Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without some of its most influential people? That reality was probably a lot closer to actually happening than you think. Here are five of recent history’s most influential people who nearly died before their time.

1.) Gene Roddenberry.

The creator of Star Trek, and the father of modern Science Fiction was almost neither of those things thanks to a plane crash. On his way back from Calcutta, Roddenberry’s plane lost two engines and burst into flames. It came down in the middle of the Syrian desert.

During the crash Roddenberry saw a light in the distance. While caring for the wounded, Roddenberry sent two men off in the direction of the light. Turns out it was a Syrian military base. Thus Roddenberry and the survivors of the crash were rescued.

2.) Martin Scorsese.

Undoubtedly Scorsese is one of the greatest American film directors that ever lived. However in 1978, the director developed a nearly deadly cocaine addiction.

It took Robert de Niro giving Scorsese an intervention for him to finally kick the habit. The newly sober Scorsese’s return to film was Raging Bull.

3.) Clint Eastwood.

In 1950 Client Eastwood decided it would be a good idea to hitch a ride in the cargo compartment of a Navy plane on his way to meet a woman. Suddenly, during the flight the compartment door opened. Eastwood was nearly flung from the plane.

However the pilot had chosen that exact moment to crash land the plane in the ocean. Of course Eastwood was jettisoned into the ocean at that point. He had no other choice except to swim like hell for shore.

4.) Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Dostoyevsky is one of the greatest writers who ever lived, but he almost didn’t. In 1849 Dostoyevsky was part of group trying to bring about a revolution and depose the Tsar. He was arrested and condemned to die.

As the firing squad was getting ready to shoot Dostoyevsky an order came down for them to stop. His life was spared, but he was then sentenced to hard labor in Siberia.

5.) George Orwell.

Always an idealist, when civil war broke out in Spain, George Orwell went to fight against the Fascists. However the author of Animal Farm and 1984 was almost killed during the war. He was shot through the throat by a Fascist sniper. Luckily Orwell survived the war, and went on to be one of the most influential authors or all time.

(Via: List Verse,ViralNova)

Wow it’s scary to imagine a world without Dirty Harry, and Raging Bull. I’m glad all of these guy survived.

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