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I will suggest a few from different historical categories:
Galileo: Leading Renaissance scientist who was instrumental in elevating science for understanding the world and strongly persecuted by the established church for his unorthodox beliefs.
Isaac Newton: Originator of the law of gravity and the concept of physical laws; One of the inventors of calculus, which is one of the foundations in science and technology.
Louis Pasteur: One of the discovers of the germ theory of disease who saved numerous lives during his lifetime.
Albert Einstein: Conceived the concepts of space-time and photons which led to revolutionary new ways for interpreting nature.
Confucius: Provided an orderly framework for civil society in China.
Siddharta Gautama (The Buddha): Developed a moral framework for dealing with suffering in the world.
Jesus: Moral philosopher and teacher who emphasized social justice and was instrumental in the foundations of Christianity.
Marcus Aurelius: Roman Emperor and one of its most effective military commanders; Author of the Meditations and one of the leading practitioners of Stoic philosophy.
Thomas Jefferson: Author of Declaration of independence; Governor of VA; US President; Founder of the University of Virginia
Bill Gates: Leading figure/visionary in the PC revolution; World class philanthropist.
Steve Jobs: Leading figure/visionary in PC and mobile computing revolution.
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