Wonder who is the most influential figure in American history? Presidents, entrepreneurs, and athletes aside, it is the introspective, rabble-rousing, trailblazing lot of intellectuals and academics who have played a significant role in shaping the American tenor. They are the visionaries, the great innovators who have revolutionized America and the world at large with their standout ideas, thoughts, and actions. They are the thinkers who have dominated every American mind and have been an inspiration behind their roadmap to success. From Chomsky and Rorty to Dewey and Walzer, America has spun out some top notch intellectuals who not only put their ideas and thoughts into practice, but also architected pathways to a more stable and productive American future. Let us meet America's most cited intellectuals and academics in the biographies presented below and acquaint ourselves to their timeline, trivia, and interesting facts. Caveat: These biographies might redefine your take on world and life.
Noam ChomskyNoam Chomsky
07 December 1928
Linguist
Alan WattsAlan Watts
06 January 1915
Philosopher, Writer & Speaker

Abhijit BanerjeeAbhijit Banerjee
21 February 1961
Economist

Henry David ThoreauHenry David Thoreau
12 July 1817
Writer and Philosopher

Ann DunhamAnn Dunham
29 November 1942
Barack Obama's Mother

Milton FriedmanMilton Friedman
31 July 1912
Economist, Statistician
Sam HarrisSam Harris
09 April 1967
Philosopher, Author

Paul VolckerPaul Volcker
05 September 1927
Former Chair of the Federal Reserve

Zora Neale HurstonZora Neale Hurston
07 January 1891
Folklorist, Anthropologist
Terence McKennaTerence McKenna
16 November 1946
Philosopher, Psychonaut, Ethnobotanist, Author

Bruce H. MannBruce H. Mann
27 April 1950
Professor
John DeweyJohn Dewey
20 October 1859
Philosopher

B. F. SkinnerB. F. Skinner
20 March 1904
American psychologist

Alan GreenspanAlan Greenspan
06 March 1926
American economist

William JamesWilliam James
11 January 1842
Philosopher, Psychologist

Abraham MaslowAbraham Maslow
01 April 1908
 
Thomas SowellThomas Sowell
30 June 1930
Economist

David KahnemanDaniel Kahneman
05 March 1934
American-Israeli psychologist

Steven PinkerSteven Pinker
18 September 1954
Psychologist, Linguists

William Moulton MarstonWilliam Moulton Marston
09 May 1893
Psychologist
Helena BlavatskyHelena Blavatsky
12 August 1831
Philosopher

Peter DruckerPeter Drucker
19 November 1909
Management Consultant
John RawlsJohn Rawls
21 February 1921
American Philosopher

Erik EriksonErik Erikson
15 June 1902
American-German psychologist

Richard ProennekeRichard Proenneke
04 May 1916
Naturalist
Carl RogersCarl Rogers
08 January 1902
Psychologist

Claude ShannonClaude Shannon
30 April 1916
Mathematician, Cryptographer
Kurt GödelKurt Gödel
28 April 1906
Mathematician, Philosopher

Zbigniew BrzezinskiZbigniew Brzezinski
28 March 1928
Former Diplomat, Political Scientist

Ben BernankeBen Bernanke
13 December 1953
Economist
Margaret MeadMargaret Mead
16 December 1901
Cultural Anthropologist

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Camille PagliaCamille Paglia
02 April 1947
Cultural critic
Carlos CastanedaCarlos Castaneda
25 December 1925
Author

Reinhold NiebuhrReinhold Niebuhr
21 June 1892
Theologian

Albert BanduraAlbert Bandura
04 December 1925
Psychologist

Daniel DennettDaniel Dennett
28 March 1942
 
Larry SangerLarry Sanger
16 July 1968
Co-Founder of Wikipedia
Benjamin GrahamBenjamin Graham
09 May 1894
Economist, Investor

John B. WatsonJohn B. Watson
09 January 1878
Psychologist

Ethan AllenEthan Allen
21 January 1738
Revolutionary War Hero

Richard ThalerRichard Thaler
12 September 1945
Nobel Prize Winner in Economics (2017)
Christina Hoff SommersChristina Hoff Sommers
28 September 1950
Author, Philosopher

