|Awarded for||"100 most influential people"|
|Date||Annually since 2004|
|Presented by||Time magazine|
Time 100 (often stylized as TIME 100) is an annual listicle of the 100 most influential people in the world, assembled by the American news magazine Time. First published in 1999 as the result of a debate among American academics, politicians, and journalists, the list is now a highly publicized annual event. Appearing on the list is often seen as an honor, and Time makes it clear that entrants are recognized for changing the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions. The final list of influential individuals is exclusively chosen by Time editors, with nominations coming from the Time 100 alumni and the magazine's international writing staff. Only the winner of the Reader's Poll, conducted days before the official list is revealed, is chosen by the general public. The corresponding commemorative gala is held annually in Manhattan, New York.
In 2004, Time's editors identified "three rather distinct qualities" when choosing people to be listed. Time's editor-at-large Michael Elliott wrote:
First, there were those who came to their status by means of a very public possession of power; President George W. Bush is the pre-eminent example. Others, though rarely heard from in public, nonetheless have a real influence on the great events of our time. Think of Ali Husaini Sistani, the Grand Ayatullah of Iraq's Shi'ites. Still others affect our lives through their moral example. Consider Nelson Mandela's forgiveness of his captors and his willingness to walk away from the South African presidency after a single term.
For the 2007 list, managing editor Richard Stengel clarified that the Time 100 focused on the most influential people rather than the hottest, most popular, or most powerful people. He said:
Influence is hard to measure, and what we look for is people whose ideas, whose example, whose talent, whose discoveries transform the world we live in. Influence is less about the hard power of force than the soft power of ideas and example. Yes, there are Presidents and dictators who can change the world through fiat, but we're more interested in innovators like Monty Jones, the Sierra Leone scientist who has developed a strain of rice that can save African agriculture. Or heroes like the great chess master Garry Kasparov, who is leading the lonely fight for greater democracy in Russia. Or Academy Award-winning actor George Clooney who has leveraged his celebrity to bring attention to the tragedy in Darfur.
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- List of individuals included in the Time 100 in 2004
- List of individuals included in the Time 100 in 2005
- List of individuals included in the Time 100 in 2006
- List of individuals included in the Time 100 in 2007
- List of individuals included in the Time 100 in 2008
In 2009, the winner of the online poll was 4chan founder Christopher Poole, who received 16,794,368 votes. Time claimed that their technical team "did detect and extinguish several attempts to hack the vote". However, it was shown weeks before the poll ended that the results had been heavily influenced by hackers. The first letters of the top 21 names spell out "marblecake also the game". Marblecake was an obscene 4chan meme, and #marblecake was the name of the Internet Relay Chat channel used for communication by some of the participants in rigging the poll.
In its online presentation, Time introduced the list as follows: "In our annual Time 100 issue, we name the people who most affect our world". The overall list was organized with four main sub-lists: Leaders, Heroes, Artists, and Thinkers. Oprah Winfrey continued her streak of having been included on every Time 100 list, and was one of 31 women on the list. The list included many expected names and some surprises such as Scott Brown, who HuffPost described as a premature selection at that point in his career.
The list included 10 Indians, but according to a local news station in India, Time faced criticism when they excluded Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan from the list, even though he was supposedly "in the race". According to Rob Cain of Forbes, "Khan is the biggest and most revered figure [in India]", and Khan's fan following is one of the largest in Bollywood.
The announcement of the list was celebrated by a black tie gala at the Time Warner Center in New York City on May 4, 2010. Time readers contributed to the selection through an online vote of over 200 finalists.
Time introduced the list as follows: "Meet the most influential people in the world. They are artists and activists, reformers and researchers, heads of state, and captains of industry. Their ideas spark dialogue and dissent and sometimes even revolution. Welcome to this year's Time 100." The announcement was celebrated with a black tie event in New York City on April 26, 2011. The honorees were joined by A-list celebrities at the Jazz at Lincoln Center for the event. Time readers contributed to the selection through an online vote of over 200 finalists.
The list included familiar leaders such as U.S. President Barack Obama and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, as well as "newcomers" to the global press. The list included numerous figures representing the Arab Spring in the Middle East, including rebels, political leaders, and news correspondents. Media figures unrelated to the Arab Spring were also listed. Additionally, Prince William and Kate Middleton were part of the list during the week before their wedding. The list also included Katsunobu Sakurai, the mayor of Minamisōma, Fukushima, which was the city most affected by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
- List of individuals included in the Time 100 in 2012
- List of individuals included in the Time 100 in 2013
Revealed on April 24, 2014, the list featured Beyoncé on the U.S. cover and Robert Redford, Jason Collins, and Mary Barra on international covers. The list included 41 women, the most in the list's history. The gala was held on April 29, 2014, in New York City.
Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs commented:
The Time 100 is a list of the world's most influential men and women, not its most powerful, though those are not mutually exclusive terms. Power, as we've seen this year, can be crude and implacable, from Vladimir Putin's mugging of Crimea to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's summary execution of his uncle and mentor Jang Song-thaek. Those men made our list, but they are the outliers, and not just because we generally seek to celebrate the best work of the human spirit. The vast majority of this year's roster reveals that while power is certain, influence is subtle. Power is a tool, influence is a skill; one is a fist, the other a fingertip. You don't lead by hitting people over the head, Dwight Eisenhower used to say. That's "assault, not leadership." ... To assemble the list, we rely on our journalists around the world and our Time 100 alumni (many of whom are as influential as ever). ... If there is a common theme in many of the tributes, it's the eagerness to see what some engineer, actor, leader or athlete will do next. As much as this exercise chronicles the achievements of the past year, we also focus on figures whose influence is likely to grow, so we can look around the corner to see what is coming.— Nancy Gibbs, "The Ties That Bind the 100"
- List of individuals included in the Time 100 in 2015
- List of individuals included in the Time 100 in 2016
- List of individuals included in the Time 100 in 2017
In the 2019 list, Time chose authors to write the honorees' blurbs. Some of the pairings include Gal Gadot writing about Dwayne Johnson, Shawn Mendes writing about Taylor Swift, Shonda Rhimes writing about Sandra Oh, Ava DuVernay writing about Gayle King, and Beyoncé writing about Michelle Obama.
The 2020 list included rapper Megan Thee Stallion, tennis champion Naomi Osaka (her second time being included), Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, attorney Nury Turkel, American football player Patrick Mahomes, and 82-year-old Indian protestor Bilkis Dadi.
Each category is given equal weight every year, but some people are more likely to make repeat appearances over time.
The following list includes individuals who have appeared at least three times. The order is based on the number of times each person has been listed in Time 100. Those who are tied are listed alphabetically. Some individuals, such as Oprah Winfrey, have also been listed in Time's list of "The Most Important People of the 20th Century". They are listed in bold.
Listed five times or more
Listed eleven times: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2005
(Finalist in 2018)
Listed eleven times: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2009
Listed ten times: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2004
(Finalist in 2013 and 2010)
Listed ten times: 2018, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, and the 20th century
(Finalist in 2020, 2019, 2017, 2015, and 2012)
Listed nine times: 2020, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2007, and 2006
(Finalist in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2013, 2010, and 2008)
Listed eight times: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011
(Finalist in 2020 and 2019)
Listed six times: 2019, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013
(Finalist in 2020 and 2018)
Listed six times: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2008, and 2004
(Finalist in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2012, 2011, 2009, and 2007)
Listed five times: 2018, 2017, 2014, 2009, and 2008
(Finalist in 2020, 2019, 2016, 2015, 2013, and 2012)
Listed five times: 2010, 2008, 2007, 2005, and 2004
(Finalist in 2011 and 2009)
Aung San Suu Kyi
Listed five times: 2016, 2013, 2011, 2008, and 2004
(Finalist in 2012 and 2009)
Listed five times: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2010, and 2007
(Finalist in 2013, 2009, and 2008)
Listed five times: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016
Listed four times
George W. Bush
2008, 2006, 2005, and 2004
(Finalist in 2009 and 2007)
2010, 2006, 2005, and 2004
(Finalist in 2015, 2013, and 2007)
2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006
(Finalist in 2012, 2011, and 2010)
2011, 2009, 2008, and 2006
(Finalist in 2015 and 2012)
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
2017, 2016, 2010, and 2004
(Finalist in 2019, 2015, 2014, and 2012)
2006, 2005, 2004, and the 20th century
(Finalist in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2010, and 2008)
2008, 2007, 2005, and 2004
(Finalist in 2011 and 2009)
2019, 2017, 2013, and 2005
(Finalist in 2020, 2018, and 2015)
2016, 2012, 2010, and 2009
(Finalist in 2014)
2020, 2017, 2015, and 2014
(Finalist in 2019, 2018, 2016, and 2012)
2019, 2015, 2012, and 2011
(Finalist in 2020, 2017, 2013, 2010, and 2009)
2019, 2013, 2011, and 2009
(Finalist in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, and 2010)
2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004
(Finalist in 2008)
2017, 2015, 2010, and 2009
(Finalist in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2014, 2013, and 2011)
2019, 2016, 2011, and 2008
(Finalist in 2020, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2012, and 2009)
Listed three times
Pope Benedict XVI
2007, 2006, and 2005
(Finalist in 2013, 2009, and 2008)
2020, 2013, and 2011
(Finalist in 2016)
2012, 2007, and 2004
(Finalist in 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
2013, 2012, and 2011
(Finalist in 2018)
2016, 2015, and 2012
(Finalist in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2014)
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
2008, 2005, and 2004
(Finalist in 2015 and 2009)
2016, 2014, and 2004
(Finalist in 2015 and 2013)
2015, 2014, and 2011
(Finalist in 2016 and 2012)
(shared with brother David at all times)
2015, 2014, and 2011
(Finalist in 2016 and 2012)
(shared with brother Charles at all times)
2018, 2014, and 2007
(Finalist in 2019)
2005, 2004, and the 20th century
(Finalist in 2008 and 2007)
2008, 2005, and 2004
(Finalist in 2012, 2010, and 2009)
2018, 2013, and 2010
(Finalist in 2020, 2019, 2017, 2016, and 2015)
2011, 2005, and 2004
(Finalist in 2014, 2012, and 2008)
2009, 2008, and 2007
(Finalist in 2012 and 2011)
2019, 2013, and 2005
2020, 2007, and 2006
(Finalist in 2015, 2013, 2012, and 2008)
2011, 2008, and 2006
(Finalist in 2009 and 2007)
2019, 2015, and 2010
(Finalist in 2020, 2016, 2014, and 2009)
2019, 2009, and 2004
(Finalist in 2010, 2008, and 2007)
2017, 2015, and 2014
(Finalist in 2016)
2015, 2014, and 2013
(Finalist in 2016)
Time 100 Award trophies
Controversies over exclusions
The exclusion of then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair from the 2004 list caused mild controversy. Time editor-at-large Michael J. Elliott defended the decision to consistently exclude Blair, saying that "Gerhard Schröder and Jacques Chirac are not there either. This is a worldwide list. There are no Western European political leaders on it because they are not that powerful or influential at this time". Although George W. Bush has been on the list several times, controversy emerged when he was dropped from the list in 2007 in part because of the Democratic victory in the 2006 congressional election. Former Senator Rick Santorum (R–PA) of Fox News said:
The fact of the matter is, the president of the United States, I don't care who's in that office, is the most powerful man on the face of the Earth and has more influence over various aspects of lives, not just in this country, but around the world. And for Time magazine to dismiss that just shows you how biased and, I would argue, hateful they are.
Adi Ignatius, Time's deputy managing editor who oversaw the list at the time, explained that "any U.S. president has a certain built-in influence ... Bush had actually squandered some of that built-in influence. His position on Iraq has cost him support in his own party. ... To a certain point, he sort of reached a lame-duck status".
Controversies over inclusions
When Time magazine named Ann Coulter among its 100 "most influential people" last week, alongside such heavyweights as Ariel Sharon, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Kim Jong-il, and the Dalai Lama, the choice produced guffaws online. Plugging the issue on Fox News last week, Time executive editor Priscilla Painton insisted it was Coulter's use of "humor" that made her so influential, stopping just short of suggesting that Coulter is the conservative Jon Stewart. But even Fox's Bill O'Reilly wasn't buying it. He pressed Painton: "Do you think people, Americans, listen to Ann Coulter? Do you think she has influence in public opinion?"
Time magazine defended Coulter as a bestselling author whose controversial commentary strongly affected political debates in the U.S. Coulter did not, however, make additional appearances on the list.
In February 2016, Time included the male British author Evelyn Waugh on its "100 Most Read Female Writers in College Classes" list, generating media attention and concerns regarding fact-checking at the magazine. Time later issued a retraction. In a BBC interview with Justin Webb, Oxford professor Valentine Cunningham said the mistake was "a piece of profound ignorance on the part of Time magazine".
Use in academic research
The Time 100 was cited in a 2008 academic analysis by Craig Garthwaite and Tim Moore, economists at the University of Maryland, College Park. In light of Oprah Winfrey at that time holding the record for most appearances on the Time 100, the economists decided to measure if Winfrey was influential enough to decide a U.S. presidential election by examining the impact of her endorsement of Barack Obama for president. The economists wrote the following:
Oprah Winfrey is a celebrity of nearly unparalleled influence. She has been named to Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people six times—more than any other individual, including the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, George Clooney, and Rupert Murdoch. She was named one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, an honor shared with Albert Einstein, Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. She was only one of four people who were included on these lists in both the 20th and 21st century. The others included Mandela, Gates, and Pope John Paul II. ... The scope of Winfrey's influence creates a unique opportunity to examine the effect of endorsements on political outcomes.
The economists found a statistically significant correlation between the number of Winfrey fans in a geographic region (as estimated by magazine sales and book club selections) and the number of votes Obama received in that region during the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. They found that the correlation even held up when they controlled for all kinds of confounding variables like race, gender, income, education, and sales of other magazines. They further found that the correlation only emerged after Winfrey had endorsed Obama, suggesting that it was the influence of her endorsement that caused the correlation. When they statistically removed the correlation to see how Obama would have performed without Winfrey's endorsement, they found that over one million votes vanished from Obama's total in the Democratic primary and that Clinton received far more votes.
The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet
Since 2015, Time has also published a list titled "The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet", which features people whose influence and dominance may have changed Internet culture; who have support, position, and prominence in various sections of social media; or who use and/or rely on the Internet as a platform for change. People who have been listed range from political figures, such as Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to teenage YouTubers, such as JoJo Siwa and Emma Chamberlain. Others who have been listed include Lil Nas X, whose debut hit broke the record for most weeks spent atop the Billboard chart after being created and distributed on the Internet, and actress and presenter Jameela Jamil, who is known more widely beyond her profession for her online activism.
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