Ever heard of a writer named Thomas Kyd? How about John Fletcher or Francis Beaumont? Philip Massinger? All were contemporaries of William Shakespeare.
Okay, that was a cheap stunt. Let's be more reasonable. Surely you'll recognize some of these titles from the New York Times Best Sellers list: "Forever Amber", "The Black Rose", "Earth and High Heaven", "Immortal Wife", "The Robe". Perhaps not? They were the hot sellers in 1945.
Go into a used bookstore and scan the titles. Really scan them. You'll recognize some of the names there, but probably not the majority. Go the library. Run a finger along the spines. Be honest. Many if not most are strangers to the average person.
What's the point? Immortality is a bitch. Culture like time is transient. Importance is impermanent. Now turn off the tv and go play.