People like Oprah or Richard Branson for example. But now a book just released "The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived" takes a different look at this and has just listed The Marlboro Man, Big Brother (from Orwells 1984) and King Arthur as the top 3 in this group.
It would appear that the book is not intended as a really serious piece of work, but I am sure just the very subject and list will generate some interesting debate - such as - why was Homer Simpson left off? I am not even a fan of the series but the most successful and longest running cartoon series has to count for something.
And putting Godzilla ahead of Batman - please!
There seems to be little available in terms of information as to how the citeria for determining the list was established and the writers seems to have avoided any reference to various religous icons or leaders - perhaps for obvious reasons.
For me thinking back to my early years it was probably Clint Eastwood playing the Man with No Name in the spaghetti westerns or Batman & Robin fighting the various equally influential villans.
It does make for an interesting question - rather than who has most influenced you - Who is the most influential person in your life who never lived?
I would be interested to hear what you have to say or aontribute to the authors website 101 Most Influential