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TIME Cover: The TIME 100 The Most Influential People in the World


In this week’s issue, TIME ( reveals its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. As TIME managing editor Richard Stengel writes in his Letter to Readers, “The TIME 100 is not a list of the smartest, the most powerful, or the most talented—it is a thoughtful and sprightly survey of the most influential individuals in the world. Influence, like those other categories, is subjective, but you try to measure it in the effect people have on the world.” The list is divided into five subsections: Leaders and Revolutionaries; Builders and Titans; Artists and Entertainers; Scientists and Thinkers; and Heroes and Pioneers.

The TIME 100 features often-surprising pairings of the influentials and the guest contributors TIME selects to write about them. This year’s list includes Bill Clinton on Tony Blair, George Clooney on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Silvio Berlusconi on George W. Bush, Paul Steiger on Rupert Murdoch, Michelle Obama on Oprah Winfrey, and Donny Osmond on Miley Cyrus.

Highlights from the 2008 TIME 100 issue:

* • After not being included last year, President George W. Bush is back on the list in 2008.
* • Senators Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama are all on the list.
* • Oprah Winfrey has been recognized all five years, more than any other TIME 100 designee.
* • Ben Bernanke is on this year’s list, while Alan Greenspan has never made the TIME 100.
* • Osama bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were not chosen for the TIME 100 this year.
* • This year’s diverse list features honorees from 23 countries and a wide range of disciplines, and includes 23 women and 77 men.
* • After more than 8.8 million votes cast, the winner of the TIME 100 poll is Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, with more than 1.8 million votes. Last year’s winner, Rain, came in second, and Stephen Colbert placed third.

Highlights from the TIME 100 profiles:

Bill Clinton on Tony Blair: “When my friend Tony Blair stepped down as U.K. prime minister last year, I advised him to take some time off with his family and make a list of the issues he felt passionately about and that he could continue to pursue … Tony listened to my advice graciously but ignored it completely by immediately accepting a new job as Middle East envoy for the Quartet.”

Donny Osmond on Miley Cyrus: “Within three to five years, Miley will have to face adulthood … I hope Miley enjoys every minute of this brief experience before her inevitable reinvention takes place. It’s going to make a fascinating book someday. I’ll read it.”

George Clooney on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: “It is one thing to talk about the problems of the world and quite another to actually try to change things … There are hundreds of people who could be honored for their good works, but I’ve seen Brad and Angelina firsthand, and their commitment together is truly impressive.”

Deval Patrick on Barack Obama: “We often hear about the size of the crowds he attracts, as a measure of the excitement about his candidacy. It’s the variety of the crowd that is the real phenomenon … They glimpse for a minute what it might be like to find common cause across differences. That’s how Barack has changed politics.”

Rob Reiner on Hillary Clinton: “President Hillary Clinton would end the war, fix our health-care system and get our economy back on track. And wouldn’t it be nice for our nation’s children to finally have a real voice in the White House?”

Joe Lieberman on John McCain: “While others talk about taking on the Washington special interests, John has done it. Like his hero Teddy Roosevelt, John puts the public interest first.”

Silvio Berlusconi on George W. Bush: “It’s up to historians to judge his presidency, but whatever fate history holds for him, I am sure that George W. Bush will be remembered as a leader of ideals, courage and sincerity. Personally, I will always remember him as a friend, a true man who loves his family, understands the meaning of friendship and is grateful toward America’s allies around the world.”

Paul Steiger on Rupert Murdoch: “He has at times subordinated the journalism operations he controls to further his own business interests, undermining their credibility if not their long-term profitability … acquiring the Journal poses for Murdoch perhaps his greatest test as a publisher. He aspires to make money and extend the paper’s reach while maintaining its prestige—a tall order, even for him.”

Madeleine Albright on Vladimir Putin: “It is unlikely that Putin will wear out his welcome at home anytime soon, as he has nearly done with many democracies abroad. In the meantime, he will remain an irritant to nato, a source of division within Europe and yet another reason for the West to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.”

Michelle Obama on Oprah Winfrey: “In the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of watching Oprah inspire thousands of Americans to participate in our democracy. She has also reached out to thousands more who might not have known there was a seat for them at the table at all—people who desperately need a voice.”

