Link Copied

The most powerful person in the world at every age

AGE 1: Prince George of Cambridge

AGE 1: Prince George of Cambridge

Heir to the British throne

What makes him powerful: After his grandfather and father, little George is next in line to succeed his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. As an eight-month-old he took his first royal tour — a 19-day visit to New Zealand and Australia. He's also a tiny fashion icon, and he recently became a big brother to new princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Advertisement

AGE 2: Macallister Bogue

AGE 2: Macallister Bogue

Son of Marissa Mayer and Zach Bogue

What makes him powerful: Though he's only a couple of years old, Bogue, son of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, still influences his mom's outlook at work. Though Mayer herself only took a few weeks off after giving birth, she doubled the amount of paid maternity leave Yahoo offers new mothers from eight to 16 weeks and offered new dads eight weeks as well.

Advertisement

AGE 3: Blue Ivy Carter

AGE 3: Blue Ivy Carter

Daughter of Beyoncé and Jay Z

What makes her powerful: Nothing is too good for this power couple's little girl. Blue Ivy's second birthday was celebrated at the exotic Jungle Island in Miami; for her third, Blue got an ice sculpture with her name carved into it. Gwyneth Paltrow, who is good friends with the Knowles-Carter clan, said of Blue Ivy: "She is a powerhouse. I love her so much."

Advertisement
Advertisement

AGE 4: Ryker Wixom

AGE 4: Ryker Wixom

Instagram star

What makes him powerful: Better known by his Instagram handle, @ministylehacker, Wixom is a breakout fashion icon at only four years old. Styled by his mom, Collette Wixom, Ryker poses in outfits identical to celebrities like Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum, which are then posted side by side. He's amassed over 259,000 followers on Instagram and garnered more than 16,000 likes on Facebook, and brands have even started reaching out with sponsorship opportunities, turning the account from a fun project into a viable business for the Wixoms.

Advertisement

AGE 5: Miles Hideo Williams

AGE 5: Miles Hideo Williams

Son of Twitter founder Evan Williams

What makes him powerful: When Evan Williams and his wife, Sara Morishige, welcomed their first child into the world, the new mom live-tweeted her labor. Following in dad's footsteps, Miles locked down the Twitter handle @miles and currently has 48 followers on his private account.

Advertisement

AGE 6: Vivienne Jolie-Pitt

AGE 6: Vivienne Jolie-Pitt

Daughter of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

What makes her powerful: Not only is Jolie-Pitt the daughter of two award-winning actors — Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt — but she's stepping into the spotlight herself these days. Vivienne made her film debut in last year's Maleficent, playing the young Aurora opposite her mom and Elle Fanning.

Advertisement

AGE 7: Aubrey Anderson-Emmons

AGE 7: Aubrey Anderson-Emmons

Actress

What makes her powerful: For as long as she can remember, Anderson-Emmons has been playing Lily, Cam and Mitchell's adopted daughter, on the ABC show "Modern Family." Between shoots, the young star has been in two short films and has won a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series three years in a row.

Advertisement

AGE 8: Rosie McClelland

AGE 8: Rosie McClelland

Singer

What makes her powerful: After a video of McClelland and cousin Sophia Grace Brownlee singing and dancing to Nicki Minaj's "Superbass" went viral and caught the attention of TV host Ellen DeGeneres, the pair became instant celebrities. DeGeneres invited the girls on her show, where they starred in a recurring segment called "Tea Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie." They also nabbed spots on Nickelodeon's "Sam & Cat," and helped DeGeneres accept the Choice Comedian award at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards. Last May, they released their first movie, "Sophia Grace & Rosie's Royal Adventure," which earned each girl some serious cash.

Advertisement

AGE 9: Evan of EvanTubeHD

AGE 9: Evan of EvanTubeHD

YouTube star

What makes him powerful: Evan is the host of EvanTubeHD, a YouTube toy-review channel that gets more than 875,000 views per video. He is one of the youngest, and wealthiest, stars on YouTube. Evan makes $1.3 million a year and has even appeared on the "TODAY" show.

Advertisement

AGE 10: Kelly Xu

AGE 10: Kelly Xu

Golfer

What makes her powerful: Xu has achieved what many female pro golfers can only aspire to achieve: the title of Augusta National champion. The 10-year-old won the girls' nine-and-under division last year, making her the first female champion crowned at Augusta National Golf Club — not just in her age group, but ever. Xu said the win was the best day of her life.

Advertisement

AGE 11: Quvenzhané Wallis

AGE 11: Quvenzhané Wallis

Actress

What makes her powerful: She's still the youngest actress to receive a best actress Oscar nom, for her role in "Beasts of the Southern Wild," and she received a Golden Globe nomination (and a $750,000 salary) for playing the lead role in the recent "Annie" remake. Wallis will be in "Fathers and Daughters," which comes out this year, and has announced another movie, "Counting by 7s," with a to-be-determined release date.

Advertisement

AGE 12: Romeo Beckham

AGE 12: Romeo Beckham

Son of David and Victoria Beckham

What makes him powerful: He might have famous parents, but Beckham is emerging as a fashion icon in his own right. The 12-year-old took the No. 25 spot on GQ's 2015 best dressed men in Britain list, 21 places ahead of his stylish father. Beckham also landed a modeling contract with Burberry and starred in the company's 2014 Christmas campaign "From London With Love," which reportedly boosted Burberry sales by 14% in the last quarter of the year.

Advertisement

AGE 13: Sasha Obama

AGE 13: Sasha Obama

Daughter of President Barack Obama

What makes her powerful: Sasha Obama does whatever normal 13-year-olds do, like attend school and listen to Beyoncé, only she's the president's youngest daughter, so there's a lot more pressure on her to appear a certain way in the public eye. But also like a normal teenager, she's apparently embarrassed to be seen with her parents, as first lady Michelle Obama revealed in an interview with "Entertainment Tonight." Just another day for the first kid of the United States.

Advertisement

AGE 14: Jazz Jennings

AGE 14: Jazz Jennings

Transgender activist

What makes her powerful: Jennings made her first TV appearance back in 2007, when she was interviewed by Barbara Walters for being a six-year-old transgender girl, one of the youngest cases of someone already transitioning.

