Who are the wisest individuals in history?

In answer to Quora question: "Who are the wisest individuals in history?"

Thanks for the A2A Joel. IMO some of the wisest people in history were those that were able to listen to their innermost Self - to pointedly pay attention to what bubbled up from their ground of being - and actualize that insight in their lives. Alternatively, I would say that there are also those who simply learned from experience (including their mistakes of course) and observation, and either applied that learning in their lives with surprising consistency, or were able to communicate their insights to others - or both. And I think those rare individuals who took a truly multidisciplinary (multidimensional) approach to both understanding their world and taking action in it should be lauded for this effort. But the very wisest, I think, were those who did all of these things, and were able to do so amid opposition and calamity, often as an outlier and outsider in their place and time. It is this last group that represents not just wisdom, but persistence, discipline and integrity. Across these groups, in no particular order, I would remember:

Mahatma Gandhi

Marcus Aurelius




Florence Nightingale


Henry David Thoreau

Albert Einstein

Gautama Buddha

Marie Curie



Che Guevara

Lao Tzu (though possibly not an actual person)

Jesus of Nazareth

Ben Franklin

Hildegard of Bingen

Charles Dickens

William Shakespeare

Nelson Mandela

Galileo Galilei

My 2 cents.


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