Famous 20th Century Entrepreneurs

Find out more about the greatest 20th Century Entrepreneurs, including Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Business People

 1 Walt Disney

Walt Disney.
13
Famous As: Entrepreneur, Producer, Writer
Birthdate: December 5, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hermosa, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: December 15, 1966

Walt Disney is considered to be the forerunner of the American animation industry. He has won 22 Oscars and holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual as a film producer. His The Walt Disney Company‍ has produced many successful animation films. He later established amusement theme park, Disneyland, in 1955, which has since grown manifold.

 2 Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders.
5
Famous As: Founder of KFC
Birthdate: September 9, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Henryville, Indiana, United States
Died: December 16, 1980

Colonel Sanders is the man who revolutionized the American fast food industry by founding the restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Establishing a style trademark by wearing a white suit and black string tie, Sanders went on to become a symbol of the KFC brand. Such is the popularity of the brand, the symbol is recognized all over the world.

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 3 Ray Kroc

Ray Kroc.
8
Famous As: Founder of the McDonald’s Corporation
Birthdate: October 5, 1902
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: January 14, 1984

Ray Kroc was the man who helped expand McDonald's into a global franchise, eventually turning it into the most successful fast food corporation. Not surprisingly, he was mentioned in Time magazine's Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century list. He was also the owner of the popular baseball team San Diego Padres.

 4 Richard Branson

Richard Branson.
5
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: July 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Blackheath London

Richard Branson is an English business magnate. The founder of Virgin Group Ltd., which controls over 400 companies, Branson was named on Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People in The World. Branson has also had a major impact as a philanthropist; he set up a charitable organization called Branson School of Entrepreneurship to provide entrepreneurial training to youngsters.

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 5 Henry Ford

Henry Ford.
14
Famous As: Industrialist
Birthdate: July 30, 1863
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Greenfield Township, Michigan, United States
Died: April 7, 1947

Business magnate and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford is credited to have made the automobile an accessible conveyance for Americans in the 20th century. Following the success of his company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He also became known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I.

 6 Ratan Tata

Ratan Tata.
21
Famous As: Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons
Birthdate: December 28, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Surat

Ratan Tata is a well-known Indian industrialist and the former charman of Indian multinational conglomerate Tata Sons. His reign as chairman was marked by acquisitions of iconic global brands, such as Tetley, Jaguar Land Rover and Corus by the Tata Group. Ratan Tata was instrumental in turning Tata Group from a largely India-centrist group into a global business.

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 7 John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller.
9
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: July 8, 1839
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Richford, New York, United States
Died: May 23, 1937

Widely regarded as the richest person in modern history and the wealthiest American ever, John D. Rockefeller was a business magnate who founded the Standard Oil Company. He was America’s first billionaire. He also defined the structure of modern philanthropy as the foundations created by him had a major effect on scientific research, medicine, and education.

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 8 Paul Allen

Paul Allen.
6
Famous As: Co-founder of Microsoft, Philanthropist
Birthdate: January 21, 1953
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Seattle
Died: October 15, 2018

Paul Allen was an American investor, business magnate, and philanthropist. He is credited with co-founding one of the most popular multinational technology companies in the world, Microsoft Corporation. Along with his philanthropic activities and ownership of several other companies and sporting clubs, Paul Allen had a major impact on sports, wildlife, education, arts, healthcare, community services, environmental conservation, and more.

 9 Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay.
5
Famous As: American chef
Birthdate: December 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is best known for his Food Network shows, such as the Emmy-nominated Hot Off the Grill with Bobby Flay. He launched many restaurants, such as the Las Vegas-based Mesa Grill and 19 outlets of Bobby's Burger Palace. He has also taught at the French Culinary Institute.

 10 Dhirubhai Ambani

Dhirubhai Ambani.
4
Birthdate: December 28, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Junagadh
Died: July 6, 2002

Dhirubhai Ambani was an Indian business tycoon. He is credited with founding Reliance Industries, which is currently the largest company in the country in terms of revenue. Dhirubhai Ambani's life and career inspired the 2007 drama film Guru, in which his character was portrayed by Abhishek Bachchan.

 11 Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim.
6
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: January 28, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mexico City
Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim owns the conglomerate Grupo Carso and has served as the CEO of América Móvil and Telmex. He was the world’s richest person from 2010 to 2013 and the fifth-richest in 2020, according to Forbes. He also owns three charity organizations focusing on Mexico City. 

 12 Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel.
6
Famous As: Co-founder of PayPal
Birthdate: October 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Frankfurt

Peter Thiel is a German-American venture capitalist and entrepreneur. As the co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel redefined the way online payments and online money transfers work in the United States and most Asian countries. He also played a major role in the development of Facebook as its first outside investor.

 13 Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver.
4
Famous As: Chef and Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clavering, U.K.

