Time’s 100 most influential people of 2014–editor’s picks: Profile of notable figures included in Time Magazine’s annual ranking

April 30th, 2014


TITAN: Pony Ma

After graduating from Shenzhen University’s department of computer science, Ma began a career in computing at Runxun Communication Development Co., Ltd. In 1999, he founded Tencent Inc., an instant messaging service, which is currently valued at over $65 billion and is the fifth-largest Internet company in the world.


TITAN: Tony Fadell

While studying at the University of Michigan, Fadell became the CEO of Constructive Instruments. In 2001, he began working at Apple and helped to develop the first iPod. He left Apple to found Nest Labs alongside a colleague from Apple. There he developed a Wi-Fi-enabled programable thermostat. This invention was recently sold to Google for over $3 billion.


PIONEER: Alfonso Cuarón

Cuarón was born in Mexico City to a family with a passion for film. He attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico under a film program, but was eventually expelled after doing a project in English. He directed highly successful films such as “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Gravity,” for which he an Oscar for Best Director.


PIONEER: Robert Lanza

Lanza worked to clone human embryos for he first time and demonstrated that preimplantation genetic diagnosis methods could be used to develop new embryonic stem cells without harming the original embryos. He has also used stem cells to find a method of curing blindness. He is currently the chief scientific officer of advanced cell technology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.


ARTIST: Benedict Cumberbatch

Cumberbatch Time 100 WORLD

            Cumberbatch attended Harrow Public School on an arts scholarship, where he played rugby and eventually developed an interest in theater arts. He studied drama at the University of Manchester and later went to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He is known for the title role in BBC’s hit television show “Sherlock” as well as films such as “Star Trek: Into Darkness.”


ARTIST: Steve McQueen

McQueen studied film at the University of London. After coming to America, he went to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts but left because he believed the program valued techniques more than substance. He is known for directing “Shade” and “12 Years a Slave,” which won three Academy Awards including Best Picture; this was the first film made by a black director to ever win this award.


LEADER: Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew

Pettigrew Time 100 WORLD

            Pettigrew was born to drug-addicted parents and spent 18 years in and out of the foster care system. At 10 years old, she was forced into sex trafficking until she escaped seven years later. Currently a college student, Pettigrew testified before Congress last October speaking out against the $96 billion industry.


LEADER: Jerry Brown

Brown spent three years in a Jesuit seminary, but eventually earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and worked as a law clerk for the California Supreme Court. After finishing a term as California’s secretary of state, he ran for governor of California in 1974. As governor, e eliminated the state deficit totaling over $26 billion and helped to create 320,000 private sector jobs in the state.


ICON: Malala Yousafzai

Yousafzai spoke out against the Taliban, who were attacking nearby girls’ schools. She won the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011 for her activism.  In October 2012, a Taliban gunman shot 15-year-old Malala in the head while she was on her way home from school. She made a miraculous recovery and continues to advocate education.


ICON: Charlie Rose

After earning a Juris Doctor degree from Duke University, he began working as a managing editor at PBS and became a correspondent for NBC News in 1976. He is an Emmy Award- winning news broadcaster who anchored for “CBS News Nightwatch,” “60 Minutes II” and  currently anchors for “CBS This Morning,” as well as his own program, “Charlie Rose,” which airs on PBS.