We will inevitably quibble over any list of this sort, but the truth is that the top 20 or so are indisputable. The order is arguable of course, but the names largely are not.

The major failing of this is not so much its undeniable Euro/American-centrism, but its unwillingness to search for obscure (to a Western 20th century audience) choices who actually changed the world in favor of feel-good famous names like Florence Nightingale who, while important, actually accomplished relatively little in millennial terms. Starting off with Suleman the Magnificent got my hopes up, but they were quickly dashed. Where is, as TheLady said, Tamerlane? Pope Urban II? The Emperor Meiji?

The selections of Bill Gates and Stephen Spielberg, who are not even the most accomplished or important names in their own fields, are absolutely inexcusable. Are they smoking crack? Blatant pandering and asskissing of the worst kind. I wonder how many Microsoft commercials A&E got as a result. The people responsible should be sacked.