Jamie Oliver is an English restaurateur and chef who gained international recognition after appearing on popular TV shows, such as Jamie's Kitchen and The Naked Chef. In 2005, his Feed Me Better campaign helped introduce several children to healthier foods. He also established a charity restaurant called Fifteen, which employs disadvantaged young people.

 14 Ross Perot

Ross Perot.
6
Famous As: Independent U.S. Presidential Candidate
Birthdate: June 27, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Texarkana, Texas
Died: July 9, 2019

Ross Perot was the founder and CEO of Electronic Data Systems and Perot Systems. He received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and developed the Naval Academy’s honor system. He ran for president as an independent candidate and then established the Reform Party. He sold Perot to Dell for $3.9 billion.

 15 Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison.
4
Famous As: Founder of Oracle
Birthdate: August 17, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York
Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison was Forbes’s sixth-wealthiest person in the world in 2019. He has been associated with Apple and Tesla, too. He once owned the world’s 12th-largest yacht. He is a certified pilot and also owns a tennis facility. A devoted philanthropist, he has taken The Giving Pledge.

 16 Sam Walton

Sam Walton.
4
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: March 29, 1918
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingfisher, Oklahoma
Died: April 5, 1992
Sam Walton, founder of the retail chain Walmart and Sam's Club, was the richest man in the U.S. at one point. He made Walmart the world’s largest private employer. One of Time’s 100 most influential people of the 20th Century, he had also earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 17 David Rockefeller

David Rockefeller.
6
Famous As: Banker
Birthdate: June 12, 1915
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: March 20, 2017
David Rockefeller, son of John D. Rockefeller Jr., was a banker who had also been the chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Corporation. He was the world’s oldest billionaire when he died in 2017 at age 101. He was criticized for his role in the Iran hostage crisis.

 18 Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer.
10
Famous As: Former CEO of Microsoft
Birthdate: March 24, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Detroit
The world’s ninth-richest person as of 2020, Steve Ballmer has served as the CEO of Microsoft. He dropped out of the MBA program at Stanford when Bill Gates invited him to join Microsoft in 1980. Ballmer owns the NBA team Los Angeles Clippers. The USAFacts.org founder donates to educational causes. 

 19 N. R. Narayana Murthy

N. R. Narayana Murthy.
5
Famous As: Founder of Infosys
Birthdate: August 20, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mysore

N. R. Narayana Murthy is an Indian businessman who is credited with co-founding one of the most popular and successful Indian multinational corporations, Infosys. While Fortune magazine named him as one of the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time, Time magazine called him the father of the Indian IT sector. Murthy serves as an inspiration to aspiring businessmen in India.

 20 Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes.
4
Famous As: Entrepreneur, Investor
Birthdate: December 24, 1905
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Humble, Texas, US
Died: April 5, 1976

A multi-talented personality, Howard Hughes was one of the richest person of his time. A business tycoon, he made big investments in films and aviation industry. Passionate about flying, he set numerous flying records, and also risked his own life in process. Howard Hughes who inherited his family business and became millionaire at the age of 18, was later on troubled with mental illness and turned recluse.

 21 Amancio Ortega Gaona

Amancio Ortega Gaona.
4
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: March 28, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Busdongo de Arbás, León
Former chairman and founder of Inditex fashion group, Amancio Ortega Gaona is renowned for it's chain Zara. He set the ball rolling for the fast fashion movement in the mid-70s. He first ventured into retail in his early teens, 

 22 Fred Trump

Fred Trump.
9
Famous As: Real Estate Developer
Birthdate: October 11, 1905
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Died: June 25, 1999
Fred Trump, father of Donald Trump, was a well-known real estate developer who built more than 27 thousand apartments in New York. Having lost his father early, Fred ventured into construction business with his mother when he was fifteen. Determined, he built himself a huge fortune but controversies surrounded him too including an investigation for not renting to black families.

 23 Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler.
4
Famous As: Industrialist
Birthdate: April 28, 1908
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Zwittau, Moravia, Austria-Hungary (now Svitavy, Czech Republic)
Died: October 9, 1974

Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist who displayed extraordinary dedication and courage to save the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. Oskar Schindler's act is viewed by many as the kind of act that restores faith in humanity.  His inspirational and heart-warming story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film titled Schindler's List.

 24 Peter Jones

Peter Jones.
4
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: March 18, 1966
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Maidenhead
Entrepreneur and reality star Peter Jones is best known for his stints on the shows Dragons' Den, American Investor, and Tycoon. He owns several businesses, including Wines4Business.com and Phones International Group. He received a CBE honor in 2009 and is also a luxury sports car enthusiast.

 25 Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel.
4
Famous As: Fashion designer
Birthdate: August 19, 1883
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saumur, France
Died: January 10, 1971

Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She is credited with replacing the corseted silhouette as the feminine standard of style with a sporty, casual chic. Her work as a designer redefined the fashionable woman in the era post World War I. She also played a vital role in revolutionizing jewelry, handbags, and fragrance.

 26 Dany Garcia

Dany Garcia.
4
Famous As: Producer
Birthdate: November 29, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Miami, Florida

Dany Garcia, founder of The Garcia Companies, is an American media mogul. She offers various services and manages brands, talent and projects on multiple platforms. Her Seven Bucks Productions has produced several successful films like Baywatch, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji: The Next Level and Rampage. Many of them have been with her ex-husband and action hero Dwayne Johnson.

 27 Joy Mangano

Joy Mangano.
4
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: February 1, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: East Meadow, New York

Before she turned her peculiar inventions into a billion-dollar business empire, Joy Mangano had worked as an airline assistant and a waitress. Her best-known invention has been the Miracle Mop, a self-wringing mop made of plastic. She has also penned a memoir and has inspired the 2015 film Joy.

 28 Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri.
1
Famous As: Restaurateur, Cookbook Author
Birthdate: January 22, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Primarily a restaurateur, Guy Fieri is a testimony to the fact that any professional can become famous if they are passionate enough in doing what they do best. From being a restaurateur, he went on to become a TV personality, hosting shows for Food Network channel. By mid-2010, he had become the face of the network.

 29 Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner.
4
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: February 9, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Milwaukee

Chris Gardner is an American motivational speaker and businessman. After struggling with homelessness, Gardner went on to establish Gardner Rich & Co, a brokerage firm, in 1987. His rags to riches story inspired the film The Pursuit of Happyness. Also a well-known philanthropist, Gardner has been playing a major role in creating low-income housing and employment opportunities for the homeless.

 30 Christie Brinkley

Christie Brinkley.
4
Famous As: Model, Actress, Businesswoman
Birthdate: February 2, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Monroe

Christie Brinkley is an American actress, model, and entrepreneur. Widely regarded as one of the most attractive women ever, Brinkley has been featured on more than 500 magazine covers and was the face of CoverGirl for 25 years! Apart from being an inspiration to aspiring models worldwide, Christie Brinkley has also touched the lives of many through her philanthropic activities.

 31 Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck.
4
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: July 8, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria

Wolfgang Puck is an Austrian-American restaurateur. In 1973, Puck moved to the US and opened a restaurant named Spago in 1982. He then established himself as a respected restaurateur by opening several other restaurants. In 2013, he was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. Also an actor, Puck has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 32 Evan Spiegel

Evan Spiegel.
7
Famous As: Co-founder of Snapchat
Birthdate: June 4, 1990
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Evan Spiegel is credited with popularizing social media all over the world as he co-founded the popular social media company Snap Inc. In 2015, he was named the youngest billionaire in the world. The following year, he was named in Forbes magazine's list of 400 Richest Americans with an estimated net worth of $4 billion.

 33 Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg.
13
Famous As: Mayor of New York City
Birthdate: February 14, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: St. Elizabeth's Medical Center
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg went from working at a parking lot, to owning the media house Bloomberg L.P. The sixteenth-richest person in the world, as of 2020, Bloomberg is also a devoted philanthropist and has signed The Giving Pledge. He was also part of the Democratic presidential nomination.

 34 Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner.
8
Famous As: Founder of Playboy Magazine
Birthdate: April 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: September 27, 2017

As the founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner changed the way people viewed nudity. Known for his enviable lifestyle, he resided in luxury mansions along with his Playboy Playmates. Also a well-known philanthropist, Hefner made significant donations to various causes. He also supported freedom of expression and sexual liberation.

 35 Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault.
4
Famous As: Chairman & CEO of LMVH
Birthdate: March 5, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Roubaix

Bernard Arnault is a French businessman and chairman of the luxury-goods company LVMH. Also an art collector, Arnault played a key role in establishing LVMH as a patron of art. In 2006, he sponsored the construction of an art museum called Louis Vuitton Foundation. He also created a competition called The LVMH Young Fashion Designer to students from fine-arts schools.

 36 Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Lagasse.
3
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: October 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagassé is known for his signature New New Orleans style of cooking and his catchphrases such as “Bam!” He owns several restaurants, has written many cookbooks, owns a non-profit for underprivileged children, and has also hosted Food Network shows such as Essence of Emeril and Emeril Live.

 37 Aristotle Onassis

Aristotle Onassis.
4
Famous As: Business magnate
Birthdate: January 15, 1906
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Smyrna, Ottoman Empire
Died: March 15, 1975

A Greek shipping magnate who was one of the world's richest men at one point, Aristotle Onassis held the world's largest privately-owned shipping fleet at the peak of his career. He was involved in the privatization of the Greek national airlines as well. He had liaisons with many famous and beautiful women and was married to Jacqueline Kennedy.

