15 Influential People Who Never Actually Lived

By Editorial Staff in Amazing On 16th September 2015

#1 Santa Claus

What child has not been frightened into behaving thanks to the ever-present youthful fear of Santa not providing come Christmas? Almost all western children were told by their parents that Santa would leave them nothing if they misbehaved. I speak from experience when I say that it was one of the most effective methods of stopping tantrums! Funnily enough, though, the fear always dissipates on Christmas Eve as you just know that Santa will be coming even if you did slip up a few times.

#2 Barbie

As Barbie has progressed from a pretty young woman to whom all girls could aspire, to something often verging on the likeness of a harlot, one can wonder whether it was Barbie influencing children, or children influencing Barbie. There are certainly many similarities. Barbie has depicted almost every possible female lifestyle choice and I think there can be no doubt that she has been at the start of the path many women have taken in life.

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#3 Robin Hood

This could potentially lead to a debate about whether Hood existed or not, but I am of the opinion that he did not. Therefore, he is listed as my number eight on the list. I am sure we have all heard someone justifying theft because the victim is wealthy and where did this justification come from? Not just the principles of redistribution of wealth that many of us live under in Western Society (read envy taxes) but the fact that to this day, we are all raised believing Robin Hood was a hero when, in fact, he was a thief. Stealing is almost always wrong, and just because Robin Hood gave the proceeds of his crimes to poor people, it is not a valid justification. As for the previously mentioned taxes, there is every reason for us to believe that the majority of people accept these taxes because of their prior belief in the false morality of the Robin Hood story.

#4 Cowboys

This is one for the boys obviously! Even in remote New Zealand where I grew up, all the boys played "Cowboys and Indians". The cowboy was a great hero with a shining gun who represented the morality of Western ideals: manliness, defense of justice, protection of women and children. No doubt many now cringe at the lack of political correctness involved in the game and stereotype, but kids aren't politically correct (thank God) and certainly won't be hindered because of it. The influence of the Cowboy movie genre is indisputable an immense one. Oh and for those who say "but cowboys are real!" yes but this is about the concept not about a specific person just as we might say Santa existed as St Nicholas, the concept is bigger than any one person.

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#5 The Marlboro Man

How many men reading this list who smoke, are smoking cigarettes with filters? Venturing a guess I would say all of them. Before the Marlboro Man campaign began, "real men" didn't smoke cigarettes with filters they were for women. The aim of the Marlboro Man campaign was primarily to get men smoking filtered marlboro cigarettes. The influence of the campaign is abundantly clear today. The campaign is considered to be one of the best in all history. According to Wikipedia, it transformed a feminine campaign, with the slogan ‘Mild as May', into one that was masculine, in a matter of months.

#6 Rosie The Riveter

And now another for the girls! Rosie the Riveter may not be a familiar name, but her picture certainly is. Rosie the Riveter told women that they can do anything and they did! Rosie managed to motivate an entire generation of working-age women to get out of the home and in to factories to help the war effort. This is probably one of the most influential events of the Second World War. Once the floodgates of women working were open, they would never be closed again. All women working in traditional male jobs have Rosie to thank.

#7 Daedalus and Icarus

In a short 24 hours, you can fly from one side of the planet to another. This (one of man's greatest achievements) may never have happened if it had not been for the mythological characters Daedalus and Icarus. The story tells of Daedalus building mechanical wings for his son Icarus and ever since the tale was told, man has lusted after the ability to take the sky and fly. This eventually came true and the entire planet is a changed place as a consequence of it.

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#8 The Little Engine That Could

The moral of this children's tale is that self-belief, optimism, and hard work result in achievement of even the most difficult tasks. The book first appeared in a slightly different version to today, in 1906. It has been regarded by many as a metaphor for the "American Dream". The popularity of this book may also be a contributing factor to the huge number of self-help and "positive thinking" seminars and books that we see today.

