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Who are the most influential figures in American history? We asked 10 eminent historians. The result, collected here, is The Atlantic’s 100 picks. (More on America’s most influential filmmakers, musicians, critics, architects, and poets—and how we put these lists together—below.)
Anna McGonigal
Anna McGonigal • 2 years ago

SAM WALTON (1918-1992) He promised us “Every Day Low Prices,” and we took him up on the offer

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Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), inventor of the telephone. Bell would have been known to history simply as Alexander Bell, but he was highly jealous of his brothers’ middle names and asked for and received one for his 11th birthday. His interest in acoustics developed during his childhood through his experiences with his deaf mother, influencing his later work with the deaf and experimentation with sound.