Time's 100 'most influential' list offers diverse group of leaders, creators

By Eric DuVall   |   April 20, 2017 at 12:21 PM
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April 20 (UPI) -- Time's annual list of the 100 most influential people list for 2017 is notable for how little the many world leaders share in common: President Donald Trump, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Pope Francis, to name a few.

The list also includes a few surprises in the "leaders" and "titans" categories. Chicago Cubs general manager and streak-slayer Theo Epstein, baseball's wunderkind, was included on the leaders list after assembling the first World Series-winning roster for the team in 108 years, good enough to put him in the ranks of heads of state, rather than with other iconic sports figures. (Epstein was also the GM of the Boston Red Sox when they snapped their historic World Series drought.)

The list does not include any sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices, but Time's oldest list member, retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, made the cut for her work bringing U.S. civics lessons to classrooms across the country. Her program iCivics combines video games and other child-friendly elements to teach middle and high school students about how U.S. democracy works. The program is now used in more than half of U.S. middle schools.

The "titans" category includes arguably the two most dominant athletes in their respective sports -- and arguably the most dominant athletes of any sport -- LeBron James of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and Tom Brady of the NFL's New England Patriots. Both men led their teams to championships last year.

Also on the "titans" list is Jeff Bezos, CEO of online retail giant Amazon, who was lauded by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin for his work expanding private space exploration. Another tech inclusion is Daniel Ek, founder of the music streaming service Spotify, who musician Ed Sheeran said "transform[ed] the way people listen to music and artists interact with fans."

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