best of 2011 The Most Influential People of 2011  

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The most influential people of 2011 made us laugh, brought us hope, widened our horizons and changed the way we live our lives. These people all made a difference during 2011 in one way or another be it from activism, entertainment, politics or innovation. While we're all influenced by different things, these select few stand above and beyond the rest as the most influential of 2011.

Perhaps some of the most influential people in the world are those who have changed the world by their innovations. Steve Jobs, co-founder and the brainchild behind Apple, was both one of the most influential persons of 2011, with his continued industry-leading gadget releases, and also one we'll miss the most from 2011 as he lost his battle with cancer in October.

Others influenced the way we found entertainment, but not from a gadget but rather from television, music and movies. These influential celebrities, such as television mogul Oprah Winfrey, pop singer Justin Bieber and "Mad Men" mastermind Matthew Weiner, all brought something different to the table but provided us with hours of entertainment.

Even other members of the most influential people of 2011 list brought us something intangible: hope. Politicians, such as President Barack Obama, were key for keeping our hopes up but one politician in particular showed us that miracles really do happen. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Congresswoman from Arizona, survived a gunshot wound to the head and fights to return to her former self each day.

Whether it was from their innovation, their entertainment or simply their willingness to persist through adversity, each of the people on this list were the most influential of 2011. We are all inspired by different people so tell us who was influential to you during the year by adding your own list of the most influential people of 2011 below!
list ordered by

1
161 2
Randy Savage is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Elvira Monet added Randy Savage Rapper, Wrestler, Baseball player

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2
256 184
Steve Jobs is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Steve Jobs Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Inventor

3
180 245
Barack Obama is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Barack Obama Politician, Author, Law professor

4
139 191
Mark Zuckerberg is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Mark Zuckerberg Programmer, Businessperson, Entrepreneur

5
79 170
Gabrielle Giffords is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Gabrielle Giffords Businessperson, Politician

6
64 50
Kristen Wiig is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Kristen Wiig Comedian, Film Producer, Screenwriter

7
73 131
Christopher Nolan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Christopher Nolan Editor, Film Producer, Screenwriter

8
75 55
Judd Apatow is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Judd Apatow Television director, Comedian, Television producer

9
92 198
Michelle Obama is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Michelle Obama Writer, Lawyer

10
58 133
Herman Cain is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Herman Cain Businessperson, Politician, Journalist

11
52 126
Ryan Gosling is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Ryan Gosling Activist, Musician, Film Producer

12
58 101
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Colin Firth Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor

13
58 112
Matt Damon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Matt Damon Spokesperson, Television producer, Film Producer

14
33 116
Larry Page is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Larry Page Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Computer scientist

15
34 135
Michele Bachmann is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Michele Bachmann Politician, Attorney at law, Lawyer

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16
88 155
Oprah Winfrey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Oprah Winfrey Businessperson, Journalist, Television producer

17
38 68
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridg... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011

18
19 123
Reed Hastings is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Reed Hastings Businessperson, Entrepreneur

19
48 82
Ricky Gervais is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Ricky Gervais Television director, Comedian, Television producer

20
23 131
Matthew Weiner is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Matthew Weiner Television director, Television producer, Screenwriter

21
29 65
Charlie Sheen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Charlie Sheen Television director, Television producer, Film Producer

22
72 167
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Lady Gaga Fashion designer, Record producer, Businessperson

23
14 43
Harold Camping is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Harold Camping Civil engineer, Author, Radio personality

24
35 97
John Boehner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
John Boehner Businessperson, Politician, Management consulting

25
29 81
Chris Colfer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Chris Colfer Film Producer, Screenwriter, Author

26
64 89
Julian Assange is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Julian Assange Spokesperson, Programmer, Editor

27
54 69
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Lionel Messi Footballer

28
46 58
Paul Ryan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Paul Ryan Politician

29
26 105
Arianna Huffington is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Arianna Huffington Editor, Commentator, Politician

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30
21 117
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Kanye West Film Score Composer, Fashion designer, Record producer

31
9 40
Charles Koch is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Charles Koch Businessperson, Industrialist

32
9 40
Jeff Bezos is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Jeff Bezos Businessperson, Entrepreneur

33
26 114
Justin Bieber is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Justin Bieber Record producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter

34
5 34
Cory Booker is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Cory Booker Politician, Lawyer

35
7 17
Nina Dobrev is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Nina Dobrev Gymnast, Model, Actor

36
5 35
Steven Levitan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Steven Levitan Television director, Businessperson, Television producer

37
4 15
Osama bin Laden is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Osama bin Laden Businessperson, Engineer

38
5 20
Kim Jong-un is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
mwahahahaha added Kim Jong-un Politician