Editor-in-Chief for the Time 100, Edward Felsenthal explained how the magazine chose the 100 people on the list. “Influence increasingly knows no single zip code and no minimum age.” The current list, just released, has expected names such as President Trump. But several names surprise. We have chosen to highlight five of the most interesting members of the Time 100.
1. J.J. Watt
Hurricane Harvey brought Watt to an even higher pedestal than he already enjoyed. The historic storm brought 50 inches of rain to the Houston area, damaging more than 300,000 homes. Watt jumped into the recovery effort right away, raising more than $37 million. In the process, he raised the spirits of the fourth largest city in America.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner: “Every few years, a professional athlete touches the heart and soul of a city in a way that has nothing to do with athleticism. Such is the case with Houston Texans star J.J. Watt, who is a star on and off the field.”
2. Bhavish Aggarwal
You may not know this name. Aggarwal is India’s version of Bill Gates. From the town of Ludhiana, which is best known as the world’s largest manufacturing center for bicycles, Aggarwal co-founded Ola, one of the world’s largest ride-sharing companies. This made him one of the richest men in the world at the ripe old age of 32.
Sachin Bansal: “It’s easy to forget the struggles Bhavish faced while building one of India’s most storied startups. From bootstrapping Ola when Indian consumer tech was still taking baby steps to braving regulatory hurdles and fighting off foreign competitors, Bhavish has driven around the block a few times. He is one of the most polite, soft-spoken, genuine men you will ever meet.”
3. Sean Hannity
The most watched host in cable news, Hannity has risen from construction worker to political heavyweight. With the retirement of Bill O’Reilly, Hannity has emerged as the most popular – and controversial – figure in prime time cable.
Newt Gingrich: “Sean Hannity has a remarkable impact between three hours of radio and an hour of TV every day. His fans listen to him and learn from him. One of his biggest fans is President Donald Trump, who routinely watches the TV show and talks with Sean as a fellow New Yorker. Hannity played a major role in helping Trump get the nomination and win the general election. Sean is both a principled conservative and a ferocious opponent of the left and the deep state. He has made and is making a difference.”
4. Carl June
Dr. June has created a treatment called T cell, that trains immune systems to fight against cancer. It has saved the lives of countless children, through a complex treatment plan and induced coma. One such patient is 12-year-old Emily Whitehead, a child cancer survivor, thanks to June’s treatment.
Emily Whitehead: “I was a fun and energetic child. Then I spent two years in a hospital getting cancer treatment, but it wasn’t working for me. That’s when my parents and I learned about an experimental treatment, called T cell. It hadn’t been tried on a pediatric patient before. My parents believed it was the right choice for me, so we transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to enter the trial. After getting the treatment, I went into a 14-day coma and awakened on my seventh birthday. But the treatment had worked! Dr. June saved my life and had a huge impact on my family. Without him, I wouldn’t be here today writing this. Dr. June is my hero!”
5. Roger Federer
Widely acknowledged as the greatest tennis player to ever pick up a racket, Roger Federer is much more than that. At age 36, he’s still winning Grand Slam tournaments, putting his records further out of reach every year. But it is what Federer has done off the court that landed him a spot on the Time 100.
Bill Gates: “Roger and his team work tirelessly to improve the life prospects for poor children – a mission that stems from his childhood visits to his mother’s home country of South Africa and seeing extreme poverty firsthand. Roger knows that effective philanthropy, like great tennis, requires discipline and time. It will be a sad day for all of us fans when he hangs up his racket – but we can take comfort in knowing that he is committed to making the world a more equitable place.”