Most Famous Person of the Last 50 Years? In the WHOLE WORLD

I was discussing this with friends, and who do you all think is the most famous person in the WORLD of the last 50 years? 

Our list includes:

  • Michael Jackson
  • Michael Jordan
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Reagan
  • George "Dubya" Bush
  • Obama
My choice is Michael Jackson. Dude was selling out shows across the world for decades. People in bum-fuck Egypt know who Michael Jackson is.

What do you all think? And did I miss anyone?
Travispavlovsbell
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Comments

  • TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
    Mother Theresa
    The Pope (any of them)
    Sadden Hussein
    Osama Bin Laden
    Kim Jong Un (right? Is that how you spell it)
    Out of your list I would say Ali or Michael Jackson!
    pavlovsbelldarwinfeeshy
  • I would say it's between MJ and MJ. Both are recognized and idolized sound the world....Michael Jordan may have the edge thanks to Nike. I think at one point he was the 2nd most recognizable person in the world. He's also spanned multiple generations and near everyone knows what a "pair of Jordan's" is.
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    Princess Diana is probably up there, but yeah, Michael Jackson was the person who immediately came to my mind too.
    TaraC73
  • JFK (might not qualify since he passed in 63)
    Marilyn Monroe (might not qualify since she passed in 62)
    Elvis
    Princess Diana



  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Hmm, my mind went to Osama Bin Laden, the Dalai Lama, Queen Elizabeth II, and Barack Obama. But you're probably correct with Michael Jackson. Were Madonna or Oprah mentioned?
    TaraC73darwinfeeshy
  • MichelleMichelle California
    edited September 2016
    .
  • Mao didn't die until 76. Well known in the West and idolized/reviled in a massive chunk of the world's population that didn't have ready access to American culture. If you're asking who was known by the largest percentage of the Earth's population at any one time I would say that's it, but I don't know much about those sports and music people.
    darwinfeeshy
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Elvis Presley
    TaraC73
  • I'd go with Obama. As an American who lives international and travels a lot I always get asked about Obama. Plus the Internet age was in its infancy when MJs were popular. Obama has the benefit of having his face and name communicated throughout the world instantly to more than a billion devices.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • I will say though that Michael Jordan singlehandley made Basketball an international sport. When I lived in Australia every person I talked to that became a Basketball fan became one because of MJ.
  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    edited September 2016
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited September 2016
    It's probably Jordan or Michael Jackson. The Chinese and Indians probably know who Michael Jordan is. Messi and Ronaldo are also right up there. Otherwise the answer is an Indian or Pakistani cricket player no one on this board has ever heard of.
    trippy
  • I think it's Jordan or Ali.

    No question.
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    DrKen said:

    I think it's Jordan or Ali.

    No question.

    What about Tiger Woods?
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited September 2016
    DrKen said:

    I think it's Jordan or Ali.

    No question.

    Define famous.  Is it percentage of the world population at this time who knows the person now, or who knew them at the time of their maximum fame?  How many Chinese and Indian people knew or know who Ali is or was?
  • Feet to the fire, I'd go with Jordan.

    Although, I think from around 1965-1980, it was Ali.
  • DrKen said:

    I think it's Jordan or Ali.

    No question.

    Define famous.  Is it percentage of the world population at the time who knows the person now, or who knew them at the time of their maximum fame?  How many Chinese and Indian people knew or know who Ali is or was?



    I'd go with maximum fame. Ali fought huge fights in Africa and the Philippines in his prime.

    I'd say he was the first worldwide superstar of the modern technology age.
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited September 2016
    Actually the answer is pretty easy. 

    It is either Jesus or Mohammed. Whether you believe in religion or not there are many historical accounts that these were real people. And you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't know of them. 

    EDIT: obviously missed the last 50 years part... :)
  • I'm pretty sure I saw Jesus on Geraldo in 1988.

    So, I think you're OK here.
    DeeTravis
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited September 2016
    haha. well technically they are still the most famous people as of today. So I guess I could make an argument they should count. They just were not born/alive in the last 50 years. 
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    image
    TaraC73
  • @darwinfeeshy


    Can you please clarify the question? Do you mean the most famous person TODAY?

    Like, if we were to create a list of 1000 famous people from the last 50 years, and we would show that list to each and every person that is alive right now, which person from that list would be recognized by the largest number of people?

    Or do you mean, if we were to do this experiment once a year for the past 50 years, then who would come out on top?

    Those are two very different questions, I think. You probably cannot expect Mohammed Ali to be more famous than Lionel Messi today, but if you started the experiment 50 years ago and repeated it until today, then it's likely that Ali would be more famous when taking the average result for those 50 times you had measured it.

    To cut a long story short: famous today is not the same as famous in 1970 or 1980.
  • Michael Jackson has got to be up there, but a couple that haven't been mentioned are Pele or David Beckham. Football is the world's game, and even us Americans can name those guys. 
    darwinfeeshyTaraC73
  • edited September 2016

    "Or do you mean, if we were to do this experiment once a year for the past 50 years, then who would come out on top?"

    This one. Whoever had the highest level of fame in their heyday, within the past 50 years. 

    And I'm just sayin', it's gotta be Michael Jackson :P
    TaraC73
  • michielterlouwmichielterlouw Helsinki
    edited September 2016
    KingKobra said:

    I would say it's between MJ and MJ. Both are recognized and idolized sound the world....Michael Jordan may have the edge thanks to Nike. I think at one point he was the 2nd most recognizable person in the world. He's also spanned multiple generations and near everyone knows what a "pair of Jordan's" is.


    Michael Jordan? If we only consider sport heroes, my guess is that there would be several football (you might call it soccer) players above Jordan. I'm thinking that at least Pele, Maradonna and Messi are more famous than Jordan. Possibly more players as well (CR?).

    The FIFA World Cup was first televised in 1954 and is the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world. In contrast, very few people outside of the US watch basketball.



    EDIT: just learned that basketball is a popular sport to watch in China. So maybe Yao Ming would be an interesting candidate to consider.



  • michielterlouwmichielterlouw Helsinki
    edited September 2016
    Trying to approach this systematically.

    The countries with the largest populations are (in order):

    1.    China     1,367,485,388
    2.    India     1,251,695,584
    3.    United States     321,368,864
    4.    Indonesia     255,993,674
    5.    Brazil     204,259,8126.

    MORE THAN HALF of the world's population lives in Asia. I think we should much more consider who is famous in China, India, Indonesia.

    Also, with (Social) Media getting a much more global reach in recent years, I think it's safe to assume people who became famous recently will be better known (globally) than people who became famous 40 or 30 years ago. So somebody in a small rural village in Indonesia is probably more likely to have heard of Barack Obama than of Ronald Reagan.

    My short list is:

    1. Michael Jackson
    2. Lionel Messi
    3. Jackie Chan
    4. Dalai Lama
    5. Barack Obama






    trippy
  • 1.    China     1,367,485,388
    2.    India     1,251,695,584
    3.    United States     321,368,864
    4.    Indonesia     255,993,674
    5.    Brazil     204,259,8126.

    China would be Mao Zedong. Idk about India.
  • Yeah, the historic soccer players are out because 1960s-1980s China and India didn't give a damn. Probably Muhammad Ali as well. It's probably Michael Jackson because the Chinese and Indians probably knew him, and I think a good chunk of them even knew Michael Jordan. Messi or Ronaldo may have overtaken all that in the present day as well.

    I half think it's still probably some amazing Indian or Pakistani cricketer no one on this board knows because 1.3 billion people totally think he's really awesome.
    darwinfeeshy
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