The Greatest American

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Great Americans
Presented by Matt Lauer
Country of origin United States
Executive producer(s) Jason Raff
Original network Discovery Channel
Original release 5 June 2005 (2005-06-05)

The Greatest American was a four-part American television series hosted by Matt Lauer in 2005. The show featured biographies and lists of influential persons in U.S. history, and culminated in a contest in which millions in the audience nominated and voted for the person they felt was the "greatest American". The competition was conducted by AOL and the Discovery Channel and reported on by the BBC.


Nominations were accepted through 31 January 2005. The seven-hour-long series was broken into four episodes: The first episode counted down the top 100 and introduced the top 25 nominees in alphabetical order. The second episode featured biographies of the top 25 nominees as well as commentaries from influential people such as celebrities and politicians. The third episode, called "The Great Debate", introduced the top five nominees and pitted the studio audience supporters of each of the nominees and a person selected to represent each of the top five candidates against a panel of three celebrities. In the finale the top five "Greatest Americans" were announced as well as what percentage of the votes each had received. Votes were taken through a toll free (if calling from a land line) phone number, through text messages from cell phones, and through online voting. Voters were allowed to vote three times per voting method, so anyone had a chance of voting at least nine times.

Top 25[edit]

2. Abraham Lincoln,
16th President of the United States (1861–65).
3. Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights activist.
4. George Washington,
1st President of the United States (1789–97).
5. Benjamin Franklin,
author, inventor, statesman, and scientist.
6. George W. Bush
43rd President of the United States (2001–09), and sitting president when the poll was conducted.
7. Bill Clinton
42nd President of the United States (1993–2001).
8. Elvis Presley
singer, songwriter, actor, and musician.
9. Oprah Winfrey
talk show host, magazine publisher, and actress.
10. Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd President of the United States (1933–45).
  1. Ronald Reagan
  2. Abraham Lincoln
  3. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  4. George Washington
  5. Benjamin Franklin
  6. George W. Bush
  7. Bill Clinton
  8. Elvis Presley
  9. Oprah Winfrey
  10. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  11. Billy Graham
  12. Thomas Jefferson
  13. Walt Disney
  14. Albert Einstein
  15. Thomas Alva Edison
  16. John F. Kennedy
  17. Bob Ross
  18. Bill Gates
  19. Eleanor Roosevelt
  20. Lance Armstrong
  21. Muhammad Ali
  22. Rosa Parks
  23. The Wright Brothers
  24. Henry Ford
  25. Neil Armstrong

Alphabetical list[edit]

On 18 April 2005, AOL and The Discovery Channel announced the top 100 nominees.

The remaining 75 nominees:


External links[edit]