Jennings remains in the spotlight today, working to bring visibility and awareness of the lives and struggles of transgender teens. Last year she co-wrote a children's book about growing up transgender, became the face of Clean and Clear's "See The Real Me" campaign, and was named one of TIME's most influential teens of 2014. This summer, Jennings will star in "All That Jazz," a TLC show documenting her day-to-day life.

Advertisement

AGE 15: Kiernan Shipka

AGE 15: Kiernan Shipka

Actress

What makes her powerful: Having finished up her eighth year on AMC's hit series "Mad Men," Kiernan Shipka has grown up on screen. Now that the series is over, she's branching out into film, with three movies in the works for 2015. Shipka is physically powerful as well: She has a black belt in tae kwon do.

Advertisement

AGE 16: Rico Rodriguez

AGE 16: Rico Rodriguez

Actor

What makes him powerful: Rodriguez keeps fans laughing as quirky Manny Delgado on ABC's "Modern Family," which is currently in its sixth season. According to the New York Daily News, Rodriguez also makes a robust salary from the show, and will earn $115,000 per episode if it continues into an eighth season. Not too bad for a 16-year-old.

Advertisement

AGE 17: Malala Yousafzai

AGE 17: Malala Yousafzai

Girl's education activist

What makes her powerful: Yousafzai is known for her peaceful opposition to the Taliban's oppression of women and girls, especially when it comes to education. Today, girls in other countries look to her for inspiration in making their own voices heard. Yousafzai wrote a tell-all memoir, "I Am Malala," in 2013, and became the youngest Nobel Prize laureate in history last year. Her non-profit aims to boost the opportunities for women and girls to learn around the world, with over $3.5 million committed to projects through 2016.

Advertisement

AGE 18: Chloë Grace Moretz

AGE 18: Chloë Grace Moretz

Actress

What makes her powerful: Best known for her roles in "Kickass," "Hugo," and the 2013 remake of "Carrie," Moretz has proven herself a talented and versatile actress. Her resume covers everything from comedy via Tina Fey's "30 Rock" to her recent stint in action opposite Denzel Washington in "The Equalizer." Later this year, Moretz will star in "Dark Places," a film based on the eponymous book by "Gone Girl" author Gillian Flynn.

Advertisement

AGE 19: Kendall Jenner

AGE 19: Kendall Jenner

Model and reality TV star

What makes her powerful: With a modeling career on the rise, it's safe to say that 19-year-old Jenner is no longer overshadowed by her famous Kardashian sisters. She earned Estee Lauder over 50,000 new Instagram followers the day her contract with the cosmetics company went public, and has walked in runway shows for fashion heavyweights such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Givenchy, and Chanel. And with nearly 20 million Instagram followers herself, her popularity is undeniable.

Advertisement

AGE 20: Andrew Wiggins

AGE 20: Andrew Wiggins

Basketball player

What makes him powerful: Even before he graduated from Kansas last year, people called Wiggins the next LeBron James. So far he's living up to expectations, earning the "Rookie of the Year" title after his first season in the NBA, making him the first Minnesota Timberwolves player to take home the award. He played all 82 games of the season, averaging 16.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

Advertisement

AGE 21: Justin Bieber

AGE 21: Justin Bieber

Musician

What makes him powerful: Over the past couple of years, Bieber's reputation has taken a bit of a tumble, thanks to a string of fights with paparazzi, pot-smoking allegations, and a DUI arrest, not to mention taking a hefty dose of mockery over his Calvin Klein photo shoot.

Still, as of November he's the highest-paid celebrity under 30, and still manages to maintain a good sense of humor about himself, making each of his sticky situations, if nothing else, great marketing.

Advertisement

AGE 22: Palmer Luckey

AGE 22: Palmer Luckey

Founder of Oculus VR

What makes him powerful: Last year, Luckey sold Oculus VR — his virtual reality startup that creates headsets like the Oculus Rift — to Facebook for a solid $2 billion. Not only did the deal turn the 22-year-old into a billionaire, but the headset he created has changed how many people experience video games by making users feel completely immersed in the game. Oculus won't release a consumer version of the headset until early next year, but the product is already making waves.

Advertisement

AGE 23: Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

AGE 23: Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

Soccer player

What makes him powerful: Despite suffering an injury in July which pulled him from the World Cup, Neymar led the Brazil national football team to a number of victories in the fall and winter, coming back out on top as one of the most unstoppable forces on the field. He recently told Globo TV, "I think I'm in the best form of my career."

Advertisement

AGE 24: Evan Spiegel

AGE 24: Evan Spiegel

CEO of Snapchat

What makes him powerful: Right at the fingertips of almost every young person with a smartphone, Spiegel's fleeting photo messaging app has garnered at least 100 million users around the world, making 24-year-old Spiegel a dominant force in tech and in general.

Currently valued at around $10 billion (with Spiegel himself at $1.5 billion), Snapchat keeps evolving to keep up with users' changing wants and needs. In addition to offering disappearing photos and videos, it has added a new feature called Discover, which plays video clips from ESPN, CNN, and other content partners. The red-hot app also threatens other social media platforms: Facebook tried to buy it for more than $3 billion, but it's looking like a smart choice that Spiegel said no.

Advertisement

AGE 25: Taylor Swift

AGE 25: Taylor Swift

Musician

What makes her powerful: Swift's latest album, "1989," which was the best-selling album of 2014, made her the first woman to have three albums sell more than a million copies in a single week. With a net worth around $200 million, Swift is powerful in more than just the music industry; retail brands like Victoria's Secret use her to boost sales. Fans love her as she interacts with them directly and demonstrates a new way of keeping it real as a celebrity.

Advertisement

AGE 26: Kevin Durant

AGE 26: Kevin Durant

Basketball player

What makes him powerful: Though Oklahoma City Thunder forward Durant missed most of the 2014-15 season due to injury, he's still one of the most dominant players in the NBA. In the 27 games he did play last season, Durant averaged 26 points a game, and the Thunder went 18-9. He was also named MVP in 2014 with a 51% shooting rate, 41.6% three-point shooting rate, and 90.5% free throw shooting rate.

Advertisement

AGE 27: Lionel Messi

AGE 27: Lionel Messi

Soccer player

What makes him powerful: Like Neymar, Messi is in the prime of his soccer career — he's the highest-paid footballer in the world, having earned $71 million in 2014, and also the most expensive athlete in the world, with a transfer value of over $260 million. Basically, any other team would be willing to pay top dollar to have him.

Advertisement

AGE 28: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

AGE 28: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Fashion moguls

What makes them powerful: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen no longer rock matching overalls; these days, they turn heads on the red carpet as bona-fide fashion moguls. The elusive sisters helm two powerful fashion houses — The Row and Elizabeth & James — and are worth a combined $300 million. They founded luxury line The Row in 2004, which not only brings in millions of dollars per year, but cemented the twins' place as capable and respected designers. Mary-Kate and Ashley aren't coasting on their success either: They oversee every detail for both lines, from fabric choices to runway venues.

Advertisement

AGE 29: Megan Ellison

AGE 29: Megan Ellison

Film producer

What makes her powerful: Ellison is a rockstar in Hollywood. Breaking out of the shadow of her father, former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, she stormed head first into the film industry and owns a successful film production company Annapurna Pictures. Her company backed blockbuster hits "American Hustle" and "Her," and will be behind the three upcoming new "Terminator" releases. Nearly all of her films have won or been nominated for major film industry awards.

Advertisement

AGE 30: LeBron James

AGE 30: LeBron James

Basketball player

What makes him powerful: Even in a down year, James single-handedly shifted the NBA landscape. His team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, won 20 more games than they did without him last year. During their first season without James, the Miami Heat won 18 fewer games than they did with him last year. Wherever he goes, he takes 50-win seasons with him. You can't say that about anyone else in the league.

Advertisement

AGE 31: Mark Zuckerberg

AGE 31: Mark Zuckerberg

CEO of Facebook

What makes him powerful: Zuckerberg has built the largest social network ever, with over 1 billion users, and from WhatsApp to Oculus VR, he has overseen a number of huge Facebook acquisitions in the past year or so. His current net worth is nearly $35 billion, making him one of just three people who have more billions under their belt than years lived.

Advertisement

AGE 32: Kim Jong Un

AGE 32: Kim Jong Un

Supreme leader of North Korea

What makes him powerful: Upon his father's death in 2011, Kim was thrust into power, taking control of North Korea overnight. Kim was appointed marshal in 2012, the country's highest military rank, and caused international controversy by continuing the country's weapons testing. He isn't the most favorably viewed leader in the world, but it's hard to deny his influence. He can snap his fingers and have anyone — whether that's family or North Korean officials — executed.

Advertisement

AGE 33: Beyoncé

AGE 33: Beyoncé

Musician

What makes her powerful: There's a reason she's called "Queen Bey": At the end of 2013, the former Destiny's Child frontwoman waged a war against retailers like Amazon and Target by refusing to let them stock her self-titled album and, just to spite them, secretly released it overnight on iTunes, causing a momentary crash of the e-store. After winning three Grammys this year, Beyoncé has a lot to teach people — as evidenced by a new course at the University of Illinois at Chicago, called "Beyoncé: Critical Feminist Perspectives and U.S. Black Womanhood."

Advertisement

AGE 34: Kim Kardashian West

AGE 34: Kim Kardashian West

Reality TV star and media mogul

What makes her powerful: It's undeniable — Kardashian West is everywhere. Her reality show, "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," is in its tenth season, and last year she forged her way into the tech industry with her popular "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" game, which reportedly brings in $700,000 a day. Kardashian West commands irrefutable social power as well: She has over 32.1 million followers on Twitter and more than 34.3 million on Instagram.

Advertisement

AGE 35: Sean Parker

AGE 35: Sean Parker

Early Facebook investor, founder of Napster

What makes him powerful: Parker, best known as the cofounder of Napster and an early investor in Facebook, has a net worth of $2.6 billion, and he's putting it to good use. He founded a new social media company, TheAudience, which, while rumor has it is being shut down in the UK, still has two major offices in New York and Los Angeles, and has raised $20 million since its founding in 2011.

Advertisement

AGE 36: Jeremy Stoppelman

AGE 36: Jeremy Stoppelman

CEO of Yelp

What makes him powerful: As the CEO of crowd-sourced review site Yelp, Stoppelman has a reported net worth over $222 million. However, he joined the $1 club in 2013 when he and Yelp's COO Geoff Donaker announced that they would be taking a yearly base salary of only a dollar. Stoppelman also takes a hands-on approach to his work, and has written over a thousand Yelp reviews himself.

Advertisement

AGE 37: Kanye West

AGE 37: Kanye West

Musician and producer

What makes him powerful: It's likely that no one will ever love Kanye as much as Kanye loves Kanye, but he undoubtedly has loyal fans and a prominent place in the music industry. "Yeezus," which dropped in 2013, topped the charts and was considered by many to be the best album of the year. He's got a new album in the works, and made his fashion debut in February with a show at New York Fashion Week, where he shared his collaboration with Adidas. Though the line garnered much criticism, it demonstrated West's ability to easily break into new industries.

Advertisement

AGE 38: Jack Dorsey

AGE 38: Jack Dorsey

CEO of Square

What makes him powerful: Back in 2006, Dorsey co-founded Twitter alongside Biz Stone, Noah Glass, and Evan Williams — he even sent out the very first tweet. Though he stepped down as Twitter's CEO in 2008, Dorsey stayed on as chairman of the board, and drives the bulk of his wealth — currently at $2.4 billion — from his 4% stake in the company.

These days, Dorsey focuses the majority of his time on Square, a mobile payment app that lets business owners accept credit card payments through a smartphone attachment.

Advertisement

AGE 39: Marissa Mayer

AGE 39: Marissa Mayer

CEO of Yahoo

What makes her powerful: Mayer runs one of the most powerful tech companies in the world, and earns the wages to match: Her total compensation package, which includes cash and stock, was $42 million in 2014 — up 69% from the year before. This is largely due to the fact that Yahoo's stock has more than doubled since Mayer stepped up as CEO in 2012, showing how much of an impact she's had on the company and the tech industry in general.

Advertisement

AGE 40: Leonardo DiCaprio

AGE 40: Leonardo DiCaprio

Actor

What makes him powerful: DiCaprio proves to be one of the most talented actors of his time, starring in hits "Titanic," "Inception," and "The Wolf of Wall Street." He has yet to win an Oscar, but the actor has taken home two Golden Globes, one in 2014 for "The Wolf of Wall Street," and another in 2005 for "The Aviator." He headed into 2015 strong, with three movies in the works.

Advertisement

AGE 41: Sergey Brin

AGE 41: Sergey Brin

Co-founder of Google

What makes him powerful: Brin is one of the geniuses behind Google. He's responsible for trying to decide which ideas Google will pursue, overseeing Google X's "moon shots," and the hush-hush long-term projects that try to tackle big problems — think Google Glass, driverless cars, smart contacts for diabetics, and flying wind turbines that generate power.

Advertisement

AGE 42: Larry Page

AGE 42: Larry Page

CEO and co-founder of Google

What makes him powerful: When Page took over as Google's CEO, he wanted to reinvigorate the company's vision. Today, the company continues to dominate search, makes a ton of money with ads, and is leading a number of other innovative projects, including Google Glass. In the last year or so Google generated nearly $18 billion in profits — money that Page will be able to use to forward his grand visions for granting internet access to the world.

Advertisement

AGE 43: Elon Musk

AGE 43: Elon Musk

CEO of Tesla and SpaceX

What makes him powerful: Arguably the greatest inventor alive, Elon Musk steered three revolutionary companies — PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX — to monstrous success, while his own fortune more than tripled in the last year. Tesla's on a quest to disrupt the auto industry, with plans underway to build a massive Gigafactory, which will work on developing better batteries to power Tesla cars. SpaceX launched the first commercial satellite into orbit and is under agreement with NASA to resupply the International Space Station.

Advertisement

AGE 44: Ted Cruz

AGE 44: Ted Cruz

US Senator

What makes him powerful: Cruz became Texas' junior senator in 2012, making him the first Hispanic or Cuban person from the state to serve in the Senate. However, in a short time he went from being the GOP's ultimate conservative purist to one of the most despised men in the Senate, provoking the federal government shutdown in 2013. He also staged a 21-hour faux filibuster to defund Obamacare, during which he famously read "Green Eggs and Ham." Cruz continues to work his way up the political ranks, and announced in March that he's running for president in 2016.

Advertisement

AGE 45: Sheryl Sandberg

AGE 45: Sheryl Sandberg

COO of Facebook

What makes her powerful: Sheryl Sandberg is credited with bringing adult supervision to Facebook as its COO. One former Facebook employee said that, thanks to Sandberg, Facebook went from a frat house to a real company. Sandberg is also one of the world's first self-made billionaire women. Her book "Lean In" sold nearly 150,000 copies in its first week, and she's been a champion for women's advancement in the workplace ever since.

Advertisement

AGE 46: Robin Li

AGE 46: Robin Li

CEO of Baidu

What makes him powerful: Money is power, and Li has a lot of both. With an estimated net worth of $15.3 billion, he's one of the richest people in tech. In fact, Li comes in at No. 62 on Forbes' worldwide billionaires list and ranks fifth in China. And as the CEO of China's top search engine, Baidu, Li's like the Larry Page of Asia.

Advertisement

AGE 47: Reid Hoffman

AGE 47: Reid Hoffman

Co-founder of LinkedIn

What makes him powerful: Hoffman was a user experience architect at Apple in the mid-'90s — a job which ended up being the launching point for an incredibly successful venture into entrepreneurship. Seven years later, he launched LinkedIn, which has a market valuation of $32 billion. Hoffman was featured on this year's TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

Advertisement

AGE 48: Roman Abramovich

AGE 48: Roman Abramovich

Russian businessman, oligarch, and owner of the Chelsea Football Club

What makes him powerful: Abramovich is one of the richest men in Russia and the world, worth more than $9 billion. He was orphaned as a child and today lives a luxurious lifestyle full of commercial airplanes, getaway homes all over the world, a friendship with Vladimir Putin, and the world's largest yacht, which he bought in 2010, along with the Chelsea Football Club. Abramovich also owns a large stake in steel titan Evraz, which is expected to IPO this year after postponing in December.

Advertisement

AGE 49: J.K. Rowling

AGE 49: J.K. Rowling

Author

What makes her powerful: Even though the Harry Potter series has long since ended, the legacy lives on, and there's no denying Rowling's continued influence in the world of literature and pop culture. She also became the first billionaire author, and is still cashing in on the boy wizard 17 years later. She retained the digital rights to her novels, rather than signing them over to her publisher, and launched an online store so she can sell the e-books directly to readers. The Pottermore site allows Rowling to reap 100% of sales.

Since "Harry Potter," Rowling has written two adult novels, "The Casual Vacancy" and "The Cuckoo's Calling," which both became instant bestsellers. She's also returning to the wizarding world, writing the screenplay for a Harry Potter spinoff starring Eddie Redmayne. The film, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," will be out next year.

Advertisement

AGE 50: Jack Ma

AGE 50: Jack Ma

Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group

What makes him powerful: Last year, Ma's e-commerce company Alibaba went public, garnering the largest IPO in history at $25 billion. Despite humble beginnings as an English teacher, Ma is now the second-richest man in China thanks to the IPO. After becoming captivated by the internet during a visit to the US in 1995, Ma saw several business opportunities in it, and eventually founded his e-commerce site in 1999.

Advertisement

AGE 51: Jeff Bezos

AGE 51: Jeff Bezos

CEO of Amazon

What makes him powerful: Bezos left his job at hedge fund firm D.E. Shaw to start Amazon, which became one of the few startups that didn't get wiped out by the dot-com bust, and which now sells nearly $80 billion worth of goods per year. Today, Bezos is worth nearly $39 billion. He bought The Washington Post for $250 million in 2013, and is also the founder of Blue Origin, a new company that's beginning to test space flights.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider.