Stevie Wonder on Mariah Carey: “When people talk about the great influential singers, they talk about Aretha, Whitney and Mariah. That’s a testament to her talent. Her range is that amazing.”

Sean Penn on Bruce Springsteen: “You always get a sense of personal truth, humility and passion. A sense of humor, a sense of rock ’n’ roll and a raconteurism once solely the domain of tribal chiefs. But chief comes from chieftain. And that’s just not an American word. Boss? Now that comes from boss man, and if this guy ain’t the boss…man, nobody is.”

Jerry Seinfeld on Chris Rock: “You know how hard it is to make racism just plain fun? Rock does it. Racism to Chris Rock is just a Hacky Sack on his foot. He kicks it up over here, over there, behind the back and then right over to you. The tension release he offers is available nowhere else, from no one else.”

Tina Fey on Lorne Michaels: “(Saturday Night Live’s) blend of news and silliness comes from Lorne, the master of high/low. In the fashion world, high/low means a chic blend of expensive pieces with colorful cheap items. At 63, Lorne has been doing this for almost half his life. By mixing Harvard-educated writers with sweaty Chicago performers. By following a 9-min. C-SPAN parody with the song D_ in a Box.”

Other interesting pairings include: Elizabeth Edwards on Lance Armstrong; Laura Bush on Khaled Hosseini; Arianna Huffington on TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington; Andy Roddick on Andre Agassi; Deepak Chopra on the Dalai Lama; Henry Kissinger on Hu Jintao; Desmond Tutu on Peter Gabriel; Cate Blanchett on Kevin Rudd; Craig Newmark on Mark Zuckerberg; Mario Cuomo on Tim Russert; Roseanne Barr on George Clooney; Donny Deutsch on Suze Orman; and RFK Jr. on Michael Bloomberg.

The Complete 2008 TIME 100 List
(profile writer in parentheses)

Leaders and Revolutionaries
Michelle Bachelet, president, Chile (Hillary Clinton)
Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury)
Ben Bernanke, chairman, Federal Reserve (Justin Fox)
George W. Bush, president, United States (Silvio Berlusconi)
Hillary Clinton, U.S. senator and presidential candidate (Rob Reiner)
Dalai Lama, spiritual leader (Deepak Chopra)
Sonia Gandhi, president, Indian National Congress (Shashi Tharoor)
Robert Gates, secretary of defense, U.S. (Zbigniew Brzezinski)
Anwar Ibrahim, former deputy prime minister, Malaysia (Paul Wolfowitz)
Hu Jintao, president, China (Henry Kissinger)
Ashfaq Kayani, chief of army staff, Pakistan (Aryn Baker)
John McCain, U.S. senator and presidential candidate (Joe Lieberman)
Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistani militant leader (Peter Bergen)
Evo Morales, president, Bolivia (Joe Stiglitz)
Barack Obama, senator and presidential candidate (Deval Patrick)
Vladimir Putin, prime minister and former president, Russia (Madeleine Albright)
Kevin Rudd, prime minister, Australia (Cate Blanchett)
Muqtada al-Sadr, politician and militia commander, Iraq (Ricardo Sanchez)
Ma Ying-Jeou, president-elect, Taiwan (Michael Schuman)
Jacob Zuma, president, African National Congress (Rian Malan)

Heroes and Pioneers
Andre Agassi, founder, Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation (Andy Roddick)
Lance Armstrong, cyclist and cancer activist (Elizabeth Edwards)
Aung San Suu Kyi, leader, National League of Democracy, Burma (Anjelica Huston)
Tony Blair, former prime minister, Great Britain (Bill Clinton)
Mia Farrow, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador (Paul Rusesabagina)
Peter Gabriel, performer and co-founder, the Elders (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
Kaka, Brazilian soccer player (Kasey Keller)
Mohammed al-Maktoum, leader of Dubai (Scott MacLeod)
George Mitchell, former U.S. Senate majority leader (Samantha Power)
Lorena Ochoa, Mexican golfer (Nancy Lopez)
Madeeha Hasan Odhaib, Baghdad council councilwoman (Queen Rania)
Randy Pausch, professor, Carnegie-Mellon, and motivational speaker (Katie Couric)
Oscar Pistorius, disabled sprinter (Erik Weihenmayer)
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, actors and activists (George Clooney)
Yoani Sánchez, Cuban blogger (Oscar Hijuelos)
Alexis Sindihije, founder, Radio Publique Africaine (Christiane Amanpour)
Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and philanthropist (Michelle Obama)
Bob and Suzanne Wright, founders, Autism Speaks (Tom Brokaw)

