Every year Fortune Magazine puts together a list of the top business people of the year. In 2011 top honors went to a leader who has combined record returns with political activism. From social media IPOs to natural gas plays to cloud computing launches, it's been a tumultuous year at the summit of the business world. From the euro mess to the Occupy Wall Street movement to the U.S. unemployment crisis, 2011 was the kind of year that tests leaders. When Fortune set out to pick a Businessperson of the Year (and 49 runners-up), great stories were easy to find. Facebook doubled its revenue the year its CEO turned 27. Jim Skinner of McDonald's boosted profitability despite rising commodity food costs. Ralph Lauren sold Chinese consumers on his vision of old-school American glamour. Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and Andrew Mason of Groupon took their social networks public. But it was Howard Schultz of Starbucks who rose to the top of their list.