The 100 Most Influential People in the World

by Fred Showker

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More highlight interviews

time_100 Jay Z, by Michael Bloomberg:

Quoting  begins He’s never forgotten his roots—'Empire State of Mind' was a love song to our city—and as a co-owner of the NBA Nets, he helped bring a major league sports team back to Brooklyn, not far from his old neighborhood. In nearly everything he’s tried, he’s found success. (He even put a ring on Beyoncé.) And in doing so, he’s proved that the American Dream is alive and well. *Quoting  ends

Jennifer Lawrence, by Jodie Foster:

Quoting  begins You’ll remember where you were when you first felt it, how you were stuck to one spot like a small animal considering its end. The Jennifer Lawrence Stare. It cuts a searing swath in your gut. A reckoning. I remember going to the cutting rooms of Winter’s Bone. I thought, Sure, this girl can act. But, man, this girl can also just be. *Quoting  ends

Bassem Youssef, by Jon Stewart:

Quoting  begins Youssef does my job in Egypt. The only real difference between him and me is that he performs his satire in a country still testing the limits of its hard-earned freedom… Even under these difficult circumstances, he manages to produce an incredible show: a hilarious blend of mimicry, confusion, outrage and bemusement, highlighting the absurdities and ­hypocrisies of his country’s rebirth... I am an American satirist, and Bassem Youssef is my hero. *Quoting  ends

Lena Dunham, by Claire Danes:

Quoting Claire Danes begins Lena’s unique lack of vanity or shame allows us to consider that we may also be able to accept and express ourselves fully. This is not only impressive, it’s important. Because it turns out that girls don’t just want to have fun. They also want to be known for who they really are. *Quoting Claire Danes ends

LeBron James, by Derek Jeter:

Quoting  begins I’ve had the chance to meet LeBron James, and I know he’s a Yankees fan. I also know it must be tough to root for the Yankees while living in Miami and Cleveland…. Most people in LeBron’s position aren’t as grounded as he is. He hasn’t forgotten where he comes from, and he’s given back so much to Ohio and Akron, his hometown. LeBron cares deeply about these places, and that says a lot about him. *Quoting  ends

Kamala Harris, by Nancy Pelosi:

Quoting  begins As a child, Kamala accompanied her parents to civil rights marches in Oakland. She’s been making strides for justice—and breaking down ­barriers—ever since. In 2010, after seven years as San Francisco district attorney, she became the first African American, first South Asian and first woman to be elected California attorney general…. As a new generation of women picks up the mantle of progress, she will always be among the first to stand up and step forward. *Quoting  ends

Malala Yousafzai, by Chelsea Clinton:

Quoting Chelsea Clinton begins The Taliban almost made Malala a martyr; they succeeded in making her a symbol. The memoir she is writing to raise awareness about the 61 million children around the world who are not in school indicates she accepts that unasked-for responsibility as a synonym for courage and a champion for girls everywhere. However Malala concludes her book, her story so far is only just beginning. *Quoting Chelsea Clinton ends

Mindy Kaling, by Ed Helms:

Quoting  begins Mindy Kaling embodies the trifecta of being brilliant, wonderful and hilarious. Because that is statistically impossible, it can mean only one thing: she was created by an evil scientist to lull us into a giddy stupor in order to control our minds…. To be made fun of by Mindy is to feel special. I’ve learned so much from working alongside her, and I’m proud to call her a friend. I just wish she hadn’t been created by an evil scientist. *Quoting  ends

Wayne LaPierre, by Ted Nugent:

Quoting  begins Wayne is a sledgehammer for truth, logic and freedom. He is cut from the same cloth as our forefathers who stood on Concord bridge and risked all to give birth to a truly free, independent America. Wayne’s voice is the modern shot heard round the world. *Quoting  ends

Zip on over to your favorite bookseller or news stand and pick up any of the April 29, 2012 issues of TIME, and let me know about your favorites! I'd like to thank the TIME PR HOTLINE, Kerri Chyka and Vidhya Murugesan for their sharing tidbits in this article.