Advertisement

AGE 52: Chris Christie

AGE 52: Chris Christie

Governor of New Jersey

What makes him powerful: Chris Christie — who's served as the governor of New Jersey since 2010 — came under fire in January of 2014 when a couple of his top aides allegedly closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge, causing a major traffic jam in Fort Lee, New Jersey, the hometown of one of Christie's political opponents. Christie isn't letting the controversy, now referred to as "Bridgegate," hold him back though — he's a potential GOP candidate for the 2016 presidential race.

Advertisement

AGE 53: Barack Obama

AGE 53: Barack Obama

President of the United States

What makes him powerful: POTUS is in charge of the most powerful nation in the world. Now in his last year in office, he's begun shaping the legacy he'll leave behind at the end of his second term. In his second term, he's turned his attention and focus to foreign policy, including tackling negotiations over Iran's nukes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and thawing relations with Cuba. He recently told a group of middle schoolers that after the presidency "I'll go back to doing the kinds of work that I was doing before, just trying to find ways to help people... That's the kind of work that I really love to do."

Advertisement

AGE 54: Reed Hastings

AGE 54: Reed Hastings

CEO of Netflix

What makes him powerful: There's no doubt that Netflix is killing it lately, with original series "House of Cards" winning two Golden Globes and four Emmys. "Orange Is the New Black" holds its own as well, taking home three Emmys from an impressive 12 nominations. And with nearly 60 million subscribers, the streaming service shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Hastings is so confident in Netflix's future, he believes the service can expand globally within the next two years while still remaining profitable. The numbers support this, too: In the first quarter of 2015, Netflix earned $1.57 billion, 24% more than the same quarter last year.

Advertisement

AGE 55: Brian Moynihan

AGE 55: Brian Moynihan

CEO of Bank of America

What makes him powerful: Moynihan became the CEO of Bank of America, one of the world's largest financial institutions, in 2010. After taking over, Moynihan has been tasked with turning around the banking giant and battling the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Advertisement

AGE 56: Mark Cuban

AGE 56: Mark Cuban

Entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks

What makes him powerful: The successful entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks has opinions on everything from tech to football, and when he voices them everyone listens. In his role as a shark on ABC's "Shark Tank," he has the power to make a budding entrepreneur's dream come true with ample funding and guidance from someone who's been there. Not to mention he also commands a fortune of over $3 billion.

Advertisement

AGE 57: Tony Abbott

AGE 57: Tony Abbott

Prime Minister of Australia

What makes him powerful: Prime minister of the country down under since 2013, Abbott has been making big changes since day one. He elevated two women to the federal cabinet, in order to give women more power in Australian government, and repealed the Carbon Tax on fossil fuels, making Australia the first country to ever repeal a carbon tax. His budget plan may not be the most popular, but he has overseen and signed free trade agreements with Japan, South Korea, and China.

Advertisement

AGE 58: Mukesh Ambani

AGE 58: Mukesh Ambani

Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited

What makes him powerful: The richest man in India, Ambani is worth an estimated $20.1 billion. And in a still-developing country like India, there's a lot one can do with money like that. Ambani's Reliance Industries was the top Indian company in the 2015 edition of Forbes' Global 2000 list, taking the No. 142 spot overall.

Advertisement

AGE 59: Bill Gates

AGE 59: Bill Gates

Co-founder of Microsoft, and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

What makes him powerful: With a net worth of $81 billion, Bill Gates is among the richest people in the world, made famous by co-founding Microsoft and revolutionizing the personal computer. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the world's wealthiest charitable organization, with assets valued at a reported $34.6 billion.

Advertisement

AGE 60: Angela Merkel

AGE 60: Angela Merkel

Chancellor of Germany

What makes her powerful: In her third term as chancellor of Germany, Merkel continues to impress. She's been chancellor for longer than anyone in modern history and remains overwhelmingly popular. Germans want her to run for a fourth term.

She's got power both at home and abroad. She's one of the most formidable people to stand up to Putin and she's famously defended German interests during the euro zone debt crisis. She's managed to maintain record low unemployment levels and keep the economy afloat. Nothing important in Europe gets done without her say-so, whether that's a good thing or not, and she's often called the most powerful woman in the world.

Advertisement

AGE 61: Xi Jinping

AGE 61: Xi Jinping

President of China

What makes him powerful: Jinping has become the most powerful Chinese leader in decades. As commander of one of the world's fastest-rising superpowers, he's shown a readiness to adopt a degree of change — as shown by his decision to loosen the one-child policy, his promises of economic reform, and a relaxation of restrictions on the rights of migrant workers. But he also stands firmly by China's system of government, saying that the Community Party is the only model proven to work for China.

Advertisement

AGE 62: Vladimir Putin

AGE 62: Vladimir Putin

President of Russia

What makes him powerful: As the president of Russia, there's no doubt Putin commands a large stake of the world's power. In the last year, the politician annexed the Crimean peninsula, engineered a civil war in Ukraine, brokered a massive arms deal in Iran, and was named one of TIME's most influential leaders. He refuses to play by Western-established rules of global order, making him incredibly popular across Russia.

Advertisement

AGE 63: Geun-hye Park

AGE 63: Geun-hye Park

President of South Korea

What makes her powerful: Park is the first female leader of a country that has the highest level of gender inequality in the developed world, and was elected with the nation's highest turnout rate in 15 years. The daughter of a former president, she now presides over the world's 14th largest economy. Last year Park unsuccessfully tried to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear-weapons program by promising a huge investment in its decrepit industries as well as humanitarian aid.

Advertisement

AGE 64: Narendra Modi

AGE 64: Narendra Modi

Prime minister of India

What makes him powerful: Prime Minister Modi is turning over a new leaf for India. The country's stock index is at record highs. Since he entered office last May, Modi has reworked the government's budget, made bank accounts more accessible to everyone, made advances in reforming labor laws, transformed the government into a more transparent and open place, and formed positive relationships with China, Japan, and the US.

He's a political figure who's putting people's faith back in India, and he's utterly beloved by the people of India. He won the May 2014 election by a landslide, and since then he's kept people's faith in him through his initiatives both home and abroad. He's also one of TIME's most influential people of 2015.

Advertisement

AGE 65: Benjamin Netanyahu

AGE 65: Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister of Israel

What makes him powerful: As the leader of one of the world's most religiously and geopolitically fraught nations, Netanyahu has his hands in nearly every Middle Eastern crisis. Last year he froze contact with the Palestinian government in retaliation for recent moves aimed at gaining greater international support for statehood. Now in his fourth term as prime minister, Netanyahu recently announced that he plans to run for an unprecedented fifth term in the next election.

Advertisement

AGE 66: Tadashi Yanai

AGE 66: Tadashi Yanai

Founder and president of Fast Retailing

What makes him powerful: The richest man in Japan, Fast Retailing founder Yanai is worth $22.3 billion. Yanai's company is best known for core brand Uniqlo, which aims to make stylish, high-quality clothing available to everyone, regardless of economic status. Uniqlo opened its first location in Hiroshima in 1984, and now has 40 stores in the US alone, with plans to continue expanding.

Advertisement

AGE 67: Hillary Clinton

AGE 67: Hillary Clinton

2016 presidential candidate

What makes her powerful: The former secretary of state stepped down from Obama's cabinet at the end of his first term, after cementing "people-to-people diplomacy" as her trademark. She traveled more frequently and visited more countries than any of her predecessors. Despite recent controversies, she's still one of the democratic front-runners in the 2016 presidential election, garnering endorsements from rappers left and right, and calling for a take-down of the 1%.

Advertisement

AGE 68: Janet Yellen

AGE 68: Janet Yellen

US Federal Reserve board chair

What makes her powerful: Yellen was tapped to chair the US Federal Reserve at the beginning of last year, which was a big deal because few people had heard of her before then. But she's already shown a powerful command over the markets when comments she's made since her appointment have caused stocks to climb or tumble within minutes.

Advertisement

AGE 69: Alan Mulally

AGE 69: Alan Mulally

CEO of Ford

What makes him powerful: Mulally, in conjunction with Bill Ford, famously turned around Ford without accepting government handouts — a feat so impressive that he became a leading candidate to take over at Microsoft, despite his lack of high-tech chops. Ford has gone from posting record multibillion-dollar losses in 2006 when he took the helm, to having one of its best years ever in 2013. Revenue for the first quarter of 2015 was $33.9 billion — it's a slight miss, but analysts predict that this will be the low point for Ford's earnings this year.

Advertisement

AGE 70: Larry Ellison

AGE 70: Larry Ellison

Founder of Oracle

What makes him powerful: Ellison shocked the business world last year by stepping down as CEO of Oracle, the database software company he founded. The billionaire — worth an impressive $53.8 billion — stayed on as Oracle's chairman and chief technology officer, however.

The tech giant knows more than just enterprise, though; he's also a real-estate mogul. Called "the nation's most avid trophy-home buyer," he's all but taken over entire neighborhoods in Malibu and the Lake Tahoe area, and bought the entire Hawaiian island of Lanai.

Advertisement

AGE 71: Robert De Niro

AGE 71: Robert De Niro

Award-winning actor

What makes him powerful: De Niro has two Oscars under his belt, and age isn't stopping him from hard work. He has five films in the works for 2015 and 2016, including "Bus 657," "Joy," and "The Intern." De Niro has become a legacy on screen and off, having co-founded the world-famous Tribeca Film Festival.

In addition to his acting career, De Niro is also a force in the hospitality industry. The actor owns three upscale restaurants in New York's Tribeca neighborhood —Nobu, Tribeca Grill, and Locanda Verde — as well as The Greenwich Hotel. He's also behind the Nobu hotel chain, which has locations in Las Vegas and the Philippines.

Advertisement

AGE 72: Joe Biden

AGE 72: Joe Biden

Vice President of the United States

What makes him powerful: First elected to the US Senate at just 29 years old, Biden has had a long career in politics. He served as a Delaware senator for 36 years before taking office as vice president in 2009. As VP, Biden has focused on issues surrounding college affordability and manufacturing growth, helped end the Iraq war, and has worked to improve relations with countries all over the world, including Israel, China, and Japan.

Advertisement

AGE 73: Michael Bloomberg

AGE 73: Michael Bloomberg

Media mogul and former mayor of New York

What makes him powerful: The richest man in New York collected a $1 salary while serving as mayor, made possible thanks to the Bloomberg Terminal. The invention propelled him from a bond trader to a media mogul worth $37.1 billion. To keep busy after leaving the mayor's office, Bloomberg started a consulting group made up of former members of his administration. Bloomberg Associates tackles problems from infrastructure development to crime, and doesn't charge cities a dime for its expertise.

Advertisement

AGE 74: David Koch

AGE 74: David Koch

Co-owner of Koch Industries

What makes him powerful: The Kochs have a massive handle on politics, being some of the first to realize the political potential of social-welfare groups and trade associations, and these organizations have spent more than $383 million just leading up to the 2012 election. And despite Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accusing the Kochs of "trying to buy America" with an anti-Obamacare agenda, David Koch, at least, remains "the Tea Party's wallet,"according to New York magazine's Andrew Goldman.

Advertisement

AGE 75: Carlos Slim Helú

AGE 75: Carlos Slim Helú

Mexican business magnate

What makes him powerful: For four years Slim was the richest person, though he now falls second to Bill Gates. Slim — worth an estimated $79.2 billion — controls three-quarters of the communications market in Mexico. Two years ago Mexican President Pena Nieto sought to take him down a level by boosting competition for fixed-line telephones, cellphones, and television. Slim responded by entering the TV industry, giving América Móvil a new line of business that could generate $1.5 billion in sales by 2018.

Advertisement

AGE 76: Ted Turner

AGE 76: Ted Turner

Media mogul, founder of CNN and TNT

What makes him powerful: After taking over Turner Advertising from his father in 1963, Turner built the company into the now-famous Turner Broadcasting Systems. He's credited with inventing the 24-hour news cycle after founding CNN, the nation's first nonstop news network, in 1980. He also started Turner Network Television, Cartoon Network, and Turner Classic Movies before selling the company to Time Warner for $7.3 billion in 1995. Today, he's one of the nation's largest landowners, with two million acres in six states.

