best of 2012 The Most Influential People of 2012

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The most influential people of 2012 include world leaders, CEOs, athletes, actors, musicians and many others who made an impact on the world during the year. These people each contributed something that made others take notice, something that will be remembered for years to come. Not all of the contributions were considered positive but all changed the world in one way or another.

Like the most influential people of 2011, many of the most influential folks of 2012 were politicians. Unsurprisingly, with a presidential election going on in the United States, the top two candidates, President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney, easily made the list as did other political figures like Ron Paul and Paul Ryan.

Business leaders were also well represented. Taking over the spot formerly held by the late Steve Jobs, Apple CEO Tim Cook was easily an influential person in 2012 so was business magnate Warren Buffett, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

On the lighter side, a number of athletes and celebrities also earned spots as the most influential of the year with the athletes of the 2012 London Olympics, such as record-breaking swimmer Michael Phelps and inspirational sprinter Oscar Pistorius. On the entertainment side, British singer Adele, actress Claire Danes and comedian Louis CK all inspired, entertained and influenced in 2012.

Everyone is influenced by different people in different ways which is why you're encouraged to vote up those who influenced you the most, vote down those that didn't, add any that are missing or even re-rank this list your way to break down the most influential people of 2012.

1
+ - 156 65
Chris Christie is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

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2
+ - 77 16
Maria Bartiromo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

3
+ - 107 52
Fatou Bensouda is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

4
+ - 119 73
Louis C.K. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Louis C.K. age 48

5
+ - 86 41
Goodluck Jonathan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

6
+ - 61 18
Gabby Douglas is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Gabby Douglas age 20

7
+ - 82 40
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Claire Danes age 36

8
+ - 80 40
Suzanne Collins is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

9
+ - 99 77
Marco Rubio is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Marco Rubio age 44

10
+ - 97 70
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
LeBron James age 32

11
+ - 103 76
Usain Bolt is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Usain Bolt age 29

12
+ - 94 77
Benjamin Netanyahu is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

13
+ - 193 188
Barack Obama is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Barack Obama age 54

14
+ - 61 39
Robert Griffin III is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

15
+ - 46 18
Li Keqiang is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Li Keqiang age 60

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16
+ - 75 50
Xi Jinping is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Xi Jinping age 62

17
+ - 99 91
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Lionel Messi age 28

18
+ - 45 19
Noel Spangler is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Noel Spangler

19
+ - 76 58
Jeremy Lin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Jeremy Lin age 27

20
+ - 91 70
Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Tim Tebow age 28

21
+ - 47 22
Nick Saban is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Nick Saban age 64

22
+ - 43 19
Jason Kidd is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Jason Kidd age 42

23
+ - 45 21
Kim Jong-il is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Kim Jong-il Died at 70 (1941-2011)

24
+ - 42 17
Matt Bomer is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Matt Bomer age 38

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+ - 38 15
Gabriel Nadeau-dubois is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Gabriel Nadeau-dubois

26
+ - 62 41
Timothy Geithner is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

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+ - 75 57
Tim Cook is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Tim Cook age 55

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+ - 41 18
Andrew Luck is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Andrew Luck age 26

29
+ - 60 39
Salman Khan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Salman Khan age 39

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+ - 79 57
Kim Jong-un is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Kim Jong-un age 32

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+ - 76 61
Christopher Nolan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

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+ - 62 37
Psy is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Psy age 38

33
+ - 88 74
Ben Bernanke is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Ben Bernanke age 62

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+ - 159 156
Stephen Colbert is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

35
+ - 54 30
Joss Whedon is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Joss Whedon age 51

36
+ - 88 74
Ryan Gosling is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Ryan Gosling age 35

37
+ - 79 60
Rush Limbaugh is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Rush Limbaugh age 64

38
+ - 68 56
Rupert Murdoch is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

39
+ - 104 113
Paul Ryan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Paul Ryan age 45

40
+ - 85 88
Oscar Pistorius is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

41
+ - 126 163
Mitt Romney is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Mitt Romney age 68

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+ - 68 62
Carly Rae Jepsen is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

43
+ - 81 89
Cory Booker is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Cory Booker age 46

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+ - 108 130
Michael Phelps is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

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+ - 72 80
Joe Biden is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Joe Biden age 73

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+ - 99 121
Michael Bloomberg is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

47
+ - 116 154
Bill Gates is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Bill Gates age 60

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+ - 107 140
Warren Buffett is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

49
+ - 72 87
Koch Brothers is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Koch Brothers

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+ - 42 37
Angela Merkel is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Angela Merkel age 61