I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it.
Steve Jobs, 1955-2011
Whatever your opinion of Apple products, or the veritable cult that has grown around them, no one can dispute that the computer geek turned rock star that created them made a lasting impact on the world and the way we live in it. Even if you narrow it down to only the iPod, the monumental shift in the way we listen to and buy music now would be enough to make him a historical icon. Add in the iPhone, and the shift extends to telecommunications. And go back far enough...the idea of a "personal computer"...amazing.
He'll be missed by a lot of people, and not just the nerds.
So long, sir.