Murray RothbardMurray Rothbard
02 March 1926
Economist

David McCulloughDavid McCullough
07 July 1933
Author, Historian

Peter NavarroPeter Navarro
15 July 1949
Economist

Michael PorterMichael Porter
23 May 1947
Economist, Researcher, Author, Advisor, Speaker
Herbert MarcuseHerbert Marcuse
18 July 1898
Philosopher

John WinthropJohn Winthrop
12 January 1588
Politician, Theologian
Charles Sanders PeirceCharles Sanders Peirce
10 September 1839
Scientist, Philosopher

Henry GeorgeHenry George
02 September 1839
Economist, Politician, Writer

Leo StraussLeo Strauss
20 September 1899
Philosopher
Alfred North WhiteheadAlfred North Whitehead
15 February 1861
Mathematician, Philosopher

Franz BoasFranz Boas
09 July 1858
Anthropologist
Charlotte Perkins GilmanCharlotte Perkins Gilman
03 July 1860
Writer

Samuel P. HuntingtonSamuel P. Huntington
18 April 1927
 

Henry MurrayHenry Murray
13 May 1893
Psychologist

Talcott ParsonsTalcott Parsons
13 December 1902
Sociologist

Paul SamuelsonPaul Samuelson
15 May 1915
Economist
Roger WilliamsRoger Williams
21 December 1603
Theologian

Will DurantWill Durant
05 November 1885
Writer, Historian, Philosopher

Harry HarlowHarry Harlow
31 October 1905
Psychologist

Norbert WienerNorbert Wiener
26 November 1894
Father of Cybernetics
Thorstein VeblenThorstein Veblen
30 July 1857
Economist

Paul TillichPaul Tillich
20 August 1886
 
Robert K. MertonRobert K. Merton
04 July 1910
Sociologist

Ken WilberKen Wilber
31 January 1949
Writer, Philosopher

Iris WeinshallIris Weinshall
05 September 1953
CEO of The New York Public Library
Martin SeligmanMartin Seligman
12 August 1942
Psychologist

Randy PauschRandy Pausch
23 October 1960
Motivational Speaker, Educationist, Professor
Noah WebsterNoah Webster
16 October 1758
Lexicographer

Edward ThorndikeEdward Thorndike
31 August 1874
Psychologist

Robert SolowRobert Solow
23 August 1924
Economist
William Desmond TaylorWilliam Desmond Taylor
26 April 1872
Actor, Director

George Herbert MeadGeorge Herbert Mead
27 February 1863
Philosopher
Kenneth ArrowKenneth Arrow
23 August 1921
Economist & Political Theorist

Gary BeckerGary Becker
02 December 1930
Economist

Albert EllisAlbert Ellis
27 September 1913
Psychologist

Robert M. PirsigRobert M. Pirsig
06 September 1928
Writer, Philosopher
John Wesely PowellJohn Wesley Powell
24 March 1834
Explorer, Geologist
Henry AdamsHenry Adams
16 February 1838
Historian

Paul FarmerPaul Farmer
26 October 1959
 

Radia PerlmanRadia Perlman
18 December 1951
Computer Network Engineer

Simon KuznetsSimon Kuznets
30 April 1901
Economist
Howard ThurmanHoward Thurman
18 November 1899
Philosopher

Francis SchaefferFrancis Schaeffer
30 January 1912
Theologian, Philosopher

Arthur M SchlesingerArthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
15 October 1917
Historian

Harry Max MarkowitzHarry Markowitz
24 August 1927
Economist

Allan BloomAllan Bloom
14 September 1930
Philosopher
Lillian Moller GilbrethLillian Moller Gilbreth
24 May 1878
Mother of Modern Management

Wassily LeontiefWassily Leontief
05 August 1906
Nobel Prize Winner in Economics
Myron ScholesMyron Scholes
01 July 1941
Economist

Robert C. MertonRobert C. Merton
31 July 1944
Economist
Dallas WillardDallas Willard
04 September 1935
 
Edward EverettEdward Everett
11 April 1794
Former American senator