Advertisement

AGE 77: Phil Knight

AGE 77: Phil Knight

Co-founder and chairman of Nike

What makes him powerful: Knight and his old track coach each put up $500 to start the athletic shoe company now known as Nike and now, more than 50 years later, the company is worth $86.2 billion. For his part, Knight has a net worth of $23.3 billion, and is still involved in one of the most valuable sports brands in the world as its chairman.

Advertisement

AGE 78: Pope Francis

AGE 78: Pope Francis

Leader of the Catholic church

What makes him powerful: Since becoming the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years, the Argentina-born pope developed a platform that criticizes the "idolatry of money;" beseeches politicians to guarantee all citizens work, education, and healthcare; and calls on rich people to share their wealth. He's well-liked, partly because he's not afraid to admit he's not perfect.

Last year, Pope Francis also met with victims of clerical sexual abuse for the first time, organized the church's finances, and presided over a ceremony that anointed two of his predecessors to sainthood — one liberal and one conservative — which many saw as an attempt to appeal to both factions of the church.

Advertisement

AGE 79: Amancio Ortega

AGE 79: Amancio Ortega

Founder of Inditex Group

What makes him powerful: Move over, Warren Buffet. Ortega just surpassed the Oracle of Omaha to become the second richest person in the world with a fortune of $71.5 billion.

No. 2 on Forbes' billionaires list, Ortega built one of the most valuable fashion groups in the world with two things in mind: Give customers what they want, and get it to them fast. Thanks to the rapid expansion of his Zara brand and growing real-estate portfolio, Ortega saw his shares of the company (he still owns nearly 60%) grow in value from 2009 to 2014, against the rest of the Spanish stock market.

Advertisement

AGE 80: Ali Al-Naimi

AGE 80: Ali Al-Naimi

Saudi oil minister

What makes him powerful: Al-Naimi presides over the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, and chairs the state-owned Saudi Aramco, the biggest oil company in the world by far. Though oil prices continue to fall, Al-Naimi hasn't cut production yet. He remains confident, stating that "no one can set the price of oil — it's up to Allah." Al-Naimi also remains unfazed by the prospect of Iran re-entering the crude oil market, which could possibly push prices even lower.

Advertisement

AGE 81: Sheldon Adelson

AGE 81: Sheldon Adelson

Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands

What makes him powerful: The fabulously wealthy casino mogul proves there's a lot of money to be made in the gambling industry. With a net worth of $27.5 billion, he's overseeing a campaign against internet gambling in order to protect his earnings, portraying the hobby as dangerous to children and unfairly targeting the poor. He's also very politically involved, and has already stepped up to support republican 2016 presidential candidate Senator Lindsey Graham, in addition to co-authoring a New York Times op-ed last summer, with fellow billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, calling for compromise on immigration reform.

Advertisement

AGE 82: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

AGE 82: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

US Supreme Court Justice

What makes her powerful: Not only is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg the court's second female justice after Sandra Day O'Connor, she's the first-ever Jewish female justice, and a champion of equal rights.

Though she's sat on the court since 1993, Ginsburg has become a pop culture icon in recent years thanks to her witty dissents against cases such as Fisher v. University of Texas, which weakened Affirmative Action laws, or Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which declared that the government can’t require employers to provide insurance for contraceptives that conflict with their religious beliefs. Fans flock to popular Tumblr blog Notorious RBG, which contains everything from political news to RBG memes to t-shirts emblazoned with the justice's likeness.

Advertisement

AGE 83: Raúl Castro

AGE 83: Raúl Castro

President of Cuba

What makes him powerful: The brother of former president Fidel Castro, Raúl Castro is revitalizing Cuba's relations across the globe. Castro had a historic meeting with President Barack Obama earlier this year as the US sets to normalize relations with Cuba, which would allow direct flights from the US to Cuba for the first time in decades. The move would put Cuba and the US on friendlier terms in general, including reopening embassies in the others' countries. Castro is seen as a separate entity from the rule of his brother, and is in good favor with Cubans.

Advertisement

AGE 84: Warren Buffett

AGE 84: Warren Buffett

CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

What makes him powerful: The Oracle of Omaha has an amazing investing track record, which shows not just in the success of his company, but in his own personal wealth of about $70.5 billion.

In 2013, he and 3G Capital bought H.J. Heinz for $28 billion, and recently announced plans to purchase Kraft Food as well. Berkshire Hathaway also added Procter & Gamble's Duracell to its list of name-brand acquisitions last November.

Advertisement

AGE 85: Barbara Walters

AGE 85: Barbara Walters

TV host and journalist

What makes her powerful: Heralded by the president of ABC Entertainment for changing the daytime television landscape with a multi-host model, Walters' impact has spanned the more than five decades of her career. She was the first woman to co-anchor a network evening news show, and has won both primetime and daytime Emmys.

Though she retired from hosting "The View" last May, Walters hasn't fully stopped working yet. She still compiles her annual list of the most fascinating people of the year and steps in for big interviews, such as one with Peter Rodgers, the father of the UC Santa Barbara shooter, last June.

Advertisement

AGE 86: Li Ka-shing

AGE 86: Li Ka-shing

Chairman of Hutchinson Whampoa

What makes him powerful: With a net worth of $28.2 billion, Ka-shing may be the second-richest man in Asia, but his power far exceeds his wealth. He's known for investing in new, blooming tech startups owned by young minds (he was an early Facebook backer who invested in the company as a "high-stakes hobby"). Recently, the company he chairs, Hutchison Whampoa, bought the UK's second largest mobile operator, O2; and last year, he invested $23 million in plant-based egg replacement company Hampton Creek through his Horizon Ventures.

Advertisement

AGE 87: Bhumibol Adulyadej

AGE 87: Bhumibol Adulyadej

King of Thailand

What makes him powerful: Bhumibol Adulyadej is adored and revered across Thailand, and after 65 years is currently the longest-reigning monarch the country has seen yet. He's also a symbol of unity for the people, who look to him as a peaceful mediator, despite his limited political power. Still, he's considered to be the richest monarch in the world, with a fortune of about US$30 billion.

