Social Reformers

Where would the human society be today had it not been for the several thousands of social reformers all over the world, who since the beginning of civilization have strived to make the world a better place? Social reformers advocate reforms and play a key role in the development of society and nation building. The human society is not perfect and the social norms and conditions that are ingrained into the structure of the society are often biased against certain sections of the society. People who are distressed by the malpractices and injustices in the society and strive to bring about a change are the social reformers. A reform movement led by social activists aims to bring about a gradual change in the society by bringing about awareness about the issues in hand. Every country has its own stories about the atrocities meted out to certain segments of its population and the brave men and women who dared to question the authoritative society in their fight for their basic rights. Abolitionists, feminists, civil rights activists, environmentalists, and gay rights activists are all the social reformers who have helped to make the society a more equitable and civilized place. Read on to learn more about the social reformers who changed the society for the better.

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 1 Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman
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Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: February 29, 1822
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: March 10, 1913

Born to parents who were bonded slaves, Harriet Tubman life was a difficult one from the very beginning. Yet with her remarkable courage and determination, she not only escaped slavery herself, but also led other enslaved people to freedom. The prominent political activist and abolitionist was also the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the American Civil War.

 2 Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale
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Famous As: Founder of Modern Nursing
Birthdate: May 12, 1820
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: August 13, 1910
The Lady with the Lamp Florence Nightingale is remembered for her relentless efforts in nursing soldiers during the Crimean War. She founded London’s St Thomas' Hospital to train nurses. She also pioneered the use of the polar area diagram and was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society.
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 3 Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Raja Ram Mohan Roy
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Famous As: socio-religious reformer
Birthdate: May 22, 1772
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Indian
Died: September 27, 1833

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was an Indian social and religious reformer. He is credited with co-founding the Brahmo Sabha, a social-religious reform movement. Often referred to as the Father of the Bengal Renaissance, Roy has had an influential role in fields like politics, education, and religion. In 2004, he was ranked 10th in BBC's Greatest Bengali of all time poll.

 4 William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce
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Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: August 24, 1759
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: July 29, 1833
William Wilberforce, an independent MP from Yorkshire, was a champion for the British anti-slavery movement and made a significant contribution to the passage of the 1807 Slave Trade Act and the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act. He supported missionaries in India, founded the Church Mission Society, and was against animal cruelty.
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 5 Gautami

Gautami
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Indian

 6 Jyotiba Phule

Jyotiba Phule
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Famous As: Social Reformer
Birthdate: April 11, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Indian
Died: November 28, 1890
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 7 Jeremiah

Jeremiah
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Famous As: Prophet
Birthdate: 0655 BC
Nationality: Israeli
Died: 0586 BC
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 8 Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
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Famous As: Social Reformer, Philosopher
Birthdate: September 26, 1820
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Indian
Died: July 29, 1891
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 9 Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Phule
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Famous As: Social Reformer, Poet
Birthdate: January 3, 1831
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Indian
Died: March 10, 1887

 10 Dadabhai Naoroji

 Dadabhai Naoroji
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Birthdate: September 4, 1825
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Indian
Died: June 30, 1917
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 11 Dayanand Saraswati

Dayanand Saraswati
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Famous As: Indian philosopher
Birthdate: February 12, 1824
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Indian
Died: October 30, 1883

 12 Girolamo Savonarola

Girolamo Savonarola
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Famous As: Monk
Birthdate: September 21, 1452
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Italian
Died: May 23, 1498
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 13 Baba Amte

Baba Amte
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Birthdate: December 26, 1914
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Indian
Died: February 9, 2008

 14 Hu Yaobang

Hu Yaobang
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Famous As: Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
Birthdate: November 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Chinese
Died: April 15, 1989

 15 Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi
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Famous As: Islamic Scholar, Reformer
Birthdate: June 14, 1856
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Indian
Died: October 28, 1921

 16 Jane Addams

Jane Addams
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Birthdate: September 6, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: May 21, 1935
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 17 William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison
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Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: December 12, 1805
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: May 24, 1879

 18 Robert Owen

Robert Owen
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Birthdate: May 14, 1771
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Welsh
Died: November 17, 1858
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 19 William Griffith Wilson