Scientists and Thinkers
Paul Allen, scientific philanthropist and co-founder, Microsoft (Story Landis and Thomas Insel)
Isaac Berzin, founder, GreenFuel Technologies Corp. (Fred Krupp)
Michael Bloomberg, mayor, New York City (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.)
Larry Brilliant, director, (Jimmy Carter)
Nancy Brinker, founder, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and U.S. chief of protocol (Cokie Roberts)
Eric Chivian and Richard Cizik, environmental activists (Leith Anderson)
Michael Griffin, administrator, NASA (Marsha Ivins)
Jeff Han, research scientist (John King)
Mary Lou Jepsen, founding CTO, One Laptop Per Child (Brewster Kahle)
Wendy Kopp, founder and president, Teach For America (Jeffrey Kluger)
Harold McGee, food science writer (Alton Brown)
Mehmet Oz, cardiothoracic surgeon, author, commentator (Eric Ripert)
Peter Pronovost, Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care, Johns Hopkins (Kathleen Kingsbury)
Nicholas Schiff, neurology pioneer (Michael Kinsley)
Susan Solomon, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Rajendra Pachauri)
Jill Bolte Taylor, neuroanatomist, Indiana University (Dick Clark)
Craig Venter, founder, Institute for Genomic Research (Robin Cook)
Shinya Yamanaka and James Thomson, stem-cell researchers (Ian Wilmut)
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO, Facebook (Craig Newmark)

Artists and Entertainers
Judd Apatow, writer and director (Garry Shandling)
Mariah Carey, singer (Stevie Wonder)
George Clooney, actor, writer and director (Roseanne Barr)
Joel and Ethan Coen, writers and directors (Richard Corliss)
Miley Cyrus, actress and singer (Donny Osmond)
Robert Downey Jr., actor (Ben Stiller)
Peter Gelb, general manager, Metropolitan Opera (Anna Netrebko)
Elizabeth Gilbert, novelist, essayist and short-story writer (John Hodgman)
Herbie Hancock, jazz pianist and composer (Joni Mitchell and Wayne Shorter)
Khaled Hosseini, author (Laura Bush)
Rem Koolhaas, architect, professor, Harvard School of Design (Richard Lacayo)
Stephanie Meyer, author, Twilight series (Orson Scott Card)
Lorne Michaels, creator and producer, Saturday Night Live (Tina Fey)
Takahashi Murakami, artist and designer (Marc Jacobs)
Suze Orman, personal-finance adviser (Donny Deutsch)
Tyler Perry, playwright, actor and director (T.D. Jakes)
Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, video game designers (Steven Van Zandt)
Chris Rock, comedian (Jerry Seinfeld)
Tim Russert, journalist and moderator, Meet the Press (Mario Cuomo)
Bruce Springsteen, songwriter and performer (Sean Penn)
Tom Stoppard, playwright (Ethan Hawke)

Builders and Titans
Jay Adelson, founder and CTO, Equinix, Inc. (Lev Grossman)
Michael Arrington, founder, TechCrunch (Arianna Huffington)
Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft (Guy Kawasaki)
Jeff Bezos, founder, chairman and CEO, Amazon (Josh Quittner)
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs (Robert Reich)
Cynthia Carroll, CEO, Anglo American (Nicky Oppenheimer)
John Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco (John Doerr)
Jamie Dimon, president, JPMorgan Chase (Michael Bloomberg)
Mo Ibrahim, philanthropist and founder, Celtel (William Easterly)
Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO, General Electric (Conan O’Brien)
Lou Jiwei, chairman, China Investment Corp. (Stephen Roach)
Steve Jobs, chairman, ceo and co-founder, Apple (Barbara Kiviat)
Neelie Kroes, European commissioner for competition (Ayaan Hirsi Ali)
Karl Lagerfeld, fashion designer (Zaha Hadid)
Rupert Murdoch, CEO, News Corp (Paul Steiger)
Ali al-Naimi, oil minister, Saudi Arabia (Lynn Westfall)
Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO, Pepsico (Howard Schultz)
Radiohead, songwriters and performers (Edgar Bronfman Jr.)
Carine Roitfeld, editor-in-chief, French Vogue (Hedi Slimane)
Carlos Slim, Mexican businessman (Alvin Toffler)
Ratan Tata, chairman, Tata Group (Simon Robinson)
Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, entrepreneur (Riz Khan)