 38 Kat Von D

Kat Von D.
4
Famous As: Tattoo Artist
Birthdate: March 8, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Montemorelos, Mexico
Tattoo artist Kat Von D gained fame after being featured on the reality shows LA Ink and Miami Ink. She has partnered with Sephora to launch a make-up line and has written a bestselling book. She has launched a tattoo festival and has also headed the brand KVD Vegan Beauty.

 39 Adam Weitsman

Adam Weitsman.
4
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: June 13, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Owego, New York, United States

 40 Alan Shepard

Alan Shepard.
4
Famous As: Astronaut, Aviator, Entrepreneur
Birthdate: November 18, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Derry
Died: July 21, 1998

Alan Shepard was an astronaut and the first American to travel into space. In 1971, Shepard became the fifth and oldest astronaut to walk on the Moon; he was 47 years and 80 days old at that time. From 1963 to 1969, he played an important role as the Chief of the Astronaut Office. His work inspired several TV series.

 41 Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson
4
Famous As: Basketball player, American football player, Businessperson, Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seattle

Nate Robinson is a former professional basketball player who has played in the NBA for the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics,  Golden State Warriors, and Chicago Bulls. He went professional in 2005 and became the NBA's first three-time slam dunk champion in 2010. He retired in 2018. He now runs a restaurant in Rainier Beach.

 42 Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina.
4
Famous As: Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard
Birthdate: September 6, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Austin

Carly Fiorina made history by becoming the first female head of a Dow Jones-listed company when she became the CEO of HP. The daughter of a law professor father, she had initially joined law school but then dropped out to study management. She has also been Ted Cruz’s vice-presidential running mate.

 43 John Paul DeJoria

John Paul DeJoria.
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: April 13, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles, United States
Once a homeless person who slept in his car, John Paul DeJoria became a billionaire hair-care magnate, as the co-founder of Paul Mitchell and the Patrón Spirits Company. He started off as a door-to-door salesman, peddling his shampoo brand in LA salons. He is now part of The Giving Pledge.

 44 Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones.
4
Famous As: Owner of NFL's Dallas Cowboys Team
Birthdate: October 13, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Businessman Jerry Jones is best known for being the owner of the National Football League (NFL)'s Dallas Cowboys since 1989. An alumnus of the University of Arkansas, he launched many businesses as a young man and suffered a series of failures before finally finding financial success. Besides his business ventures, he has appeared in a few TV programs.

 45 Azim Premji

Azim Premji.
5
Famous As: Business Tycoon
Birthdate: July 24, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Karachi

Business magnate Azim Premji revolutionized the Indian software industry with Wipro Limited. Twice listed to Time 100, he transformed his vegetable oil and soap manufacturing company to a leading IT solutions brand, through marked diversification. He owns a non-profit foundation and is the first Indian to join The Giving Pledge.

 46 Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons.
4
Famous As: Founder of the hip-hop music label Def Jam
Birthdate: October 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States

Russell Simmons is a controversial American businessman who co-founded the hip-hop music label, 'Def Jam Recordings', and established the clothing line 'Phat Fashions'. He is noted for Harriet Tubman Sex Tape which generated a lot of heat in 2013. Simmons who calls himself a Christian yogi is accused of sexual assaults on several women. He has adopted veganism and advocates non-violence.

 47 Shigeru Miyamoto

Shigeru Miyamoto.
4
Famous As: Video Game Designer, Artist
Birthdate: November 16, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sonobe
Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto is the man behind games such as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong. He has been the general manager and senior MD at Nintendo and now serves as its representative director and creative fellow. He avoids appearing on TV or giving autographs.

 48 Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett.
4
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: November 14, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shiraz
Valerie Jarrett served as the senior advisor to former president Barack Obama and the director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs from 2009 to 2017. She had previously served Mayor Richard Daley as his deputy chief of staff and had hired Michelle Obama, then-fiancée of Obama.

 49 Phil Knight

Phil Knight.
4
Famous As: Co-founder of Nike, Inc.
Birthdate: February 24, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Portland
Business tycoon Phil Knight co-founded Nike, Inc. and also served as its chairman and CEO. Forbes named him the world’s 26th-richest person in 2020. He is a qualified accountant and once owned a running team. He has launched a non-profit and owns a stop-motion production company, too.

 50 Robert Herjavec

Robert Herjavec.
8
Famous As: Business People
Birthdate: September 14, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Varaždin, Croatia
Investor Robert Herjavec founded the internet security software BRAK Systems, which he later sold to AT&T. He also established the Herjavec Group and turned it into one of Canada’s biggest IT security firms. He has also appeared in Dragons' Den and Shark Tank, and has authored several business books.