And, thanks for reading

Fred Showker



  • Christina Aguilera, singer
  • Noynoy Aquino, President of the Philippines
  • Alex Atala, Brazilian chef
  • Mario Balotelli, football player, A.C. Milan
  • Joyce Banda, President of Malawi
  • Joaquim Barbosa, Justice Minister, Supreme Federal Court of Brazil
  • Jens Bergensten and Markus Persson, creators, Minecraft
  • Beyoncé, singer
  • Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States
  • Dr. Kimberly Blackwell, physician and medical oncologist, Duke Cancer Institute
  • Scooter Braun, talent manager
  • John Brennan, Director, Central Intelligence Agency
  • Magnus Carlsen, Norwegian chess grandmaster
  • Perry Chen, CEO and co-founder, Kickstarter
  • Palaniappan Chidambaram, Indian Finance Minister
  • Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey
  • Tom Coburn, U.S. Senator from Oklahoma
  • Jared Cohen, Director of Google Ideas
  • David Coleman, President of the College Board
  • Ertharin Cousin, executive director, United Nations World Food Programme
  • Bryan Cranston, actor
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, actor
  • Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank
  • Lena Dunham, actor, director, producer
  • David Einhorn, president and founder, Greenlight Capital
  • Christopher Fabian and Erica Kochi, co-leaders of UNICEF's Innovation Unit
  • Jimmy Fallon, host, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
  • Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome
  • Drs. Hannah Gay, Katherine Luzuriaga and Deborah Persaud, AIDS researchers
  • Gabrielle Giffords, former Congresswoman from Arizona
  • Eric Greitens, founder, the Mission Continues; former Navy SEAL
  • Vrinda Grover, New Delhi–based lawyer and activist
  • Fethullah Gulen, Turkish educator and Islamic scholar
  • Kamala Harris, attorney general of California
  • Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of industrial design, Apple Inc.
  • Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Nigerian actor and singer
  • LeBron James, basketball player, Miami Heat
  • Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama
  • Jay Z, artist and entrepreneur
  • Wilfredo "Choco" De Jesús, pastor
  • Elena Kagan, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Mindy Kaling, writer and actor, The Mindy Project
  • Aamir Khan, actor and activist
  • Kim Jong Un, Supreme Leader of North Korea
  • Jimmy Kimmel, host, Jimmy Kimmel Live!
  • Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, co-founders, Coursera
  • Michael Kors, designer
  • Oh-Hyun Kwon, CEO, Samsung
  • Yair Lapid, Israeli Finance Minister
  • Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president, National Rifle Association
  • Jennifer Lawrence, actor
  • Kai-Fu Lee, CEO, Innovation Works
  • Li Na, tennis player
  • Jenna Lyons, president, J. Crew
  • Roya Mahboob, CEO and founder of Afghan Citadel Software Co.
  • Hilary Mantel, novelist
  • Susana Martinez, governor of New Mexico
  • Moncef Marzouki, President of Tunisia
  • Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo
  • Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge
  • Miguel, Singer
  • Hassan Sheik Mohamud, President of Somalia
  • Elon Musk, CEO and founder, SpaceX; co-founder, Tesla Motors and PayPal
  • Mary Nichols, chairman, California Air Resources Board
  • Barack Obama, President of the United States
  • Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States
  • Abdullah Ocalan, founder and leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
  • Frank Ocean, musician
  • Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea
  • Rand Paul, U.S. Senator from Kentucky
  • Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico
  • Peng Liyuan, wife of Xi Jinping, China's First Lady
  • Ren Zhengfei, CEO, Huawei
  • Shonda Rhimes, creator of Scandal
  • Gina Rinehart, chairman, Hancock Prospecting
  • Ed Ruscha, artist
  • Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
  • Ted Sarandos, chief content officer, Netflix
  • George Saunders, writer
  • Igor Sechin, president, Rosneft
  • Andrew Sheng, president, Fung Global Institute
  • Steven Spielberg, director
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition leader, chairperson of the National League for Democracy
  • Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO, Instagram
  • Peter Theisinger and Richard Cook, project managers of the Mars Curiosity Rover
  • Justin Timberlake, entertainer
  • Travis Tygart, CEO, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency
  • Lindsey Vonn, alpine ski racer
  • Wang Shu, architect
  • Xi Jinping, President of China
  • Sam Yagan, CEO, Match Inc.; co-founder, OKCupid
  • Tadashi Yanai, president and CEO, Uniqlo
  • Don Yeomans, head of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office
  • Malala Yousafzai, teenage activist
  • Bassem Youssef, satirist

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