Since the times of the Greeks, humans has been pondering over their existence and has come to many conclusions. Although most of their theories were ignored during their times, they were used as guidelines by the preceding generations.
The Renessaince and Reformation that took place between the 14th and 16th Century CE in Europe, paved the way for a modern age of thinking, one above religion, sex, race, culture and tradition with the sole purpose of a more intellectual and practical future for the human race.
Galileo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marthin Luther, Shakespeare were historic figures who showed the way toward modern thinking thereby influencing personalities such as Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Swami Vivekananda and later Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Junior, Nelson Mandela and many more.
Here is a list of some of the most famous thinkers of the 20th Century
Profession: Theoretical Physicist, Mathematician, Professor
Works: Theory of Relativity, Ideas and Opinions, The World As I See It
Profession: German Thinker, Philosopher, Metaphysics, Practical Reasoning
Works: Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason
Profession: Philosopher, Cultural Critic, Poet, Philologist, Latin, and Greek Scholar
Works: Beyond Good and Evil, The AntiChrist
Profession: Naturalist and Geologist
Works: Voyage of The Beagle, Origin of Species
Profession: Novelist, Essayist, Journalist and Critic
Works: 1984, Animal Farm, Burmese Days
Profession: Philosopher and Physician
Works: Two Treatises of Government, A Letter Concerning Toleration
Profession: Linguist, Philosopher, Cognitive Scientist, Historian, Logician, Social Critic and Political Activist
Works: Hegemony of Survival, Deterring Democracy
Profession: Ethologist, Evolutionary biologist, Author
Works: The God Delusion, The Selfish Gene
Profession: Author, Columnist, Essayist, Orator, Religious and Literary Critic, Social Critic, and Journalist
Works: God is not Great, Hitch-22
Profession: Theoretical Physicist, Mathematician, Cosmologist
Works: Hawking Radiation, Penrose-Hawking Theorem
There are a lot more philosophers who have achieved similar success and following among the masses. Do let us know if you feel like we have left something out.