Researchers at Baylor University in the United States on Tuesday named automotive pioneer Henry Ford the most influential entrepreneur in American history.

Researchers at Baylor University in the United States on Tuesday named automotive pioneer Henry Ford the most influential entrepreneur in American history.


Ford headed the list of Top 10 entrepreneurs, which was drawn up by an interdisciplinary group at the Centre for the American Idea, and the father of mass vehicle production beat Microsoft IT mogul Bill Gates and world-renowned billionaire John D Rockefeller into second and third place respectively.


"Although most Americans could name our first President, few could name our first billionaire," said Dr Blaine McCormick, assistant professor of management at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. "Yet the success of entrepreneurs has transformed America and the way we live - often more than the Presidents who led us during this same period."


"Henry Ford founded Ford Motor Company 100 years ago and brought affordable personal transportation to the masses. Ford put the world on wheels and also saw the wisdom in creating a diverse workforce that could afford the products they produced by introducing the famous $5 (R35) a day wage," said Edsel Ford II, great grandson of Henry Ford.


"On one hand, ranking America's greatest entrepreneurs and

businesspeople is an exercise fit for a game of Trivial Pursuit," said Burton Folsom, formerly with the Centre for the American Idea and now Professor of History and Management at Hillsdale College.


"Yet, on the other hand, such an effort is a deeply important conversation. Both students and practitioners of business have much to gain by studying the lives of our greatest entrepreneurs and businesspeople."


The researchers polled 58 experts. The interdisciplinary group included management scholars, business historians and economic historians. The group was asked to list America's 10 greatest entrepreneurs and/or businesspersons.


Top 10 Entrepreneurs and/or businesspeople in American history are:

1. Henry Ford

2. Bill Gates

3. John Rockefeller

4. Andrew Carnegie

5. Thomas Edison

6. Sam Walton

7. J.P. Morgan

8. Alfred Sloan

9. Walt Disney

10. Ray Kroc