Ah, fame. How do you measure it? Is it the person with the biggest social media following, the founder of the religion with the most followers, the head of the largest country or something else? Does it count if someone is very famous in one part of the world and unknown in another?
A 2009 poll put the odds of achieving even a basic level of fame (i.e., 10 percent of survey participants had even heard of this person) at 1 in 62,986. This is just a little better than the odds of being struck and killed by lightning, at 1 in 83,930. But true household name status, where 80 percent of survey respondents had heard of the person? Only 2 percent of the 4,763 "celebrities" in the poll's database had achieved that status.
So, to be recognized throughout most of the world is indeed a rare feat. But who is the best-known person? To help us answer an unanswerable question, we've looked at the most famous people in a variety of categories. Here they are: