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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.[1] Only the winner of the Reader's Poll, conducted days before the official list is revealed, is chosen by the general public.[2] The corresponding commemorative gala is held annually in Manhattan.

Time 100
Awarded for"100 most influential people"
DateAnnually since 2004 (2004)
Presented byTime magazine



A focus of media coverage for the 2019 list centered on the authors chosen by Time to write the honorees' blurbs, including questions over Robert Downey Jr. being an inappropriate choice to write the blurb for Rami Malek[3] (though Downey had previously interviewed Malek at the start of his success[4]) and why Samuel L. Jackson didn't contribute a blurb.[3]


British actress Millie Bobby Brown was added to the list at age 14, becoming the youngest recipient of the honor.[5]



The official list of 100 most influential people was revealed on April 24, 2014 featuring Beyoncé on the US cover and Robert Redford, Jason Collins, and Mary Barra on its international covers.[6] Forty-one women are included in the edition, the highest number of female personalities in the list's history.[7] The annual gala was held on April 29, 2014 in New York City.

Managing editor of Time, Nancy Gibbs says of the year's list:



The original online sources refer to the list with the following quote: "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."[9][10] The announcement was celebrated with a black tie event in New York City on April 26, 2011.[11] The honorees were joined by A-list celebrities at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center for the event. Time readers contributed to the selection by an online vote of over 200 finalists.[12]

The list included familiar global newsmakers such as U.S. President Barack Obama, and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel as well as what the media describes as "newcomers" to the global press.[13] The list included numerous figures representing the year of upheaval in the Middle East ranging from rebels, to political leaders to news correspondents. Although the events of what has been dubbed the Arab Spring were prominent, media figures unrelated to those events also figured in the list as well.[14] Additionally, Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton were part of the list during the week before their wedding.[15] The list also included Katsunobu Sakurai, mayor of Minamisōma, Fukushima, which was the city most affected by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[13]


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".[16] The overall list was organized with 4 main sub-lists: Leaders, featuring Sarah Palin and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; Artists, featuring Conan O'Brien and Lady Gaga; and Thinkers, featuring Steve Jobs and Zaha Hadid.[16] The list included 10 Indians,[17] but according to a local news station in India, the magazine faced mild oppositions when they excluded Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan from their list in this year, even though he was supposedly said to be very much "in the race". Khan's fan following has been claimed [18][by whom?] to be one of the biggest in contemporary cinema and this decision came as a surprise to readers.[19] Oprah Winfrey continued her streak of having been included on every Time 100 list and was one of thirty-one women on the list. The list included many expected names and some surprises such as Scott Brown, who The Huffington Post described as a premature selection at that point in his career.[20] Others who were considered surprise selections included Elton John, Ashton Kutcher, and Taylor Swift, according to the Daily Mail.[21]

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. The list was published the following day.[21] Time readers contributed to the selection by an online vote of over 200 finalists.[22]


In 2009, the winner of the annual Time 100 online poll was moot (Christopher Poole), who founded the 4chan website. In the poll, Poole received 16,794,368 votes. Time magazine claimed that their technical team "did detect and extinguish several attempts to hack the vote".[23] 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, also an obscene 4chan meme, was the name of the IRC channel (which would appear on IRC as #marblecake) used for communication by some of the participants in rigging the poll.[24][25]


Multiple appearancesEdit

Although each category is given equal weight every year, some people are more likely to make repeat appearances on the list from year to year. Repeat appearances are rare; only the following individuals have appeared more than twice:

Note: The order of the following list is based on the number of times each person has appeared on the Time 100. Those who are tied are listed alphabetically. Those listed in bold are the select few whose repeat appearances include Time's ranking of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Listed five times or moreEdit

Listed four timesEdit

Listed three timesEdit

Selection criteriaEdit

In 2004, Time's editors identified "three rather distinct qualities", when choosing the Time 100 explained Time's editor-at-large Michael Elliott:

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.[26]

In the 2007 Time 100 list, managing editor Richard Stengel explained that the Time 100 was not a list of the hottest, most popular, or most powerful people, but rather the most influential, stating:

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.[citation needed]

Time 100 Award trophiesEdit

From 2005 to 2008, Time magazine awarded one of Darko Mladenovic's Ray crystal sculptures to each Time 100 honoree. These sculptures were produced by Swarovski.