Advertisement

AGE 88: Fidel Castro

AGE 88: Fidel Castro

Former president of Cuba

What makes him powerful: Castro served as prime minister of Cuba for 17 years before becoming president in 1976. After overthrowing Fulgencio Batista in 1959, he established Cuba as the first communist state in the western hemisphere, causing tensions to run high with the US, most notably during the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Recently, Castro made headlines when the Cuban government released new photos of him just to prove he was alive after many speculated that the leader was dead or dying.

Advertisement

AGE 89: Queen Elizabeth II

AGE 89: Queen Elizabeth II

Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms

What makes her powerful: Since her reign began at the age of 25, Queen Elizabeth II has wielded a "soft power," asserting her influence with the prime minister to indirectly affect political change (setting the prime minister's plan for an EU membership referendum in motion, for example). She's the world's oldest-reigning monarch, and the UK's longest-reigning head of state. The Queen is now twice a great-grandmother, when grandson Prince William and his wife Duchess Kate gave birth to a baby girl, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, just a few months ago.

Advertisement

AGE 90: Jimmy Carter

AGE 90: Jimmy Carter

Former US president

What makes him powerful: The 39th president of the United States, Carter helped bring peace between Egypt and Israel through the Camp David agreement of 1978 and reestablished US relations with China. He remained influential even after his term ended, receiving a Nobel peace prize in 2002.

Carter's career isn't without controversy, however. The Iran Hostage Crisis dominated the end of his presidency, and his 2006 book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," garnered much criticism.

Advertisement

AGE 91: Robert Mugabe

AGE 91: Robert Mugabe

President of Zimbabwe

What makes him powerful: Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since the end of white domination in 1980, and retains a fierce grip on the country’s feared security apparatus. The dictator has been accused of vote rigging and setting up "torture camps" where opposition activists are beaten and intimidated into silence. Once a respected anti-colonial leader, Mugabe was reelected in 2013 in an election deemed "free and fair" by a government official.

Advertisement

AGE 92: Normal Lear

AGE 92: Normal Lear

Television writer

What makes him powerful: Lear wrote several of today's best known sitcoms, including "The Jeffersons," "Sanford and Son," "All in the Family," and "Maude," which helped bring issues like politics, sexuality, and race to mainstream TV. He worked in film as well, earning an Oscar nomination in 1968 for best screenplay for "Divorce American Style." PBS series "American Masters" is currently putting together a special all about Lear and his work.

Advertisement

AGE 93: Betty White

AGE 93: Betty White

Actress

What makes her powerful: The "Golden Girls" star has become a pop-culture icon. After showing that the elderly can pull "Punk'd"-style pranks with the best of them in "Off Their Rockers," she's continued making a comeback as the star of TV's "Hot in Cleveland." She recently made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the female entertainer with the longest TV career: 74 years strong, and still going.

Advertisement

AGE 94: Carol Channing

AGE 94: Carol Channing

Actress and singer

What makes her powerful: Broadway legend Channing is best known for her performance in "Hello Dolly!" which earned her the 1964 Tony Award for best lead actress in a musical. Channing also spent her fair share of time on the silver screen, and garnered a Golden Globe and an Oscar nod for her role in 1967's "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

Advertisement

AGE 95: Anne Cox Chambers

AGE 95: Anne Cox Chambers

American media proprietor

What makes her powerful: At 95 years old, Anne Cox Chambers is the fourth-richest woman in the world. She inherited media company Cox Enterprises from her father, still retains majority ownership of the privately-held corporation, and has a net worth of $17.4 billion. Her influence also extends overseas, as she served as the ambassador to Belgium under the Carter presidency.

Advertisement

AGE 96: Henry Hillman

AGE 96: Henry Hillman

American businessman and venture capitalist

What makes him powerful: Hillman earned his $2.5 billion fortune — which landed him the No. 737 spot on Forbes' 2015 billionaires list — by investing the money he inherited from his father through Pittsburgh Coke & Chemical, the family business he dissolved after his father's death in 1959. A founding investor of well-known VC firm Kleiner Perkins, Hillman also doles out millions to successful startups, and got companies like AOL, Amazon, Google, and Citrix off the ground.

Advertisement

AGE 97: Justice Carlos Fayt

AGE 97: Justice Carlos Fayt

Argentinian Supreme Court justice

What makes him powerful: Justice Fayt may not be in great health, but he still presides over the Supreme Court of Argentina and has a "longstanding academic reputation" within the court. Despite his health, he's the justice that won't quit; and while some are calling for him to step down, and others suggest he should be removed from his position, Fayt remains active in the court, continuing his long and successful legal career.

Advertisement

AGE 98: Kirk Douglas

AGE 98: Kirk Douglas

Actor

What makes him powerful: Douglas began acting at a young age, and starred in "Spartacus," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," and "The Bad and the Beautiful." In 1996, he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award for his contributions to the film industry. He's also bred a family of talent like himself — his son Michael Douglas is the most famous, but his other children are also known in the industry as actors, producers, and directors.

Advertisement

AGE 99: David Rockefeller, Sr.

AGE 99: David Rockefeller, Sr.

Former chairman and CEO of Chase National Bank

What makes him powerful: For most of the 20th century, the family name Rockefeller was synonymous with American fortune and might. Rockefeller Sr. — who nets roughly $2.9 billion — is the oldest member of the storied kin and the only living grandchild of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller. Since retiring from Chase National Bank, long connected with his family, he's focused his efforts on philanthropy and the arts.

Advertisement

AGE 100: Herman Wouk

AGE 100: Herman Wouk

Pulitzer prize-winning author

What makes him powerful: Wouk's best known novel, "The Caine Mutiny," spent 47 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, earned him the 1951 Pulitzer prize for fiction, and was turned into a movie starring Humphrey Bogart. The centenarian is also known for weaving Jewish themes through his work, as seen in "War and Remembrance" and "The Winds of War," which both center around the Holocaust. Despite just turning 100, he's not done writing yet. In fact, Wouk will publish his first memoir, "Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author," in December.

Advertisement