Animal Farm and 1984.|
|B.R Ambedkar||Referred to as the “Father of Indian Constitution”, B.R Ambedkar was an eminent social activist and a lawyer.|
|J.R.D Tata||Founder of the first Domestic Airline in India, Tata Airlines, J.R.D Tata is a world-famous businessman. He expanded the Tata group across Steel, Communications, Energy, Research, and other such sectors.|
|Sardar Vallabhai Patel||A famous social reformer, 1st deputy PM of India, and the founder of All India Services, Sadra Vallabhai Patel also successfully integrated princely states into a Union.|
|P.T Usha||Popularly known as the “Queen of Indian Track and Field”, PT Usha is a famous Indian track runner who has many accolades in her name.|
|Vikram Sarabhai||A Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awardee, Vikram Sarabhai has made immense contributions to the field of Physics. The “Father of the Indian Space Program”, he was also a world-renowned industrialist.|
These were some of the leading great personalities that must have inspired you to follow your dream and fly high. Let us know about which personality do you admire in the comment section below. If you are someone who wants to move forward in accomplishing your dreams by pursuing a course of your interest form universities abroad, contact Leverage Edu and book a free counselling session for 30 minutes.