World leader exclusionsEdit

The exclusion of the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair from the 2004 list caused mild controversy. Time editor-at-large Michael Elliott defended the decision to consistently exclude Blair by 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".[27]

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.[28] 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.[29]

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", and that "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".[30]

Controversial figure inclusionsEdit

The list has generated controversy over who was included in other years as well. In 2005, conservative commentator Ann Coulter was listed, which led Salon to observe:

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?"[31]

Time magazine defended Coulter as a bestselling author whose controversial commentary strongly affected the United States' political debates; she 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 (he was 97th on the list), generating media attention and concerns regarding fact checking at the magazine.[32] Time later issued a retraction. In a BBC interview with Justin Webb, a Corpus Christi College, Oxford University English professor Valentine Cunningham stated the mistake was "a piece of profound ignorance on the part of Time magazine".[33]

Use in academic researchEdit

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.[34]

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.[35]

Time most influential people on the internetEdit

From 2015, Time also published a list of the 25 most influential people on the internet, featuring those 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. Those named to the list include figures from American politicians Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to teenage YouTubers JoJo Siwa and Emma Chamberlain.[36] 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 also made the list,[37] as did actress and presenter Jameela Jamil, who is known more widely beyond her profession for her online activism.[36]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ See who made Time's 100 most influential list. YouTube. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  2. ^ "The 100 Most Influential People in the World: Readers' Poll". Time. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b "The Time 100 Gave Us Wonderful Pairings". The Mary Sue. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  4. ^ Downey Jr., Robert (July 8, 2016). "Rami MALEK". Interview. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  5. ^ "Millie Bobby Brown Is Launching A Line With Pandora Celebrating Something Badass AF". Bustle. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  6. ^ Eley, Amy. "Beyonce lands 'Time 100' cover: 2014 list includes Robert Redford, Jason Collins". USA Today. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  7. ^ "'Time' list for 2014 includes 41 women". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  8. ^ "The Ties That Bind the 100". Time.
  9. ^ "The 2011 Time 100". Time. April 21, 2011. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  10. ^ "The 2011 Time 100". Time. April 21, 2011. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  11. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (April 27, 2011). "Justin Bieber, Amy Poehler Breakout Stars At Time 100 Gala: 'Parks and Recreation' co-star Aziz Ansari calls Poehler 'tremendously talented and really a leader in her field.'". MTV. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  12. ^ "The 2011 Time 100 Poll". Time. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  13. ^ a b Wong, Curtis M. (April 22, 2011). "Time 100 Most Influential People: See Which World Figures Made The 2011 List". HuffPost. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  14. ^ Pompeo, Joe (April 21, 2007). "Time 100 list honors influencers in the year of Arab Spring". Yahoo! News. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  15. ^ Blas, Lorena (April 21, 2011). "William, Kate among 'Time' 100 List". USA Today. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  16. ^ a b "The World's Most Influential People". Time. 2010. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  17. ^ "Ten Indians on The 2010 Time 100". Thaindian News. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Why Shahrukh Khan was not among Time magazine's 100 most influential people". NDTV. 30 April 2010.
  20. ^ Linkins, Jason (April 29, 2010). "The Time 100 In 2010". HuffPost. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  21. ^ a b Johnson, Chris (May 5, 2010). "Meet Elton John, Ashton Kutcher and Taylor Swift... some of the world's most influential people according to Time magazine". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  22. ^ "The 2010 Time 100 Poll". Time. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  23. ^ The World's Most Influential Person Is.... Time. April 27, 2009.
  24. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (April 27, 2009). "Time Magazine Throws Up Its Hands As It Gets Pwned By 4Chan". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  25. ^ "Marble Cake and moot". ABC News. April 30, 2009. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  26. ^ "Time Names The World's Most Influential People". Time Warner. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  27. ^ "Revealed: the world's 100 most influential people. (Sorry, Prime Minister, not you)". The Independent. 2004-04-18. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  28. ^ "Osama in Time magazine power list". CNN-News18. February 3, 2010. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  29. ^ Sean Hannity; Alan Colmes (May 4, 2007). "President Bush Not 'Influential' Enough for Time". Fox News. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  30. ^ "Obama among Time's list of 100 most influential". The Honolulu Advertiser. May 3, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  31. ^ Boehlert, Eric (April 19, 2005). "Time hearts Ann Coulter". Salon. Archived from the original on May 17, 2006. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  32. ^ "Evelyn Waugh: 'Time' Names Male Writer In List Of '100 Most Read Female Authors'". Inquisitr. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  33. ^ "Time magazine correction: Evelyn Waugh was not a woman". February 26, 2016 – via BBC.
  34. ^ Garthwaite, Craig; Moore, T. J. (2012-02-10). "Can Celebrity Endorsements Affect Political Outcomes? Evidence from the 2008 US Democratic Presidential Primary". The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization. 29 (2): 355–384. doi:10.1093/jleo/ewr031. ISSN 8756-6222.
  35. ^ The Role of Celebrity Endorsements in Politics: Oprah, Obama, and the 2008 Democratic Primary.
  36. ^ a b "The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet". Time. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  37. ^ Jensen, Erin. "Harry and Meghan, Ariana Grande on Time's list of most influential people on the internet". USA Today. Retrieved 2019-08-08.