I am trying to create a list of the World’s 100 most influential living people, ranked in order of influence from 1 to 100.
Time magazine already has a similar list, but their list is not ranked, and is so absurdly politically correct, incoherent and celebrity focused that I feel they need competition. Forbes publishes a list of the most powerful people in the World, but as Condi Rice once said, power means nothing unless you can turn it into influence. So I am trying to create a list of people who have actually had a real impact; people without whom the World would be a very different place. It could be a good impact or a bad impact.
The list I’m trying to create is inspired by Michael Hart’s list The 100, except his was the most influential people of all time. This list is going to be The Living 100: The 100 most influential LIVING people of all time. But I have to hurry up, because a lot of the people on my list are quite old and could die any day now.
Below is a list of over 160 nominees I am considering, but I need to narrow it down to just 100. Please share your thoughts in the comment section, on who belongs on this list and who doesn’t. You can also suggest nominees I didn’t think of. They can be from any country, work in any field, be famous or obscure, good or evil; the only criteria is that they’ve had a huge influence on history and that they’re still alive.
Tim Berners-Lee: created the world wide web, the most transformative invention of our time.
Mikhail Gorbachev: played a key role in the fall of the Soviet Union
James Watson: co-discovered the structure of DNA
George W. Bush: President of the United States during 9/11 and the start of the Iraq war
Vladimir Putin: According to commenter Tenn “has changed the world’s geopolitical landscape more in the last five years than has any other individual.”
The neocons: Considered the brains, drive and visionaries behind the incredibly transformational foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr: ran America’s most powerful media outlet during a period of incredible political change
James Alexander Thomson: derived the first human embryonic stem cell (SC) line
Abe Karem: invented the predator drone, transforming the nature of warfare
Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer: Created the first genetically engineered organism
Hu Jintao: presided over the rise of China
George Soros: Instrumental in advancing leftist policies in America and Europe
Anthony Kennedy: According to commenter Tenn, “US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who, as the swing vote on the court has, for many years now, had more power over US law than any other person, including sitting presidents.
An example? Citizens United. Those on the left often deride this case as the one that ascribed personhood to corporations and allowed them unlimited amounts of political spending. Kennedy’s was the vote that swung the decision to the right.
Another example? Obergefell vs Hodges, the decision that legalized same-sex marriage in every US state. Again, Kennedy was the deciding vote; though this time he sided with the left.
Time and again, it’s been his vote that’s chosen the court’s outcome. The rest of the justices tend to vote along ideological lines. Kennedy’s less predictable.”
Paul Berg: contributed to basic research involving nucleic acids
Alain Aspect: According to thebestschools.org, Aspect settled a 70-year-old dispute between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein over the basic understanding of quantum physics by demonstrating the fascinating phenomenon of entanglement (non-local instantaneous interactions between particles, which Einstein rejected for propagating physical influences faster than the speed of light). Aspect’s work is foundational to the field of quantum computing.
Oprah: Created confession culture & new a more intimate form of media communication, paving the way for social media and reality TV. Broke the taboo over discussing sexual abuse, leading millions of victims to recovery. Even back in the 1980s, popularized a genre of talk show that’s been credited with mainstreaming LGBT people. Played the decisive role in electing the first black president and first lady of the United States, who brought health care to millions of Americans. Her televised book club has been credited with making literature accessible to millions.
Barack Obama: First black in recorded history to ever be the most powerful human on the planet. Brought dignity and status to over a billion blacks. Brought healthcare to millions of working Americans. Saved the world from war with Iran.
Stephen Spielberg: His movies captured the imagination of the World and his film Schlindler’s List had a profound impact on how global elites view the ethical burden left by WWII
Alan Greenspan: influenced the economy of the World’s powerful country and the peak of its power
Tu Youyou: found a treatment for Malaria that saved millions of lives
Donald Trump: the man who ended political correctness
Bill Gates & Paul Allen: played a key role in launching the computer revolution
Ted Turner: launched the 24 hour cable news revolution
George Lucas: According to Trevor Butterwoth of Forbes.com: “Lucas founded Industrial Light and Magic in 1975 to bring his vision of Star Wars to life. ILM went on to revolutionize special effects in the movies, pioneering motion control camera techniques and spearheading the computer-generated imaging revolution in the 1980s. Perhaps more important, Lucas’ original trilogy of movies redefined the economics of the movie industry.”
