TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2012: 10 Hyped Highlights

TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2012: 10 Hyped Highlights
By Amanda Walgrove
  • This morning, TIME released its famous list of the year’s 100 most influential people. According to the magazine, “They are the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world.” The full list is divided into breakouts, pioneers, moguls, leaders and icons.

    Below are 10 highly-hyped highlights and the similarly powerful individuals who covered them.



    Tim Tebow, Quarterback — by Jeremy Lin

    He is unashamed of his convictions and faith, and he lives a life that consistently reflects his values, day in and day out. Through his foundation, he constantly reaches out to people and communities in need of hope.

    Cecile Richards, Activist — by Sandra Fluke

    Our most basic health care needs — needs that impact our families and our larger economy — are still being questioned. As we look to inspire the next generation of women to join this fight, we’re fortunate to have Cecile as our mentor.

    Warren Buffett, Businessman — by Barack Obama

    The Sage of Omaha has handed down plenty of lessons over the years. Today, at 81, he reminds us that life is not just about the value you seek. It’s about the values you stand for.

    Kristen Wiig, Actor — by Judd Apatow

    I remember seeing Kristen Wiig on her first episode of Saturday Night Live. I don’t remember the sketch, I just remember her. She was so confident and funny right out of the gate. You would have thought she had been on the show for years.

    Mitt Romney, Presidential Candidate — by Bill Bain

    When I asked Mitt Romney to join Bain & Co. in 1977, I knew he was brilliant, but there was much I didn’t know. As founder and CEO, I liked being first in the office when that was practical. On Mitt’s first day, he arrived first. I came in earlier the next day, and there he was again. I decided to shake Mitt up a little and have some fun.

    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Pippa Middleton, Sisters — by Catherine Mayer

    How do the sisters feel about their influence? They aren’t saying. Latter-day Mona Lisas, they smile mysteriously and keep their mouths closed. In an age of bleating, tweeting, confessional celebrity, the middle-class Middletons show real class.

    Anonymous, Hackers — by Barton Gellman

    Did Anonymous fix the TIME 100 poll? “Depends who you think is smarter, a global collective of highly skilled hackers or the TIME IT department,” says one fellow traveler, anonymously. Anonymous earned its place on the list, one way or the other.

    Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer — by Muhtar Kent

    I’ve often said that this promises to be the women’s century, and Sheryl is exactly the kind of refreshing leader who is — by word, deed and example — creating new opportunities, removing obstacles and making a real difference in others’ lives. And as a devoted, hands-on mother of two, she is also nurturing the priceless personal connections that matter most.

    Walter Isaacson, Biographer — by Madeleine K. Albright

    The age of landmark biographies had, we might assume, long since passed, replaced by one of short attention spans, interactive gadgets and fewer bookstores. Enter Walter Isaacson and his trio of brilliant works about men of genius — Franklin, Einstein and Jobs.

    Adele, Singer — by Pink

    Her success renews hope in me that the world I live in has good taste — that we still occasionally come back to what’s simple, and simply amazing. I can’t wait to hear what she does next.