Karl Marx - In our time a Radio 4 discussion with Melvin Bragg and A C Grayling the humanist to mention only two.
Marx developed the theories upon which modern communism is based and is considered the founding father of economic history and sociology.
Marx set down his ideas in The Communist Manifesto(1848) and Das Kapital ((3 vol., 1861, 1885, 1894) arguing that economic relations determined all other features of a society, including its ideas.
He also outlined the goal of Marxism - the creation of social and economic utopia by the revolution of the proletariat which would "centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state."
All class boundaries would be destroyed and each individual would find personal fulfilment, having no need for the bourgeois institutions of religion or family. Marx himself was an atheist, coining the phrase, "Religion is the opium of the people"
Marx continued to express views about class struggle and bourgeois oppression throughout his life, despite being exiled from his homeland and coping with both his own illness and the death of his children.
Most modern socialist theories are drawn from his work but Karl Marx has had a wider influence touching on many areas of human thought and life such as politics, economics, philosophy, and literature.