Ben Bernanke: Chairman of the Federal Reserves during the 2007-2008 financial crisis
Xi Jinping: presiding over the rise of China
Yao Ming: brought status and confidence to millions of males in one of most powerful regions of the World by defying stereotypes about East Asian men
isamu akasaki hiroshi amano and shuji nakamura: invented efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.
Bernard Munyagishari: Accused of playing a prominent role in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide
Alec John Jeffreys: Considered the inventor of forensic DNA profiling
Margaret Heafield Hamilton: Played a key role in putting humans on the moon
Colin Powell Played a decisive role in shifting American public opinion in support of the Iraq war
Gloria Steinem: The mother of feminism
Ian Wilmut: first person to clone an animal
Angela Merkel: played a major role in changing the demographics of Europe
Bashar Hafez al-Assad: in power during the Syrian refugee crisis
Phil Gramm: According to Time magazine, “He played a leading role in writing and pushing through Congress the 1999 repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial banks from Wall Street. He also inserted a key provision into the 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act that exempted over-the-counter derivatives like credit-default swaps from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Credit-default swaps took down AIG, which has cost the U.S. $150 billion thus far.”
Richard Severin Fuld, Jr.: was CEO of Lehman Brothers around the time the financial crisis emerged.
chad hurley steve chen and jawed karim: created youtube which revolutionized media
Henry Kissinger: According to Wikipedia, “Kissinger played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. During this period, he pioneered the policy of détente with the Soviet Union, orchestrated the opening of relations with the People’s Republic of China, and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War.”
Howard Kohr: executive director of the AIPAC during a critical period of U.S. foreign policy
Steven J Rosen: One of the top officials at AIPAC during a critical period of U.S. foreign policy
Bradford Parkinson: The father of the Global Positioning System, which revolutionized how we navigate
Steve Wozniak: A major pioneer in the personal computer revolution
Khalid Sheikh (Shaikh) Mohammed: considered a mastermind of the September 11th attacks which dramatically changed the World
The dancing Israelis: Their behavior on September 11th 2001 inspired countless conspiracy theories.
Deng Xiaoping: the man behind China’s economic development and the creator of the one child policy
Jimmy Wales: Changed the way the World shares knowledge
Sheldon Adelson: helped make the U.S. Republican party incredibly pro-Israel
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein: brought down a U.S. president and inspired a generation of journalists
George Romero: created Night of the Living Dead in 1968 and the culture has been obsessed with zombies ever since
Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Christopher “Biz” Stone, Noah Glass: the founders of twitter
DJ Clive “Kool Herc” Campbell: the father of hip hop
Eminem: did for rap music what Elvis did for rock; brought it to a mass white audience.
Madonna: paved the way for an entire generation of provocative female performers such as Lady Gaga and helped make sluttiness culturally acceptable.
Paul McCartney: the leading living member of the most influential rock band of all time
Phil Donahue: pioneered the provocative daytime talk show, the most important counter-culture movement of the late 20th century
Yang Lan: Considered the Oprah of China
Howard Stern: revolutionized American radio and helped make American culture more vulgar and sexual
Nigel Farage: played a key role in the British exit from the European Union.
