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.