William Griffith Wilson
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Famous As: Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Birthdate: November 26, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 20 Narayana Guru

Narayana Guru
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Famous As: Spiritual Leader, Social Reformer
Birthdate: August 20, 1856
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian
Died: September 20, 1928
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 21 Olympe de Gouges

Olympe de Gouges
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Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: May 7, 1748
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: French
Died: November 3, 1793

 22 Kanshi Ram

Kanshi Ram
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 15, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Indian
Died: October 9, 2006
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 23 Vinoba Bhave

Vinoba Bhave
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Famous As: Social Reformer
Birthdate: September 11, 1895
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Indian
Died: November 15, 1982

 24 James Oglethorpe

James Oglethorpe
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Famous As: Founder of the colony of Georgia
Birthdate: December 22, 1696
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: June 30, 1785
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 25 Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune
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Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: July 10, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: May 18, 1955

 26 Dorothea Dix

Dorothea Dix
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Famous As: Social Reformer
Birthdate: April 4, 1802
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: July 17, 1887

 27 Mahadev Govind Ranade

Mahadev Govind Ranade
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Famous As: Judge, Social Reformer
Birthdate: January 18, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Indian
Died: January 16, 1901

 28 Bipin Chandra Pal

Bipin Chandra Pal
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 7, 1858
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Indian
Died: May 20, 1932
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 29 Theodore Parker

Theodore Parker
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Famous As: Transcendentalist
Birthdate: August 24, 1810
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: May 10, 1860

 30 Dhondo Keshav Karve

Dhondo Keshav Karve
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Famous As: Social Reformer and Educator
Birthdate: April 18, 1858
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Indian
Died: November 9, 1962
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 31 Lucretia Mott

Lucretia Mott
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Famous As: Abolitionist, Women's Rights Activist, Social Reformer
Birthdate: January 3, 1793
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: November 11, 1880

 32 George Lansbury

George Lansbury
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Famous As: Social Reformer
Birthdate: February 21, 1859
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: May 7, 1940
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 33 Carl Schurz

Carl Schurz
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 2, 1829
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German, American
Died: May 14, 1906

 34 Keshab Chunder Sen

Keshab Chunder Sen
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: November 19, 1838
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Indian
Died: January 8, 1884
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 35 Ramananda

Ramananda
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1380 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 1475 AD

 36 William Beveridge

William Beveridge
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: March 5, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: March 16, 1963

 37 Lori Bakker

Lori Bakker
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Famous As: Former Televangelist, Speaker
Birthdate: August 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 38 Josiah Henson

Josiah Henson
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Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: June 15, 1789
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: May 5, 1883

 39 Aungier Pakenham, 7th earl of Longford

Aungier Pakenham, 7th earl of Longford
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Famous As: British politician
Birthdate: December 5, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: August 3, 2001

 40 Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury

Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 28, 1801
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: October 1, 1885

 41 Charles Freer Andrews

Charles Freer Andrews
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Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: February 12, 1871
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: April 5, 1940

 42 Granville Sharp

Granville Sharp
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Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: November 10, 1735
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: July 6, 1813

 43 Octavia Hill

Octavia Hill
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Famous As: Social Reformer
Birthdate: December 3, 1838
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: August 13, 1912

 44 Thomas Morton

Thomas Morton
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Famous As: English clergyman
Birthdate: 1579 AD
Nationality: American
Died: 1647 AD

 45 Gerrit Smith

Gerrit Smith
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 6, 1797
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: December 28, 1874

 46 Edwin Chadwick

Edwin Chadwick
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Famous As: Public servant
Birthdate: January 24, 1800
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: July 6, 1890

 47 Kang Youwei

Kang Youwei
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: March 19, 1858
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Chinese, Taiwanese
Died: March 31, 1927

 48 Gerrard Winstanley

Gerrard Winstanley
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Famous As: Religious Reformer
Birthdate: October 19, 1609
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: September 10, 1676

 49 Josephine Butler

Josephine Butler
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Famous As: Social Worker
Birthdate: April 13, 1828
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: December 30, 1906

 50 Samuel Smiles

Samuel Smiles
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 23, 1812
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: April 16, 1904
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