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.
list ordered by

1
156 66
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 49

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 21

7
82 40
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Claire Danes age 37

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 45

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 30

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 55

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

15
101 91
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Lionel Messi age 29

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16
45 19
Noel Spangler is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Noel Spangler

17
76 58
Jeremy Lin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Jeremy Lin age 28

18
46 20
Li Keqiang is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Li Keqiang age 61

19
91 70
Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Tim Tebow age 28

20
75 52
Xi Jinping is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Xi Jinping age 63

21
47 22
Nick Saban is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Nick Saban age 65

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
Micha FDY added Matt Bomer age 39

25
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

27
75 57
Tim Cook is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Tim Cook age 56

28
41 18
Andrew Luck is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Andrew Luck age 27

29
60 39
Salman Khan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Salman Khan age 40

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30
79 57
Kim Jong-un is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Kim Jong-un age 34

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

32
62 37
Psy is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Psy age 39

33
88 74
Ben Bernanke is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Ben Bernanke age 63

34
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 52

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

37
79 60
Rush Limbaugh is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Rush Limbaugh age 66

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 70

42
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 47

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

45
72 80
Joe Biden is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Joe Biden age 74

46
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 61

48
72 87
Koch Brothers is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
Koch Brothers

49
107 140
Warren Buffett is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012

50
42 37
Angela Merkel is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Influential People of 2012
camel added Angela Merkel age 62