Manmohan Singh: presided over the rise of India
The Dalai Lama: shaped the spirituality of millions
Ricki Lake: helped mainstream gays by hosting one of the more edgy Oprah style talk shows in the 1990s
Aishwarya Rai: The woman who put Bollywood on the map
Rain: as one of the most worshipped people of all time, he’s inspired millions of young people in the influential region of East Asia
Steve Sailer: iconic blogger who explored taboos and launched a revolution against political correctness
Mark Zuckerberg: created the most influential social networking forum
Queen Elizabeth: brought dignity to England for decades
Rupert Murdoch: his global right-wing media empire has changed the World
Jimmy Carter: negotiated a peace between Israel and Egypt
Larry Page and Sergey Brin: dominated the way we search for information in the 21st century
Bill Clinton: President of the World’s most influential country at the peak of its influence
Dick Cheney powerful Vice President during the transformative Bush administration
Barbara Walters: trail blazer and iconic role model for women in media; helped make news more celebrity focused
Mark Burnett: the father of reality TV
James Flynn: Did more to challenge the science of psychometrics and racial differences in IQ than anyone on the planet
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt: Their 2007 book The Israel lobby is credited with influencing the Obama’s administration policy towards Iran
David Plouffe: played a key role in electing Barack Obama president
Diana Ross: helped pave the way for blacks in popular culture. Inspired a young Oprah and Michael Jackson to dream bigger.
Leon Panetta: director of the CIA during the rise of cyber warfare
Noam Chomsky: influenced the field of linguistics and shaped the left’s view of U.S. foreign policy
Karl Rove: played a key role in electing George W. Bush president
David Axelrod: played a key role in electing Barack Obama
Efraim Halevy: served as director of Mossad during a period of great change
George H.W. Bush: President of the United States during the peak of its power, presided over a war, Vice President to the transformative Ronald Reagan and father to the transformative George W. Bush
Gregor Gysi: Wanted for more ethnic diversity in Europe, and with the refugee crisis, he got it.
Gerald Levin: consolidated mass media in America
Norman Pearlstine: influential media editor
Michael Eisner: influential media mogul
abu bakr al-Baghdadi: the leader of Isis
Richard Dawkins: revolutionized the way we think of evolution and helped cause the decline of religion
Edward Witten: influential physicist
satoshi ōmura: discovery and development of various pharmaceuticals originally occurring in microorganisms
Tsai Ing-wen: Taiwanese politician currently serving as the President of the Republic of China, commonly referred to as Taiwan
Jin Liqun: President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald: prove the existence of neutrino oscillation and that neutrinos have mass
Guo Pei: best known for designing dresses for Chinese celebrities, and in America for Rihanna’s trailing yellow gown at the 2015 Met Ball
Sonia Gandhi: presided over the rise of India
Malala Yousafzai: Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate
Kailash Satyarthi: According to Wikipedia “Indian children’s rights and education advocate and an activist against child labour. He founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan in 1980 and has acted to protect the rights of more than 83,000 children from 144 countries.”
Amitabh Bachchan: helped put Bollywood on the map
Abhishek Bachchan: helped put Bollywood on the map
Larry King: influenced the media for decades
William Dean Singleton: American newspaper executive. Founder and executive board chairman of MediaNews Group
Paul Krugman: influential economist and pundit
Gregory Mankiw: best known in academia for his work on New Keynesian economics.
Tom Glocer: former CEO of Thomson Reuters and Reuters
Harvey Levin: creator of TMZ
Katie Couric: The woman who destroyed Sarah Palin’s political ambitions
Ehud Barak: PM of Israel during a critical time
Billy Graham: helped shape the U.S. evangelical movement
Bob Dylan: Inspired the World’s most influential generation with his counter-culture music
Tony Blair: Dragged Britain into war with Iraq & brought Clinton style third way politics to the UK
Jean Chretien: By opposing the Iraq war, he made Canada the moral authority of the World
Ellen DeGeneres: First openly gay mass talk show host
Jerry Springer: Made America more vulgar and sexual
Bill Maher: broke taboos and promoted atheism
Bill Cosby: helped make blacks mainstream & culturally acceptable
Rush Limbaugh: leader of right-wing talk radio
Al Gore: popularized Global warming
Clarence Thomas: spent decades on the Supreme Court of the World’s most influential country
ruth bader Ginsburg: spent decades on the Supreme Court of the World’s most influential country
Hillary Clinton: played a key role in American policy for two decades, first as a politically active First Lady, then as an influential U.S. Senator, then as a Secretary of State, and also inspired countless girls with her historic run for President.
Judith Miller: Helped convince America Saddam Hussein was a threat
John Carpenter: His 1978 classic Halloween created the modern day slasher film
Dieudonné: Blurring the line between humour and hate in France