#9 Big Brother

A relatively modern addition to this list, Big Brother has been a influence in so many social protests that he has to be included here. His name comes up every time a government passes a restrictive law or a law which seems to remove aspects of our eternal freedoms. Everyone recognizes his face, everyone knows what he stands for, and everyone is terrified of the potential for our own lives to be governed by our own version of the fictional character. Big Brother was, of course, created by George Orwell for his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

#10 Romeo & Juliet

Not only can Romeo and Juliet be blamed for much of our ideas of the "perfect relationship" I think it can also be blamed for a high percentage of divorces. Couples going in to marriage seek the ideal of a relationship based entirely on passion and romance, and when that romance dims (as so often is the case) they feel cheated and believe the marriage has failed. When in reality, passionate romance is not required for a healthy marriage while respect, love, and charity is. Romeo and Juliet have much to answer for!

#11 Batman & Robin

Now who has not hear of this black brave warrior who fight crime in his fancy cars and influences little boys to do the same? Batman is regarded as one of the top influential people who have never lived in all aspects. He is brave and courageous and every little child dreams of becoming like this character who never lived in order to save the world.

#12 Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam is much popular among Americans. ‘Uncle Sam' actually is the personification of American Government which was first referred during time of war in 1812.

Samuel Wilson, the meat supplier for American Army was linked with the evolution of name Uncle Sam. The packages of Samuel labeled EA-US where US actually stood for United States was narrated as Uncle Sam by some militant in joke. This story appeared in a local newspaper and Uncle Sam was widely recognized. The wide acceptance of Uncle Sam made German Intelligence Agency to code name United States as Sam Land during second world war. The appearance that we see today for Uncle Sam is the creation of German cartoonist Thomas Nast. A person with Stars and Stripes in suit with white beard and a hat on head is what we see as Uncle Sam today.

#13 James Bond

James Bond, the spy of MI6 ,code named 007 is created by Ian Fleming in 1953. Apart from an author, Fleming is also a journalist and Naval Intelligence Officer. He wrote the James Bond series from his imagination and experiences.

James Bond series is the second longest running film since its creation. First adaptation of Fleming's James Bond novel ‘ Casino Royale' was in 1954 by American CBC Network. Fleming wanted Bond to have some of his basic characters and appearance. Since 1966, 11 Bond novels and 2 short story collection were released. Two of the works were released posthumously after Fleming's death in 1964. Except two bond films, all others were created by Eon Productions. About 25 times Fleming's creation was made in to movies.After Fleming's death other novelists including Kingsley Amis, Raymond Benson and Sebastian Faulks was commissioned by Ian Fleming's Publication to write James Bond novels. 24th James Bond movie in banner of Eon Productions is announced to be released on November 2015 ‘Spectre'. Most of the Bond's films got critical reception and was honored with numerous awards.

#14 Hamlet

Listed in top charts among the best creative works of English literature, William Shakespeare gave hero to world with his drama ‘ The Tragedy of Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark'. The title character of the work is Hamlet, the Prince. Popularity of Hamlet makes it the most played work in World and tops the best of Shakespeare.

Hamlet was wrote in a way which got a change from usual drama. The presentation style, theme and intensity to convey message to audience made Hamlet unique among other tragedy's. There are three versions of the play with certain variations in scenes and lines. Many critics analysed Hamlet as a work with complicated language and difficult to interpret nature, while some others appreciated its new dramatic concepts and changes from what followed till the the time in usual dramas.

#15 Sherlock Holmes

Introduced to world in 1886 in the crime fiction novel ‘ A Study in the Scarlet ‘, Sherlock Holmes evolved as a real life detective.It was Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of this fictional character.

Since from the release of first novel, Holmes stood as the main character in 56 short stories and four novels. Publication of the first short story in one of the famous magazine made Sherlock Holmes famous. Positive reviews got insisted the author to work on with more short stories of Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes became a hero in London within years. Radio, Television and movie adaptation of the stories were released in later years. Naming one of its electric locomotive to Sherlock Holmes, London railway honored Holmes in 1920. Today,Sherlock Holmes society is actively working in many places of London. Sherlock Holmes Museum is working in Baker Street London. The way people see Sherlock Holmes is not a fictional hero, its like a real hero.