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!

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

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2
+ - 253 162
Steve Jobs is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Steve Jobs Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Inventor

3
+ - 178 228
Barack Obama is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Barack Obama Politician, Author, Law professor

4
+ - 139 171
Mark Zuckerberg is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Mark Zuckerberg Programmer, Businessperson, Entrepreneur

5
+ - 75 155
Gabrielle Giffords is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Gabrielle Giffords Businessperson, Politician

6
+ - 72 113
Christopher Nolan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Christopher Nolan Editor, Film Producer, Screenwriter

7
+ - 54 41
Kristen Wiig is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Kristen Wiig Comedian, Film Producer, Screenwriter

8
+ - 89 186
Michelle Obama is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Michelle Obama Writer, Lawyer

9
+ - 52 115
Ryan Gosling is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Ryan Gosling Activist, Musician, Film Producer

10
+ - 55 125
Herman Cain is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Herman Cain Businessperson, Politician, Journalist

11
+ - 55 54
Judd Apatow is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Judd Apatow Television director, Comedian, Television producer

12
+ - 58 108
Matt Damon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Matt Damon Spokesperson, Television producer, Film Producer

13
+ - 52 97
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Colin Firth Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor

14
+ - 31 113
Larry Page is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Larry Page Businessperson, Entrepreneur, Computer scientist

15
+ - 34 133
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
+ - 19 120
Reed Hastings is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Reed Hastings Businessperson, Entrepreneur

17
+ - 88 152
Oprah Winfrey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Oprah Winfrey Businessperson, Journalist, Television producer

18
+ - 38 65
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridg... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011

19
+ - 46 81
Ricky Gervais is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Ricky Gervais Television director, Comedian, Television producer

20
+ - 23 129
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 64
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
+ - 72 166
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Lady Gaga Fashion designer, Record producer, Businessperson

23
+ - 35 96
John Boehner is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
John Boehner Businessperson, Politician, Management consulting

24
+ - 29 80
Chris Colfer is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Chris Colfer Film Producer, Screenwriter, Author

25
+ - 13 43
Harold Camping is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential People of 2011
Harold Camping Civil engineer, Author, Radio personality

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 68
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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+ - 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
Kim Jong-un Politician