The issue features more than 40 facts about all five years of TIME 100 lists, including:

PC vs. Macs - PCs Win
Steve Jobs has been chosen 4 times; Bill Gates, 3. Add in Microsoft execs Steve Ballmer and Paul Allen, and PC wins

Olympic Medal Count
Andre Agassi (gold), Lance Armstrong (bronze), Joey Cheek (silver, bronze) and LeBron James (bronze)

Video Games
Inventors who played their way into the TIME 100 did it with Wii, Halo, World of Warcraft, Rock Band and Guitar Hero

Power Spouses
The Wrights join Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake

Three Bloggers Have Made the List
Michael Arrington is the third blogger to make the TIME 100. Arianna Huffington, who writes about him, was the first

Companies With the Most People on the List
Google, Microsoft and Toyota are the only companies to have at least three different executives named to the TIME 100

Bernanke vs. Greenspan - Bernanke Wins
Ben Bernanke had a tough act to follow, but he has TIME 100 bragging rights: Alan Greenspan never made the list

Blair vs. Brown - Brown Was First
Tony Blair’s successor made the TIME 100 before Blair did. Gordon Brown was on the 2005 list. This is Blair’s first time

Designers vs. Cooks - Cooks Win
On this list, you are what you wear. The TIME 100 has featured six fashion designers but only three cooks

Most-Honored Websites
Honorees have come from Google, eBay, Craigslist, Flickr, MySpace, Wikipedia, YouTube, Digg and Facebook

Singers vs. Actors - It’s a Tie
It’s a tie: 28 singers and 28 actors have made the TIME 100. The actors have 35 Oscars. The singers have 147 Grammys

American Carmakers Shut Out
Ratan Tata is the fifth carmaker to be listed in the TIME 100. No American auto executive has made the cut

Hillary vs. Bill Clinton - Hillary Wins
A Clinton has made the TIME 100 every year, alone or paired with another person. Hillary tops Bill, 4 appearances to 3

Real News vs. Fake News
The TIME 100 weighs anchors: Stephen Colbert, Katie Couric, Tim Russert, Jon Stewart and Brian Williams

Miley Cyrus Is the Youngest
At 15, Miley Cyrus is the youngest person ever in the TIME 100, just edging out golfer Michelle Wie, who was 16 in 2006

Talk-Show Hosts
Tyra Banks, Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O’Donnell, Suze Orman, Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey

New Media vs. Old Media - New Media Wins
The TIME 100 club has more than 30 Internet entrepreneurs, but Rupert Murdoch is its only newspaper owner

Oprah Included More Than Anybody
Oprah Winfrey is the TIME 100’s only five-time honoree. All told, 48 people have been on the list more than once

Soccer Is the Sport of Choice
As many soccer players (4) have made the TIME 100 as basketball (3), baseball (1) and football players (0) combined

Michelle Wie and Lorena Ochoa have made the TIME 100 cut. Tiger Woods is the only male golfer to make the list

Six U.S. Senators
Six current or former U.S. Senators have been named to the TIME 100. Three of them are running for President right now

TIME’s Persons of the Year Represent
Vladimir Putin is one of nine TIME 100 honorees who have also been named TIME’s Person of the Year

461 People In Five Years
This is the fifth TIME 100 issue, but we’ve written about just 461 people because some have made the list more than once

Six Nobel Prize Winners
Eight people who have made the TIME 100 list have won Nobel Prizes—six for peace, one for literature, one for physics

China’s Growing Influence
Thirteen people from China have made the TIME 100. That’s the most from any country except the U.S.

TIME 100 and the Internet
Facebook is the 13th most popular site on the Internet. The people behind 7 of the top 10 sites are TIME 100 alumni


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