From Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal bundle of joy — third in line of succession to the British throne — to 98-year-old David Rockefeller, the oldest billionaire alive, it’s evident that authority transcends shape, size, and age.
Power is, in fact, relative to a person’s capacity to enact change or direct the behaviour of others when compared to his or her peer’s ability to do the same.
In creating this list, we considered three criteria to determine power. A person’s sphere of influence was the greatest indicator, followed by potential for acquiring future power, and estimated net worth. If two candidates of the same age seemed equally powerful, their net worth served as the deciding factor.
Now it’s time to meet the most powerful people in politics, tech, finance, entertainment, sports, retail, and culture, ages 0 to 100.
Son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
What makes him powerful: After his grandfather and father, the royal bundle of joy is third in line to succeed his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. In April, the 8-month-old embarked on his first royal tour, a 19-day visit to New Zealand and Australia.
Granddaughter of former President George W. Bush
What makes her powerful: The younger twin daughter of Laura and George W. Bush, Jenna Bush Hager and her husband, Henry Hager, gave birth last year to their first child, Margaret Laura Hager. Little 'Mila' joins the Bush family as the first granddaughter -- and great-granddaughter -- to two former U.S. presidents.
Daughter of Beyoncé and Jay Z
What makes her powerful: Blue Ivy -- a name her parents tried (unsuccessfully) to trademark -- is the offspring of hip-hop and pop's two biggest moguls. She's already a fashion trendsetter, world traveller, and recording artist, having appeared on Jay Z's song 'Glory' and Queen Bey's song 'Blue.'
Youngest member of the Arizona chapter of Mensa
What makes her powerful: The 3-year-old was recently admitted to the global society for geniuses after a standardized intelligence test showed her to have an IQ of 160. Martin reads at a fifth-grade level and taught herself Spanish with an iPad. Her induction into the Arizona chapter of Mensa makes her its youngest member.
Son of Twitter founder and former CEO Evan Williams
What makes him powerful: When Evan Williams and his wife, Sara Morishige, welcomed their first child into the world, the new mum live-tweeted her labour. Following in dad's footsteps, Miles locked down the Twitter handle @miles and has 37 followers (it's a private account).
Son of Google co-founder Sergey Brin
What makes him powerful: Benji Brin, the son of one of the most notable names in tech, reportedly had a domain name just days after he was born. Benji has been involved in mother Anne Wojcicki's enterprise genetics-testing startup 23andMe. Gawker reported that the powerful tech couple donated some of Benji's DNA to 23andMe for the good of science.
Daughter of Jeff Gordon
What makes her powerful: The list of legacy racing families -- which includes Earnhardt, Andretti, Petty, and Unsder -- might soon add the Gordon clan. Ella, the daughter of a four-time Sprint Cup champion, took her first laps on the race track this month. She drives a quarter midget, the same car Jeff Gordon raced as a boy, which is labelled with her name and No. 24, her dad's racing number.
One of the highest-paid YouTube stars
What makes him powerful: At just 7 years old, Evan is the 20th-highest-paid YouTube star, earning up to an estimated $US1.32 million yearly income after YouTube's 45% cut. With over 476,000 subscribers and 443 million total views, Evan, who vlogs under the auspices of EvanTubeHD, reviews toys and video games for viewers. His channel has a dedicated ad-sales team, which puts the proceeds from the channel into investment and savings accounts for Evan and his sister.
Eldest daughter of Felipe and Letizia, Prince and Princess of Asturias
What makes her powerful: Leonor is second in the line of succession to the Spanish throne after her father. According to the Spanish Constitution of 1978, she will become Princess of Asturias and later Queen regent of Spain if her parents do not produce a male heir.
The first female golf champion at Augusta National
What makes her powerful: Xu has achieved what many female pro golfers can only aspire to achieve: the title of Augusta National champion. The 9-year-old won the girls' 9-and-under division earlier this month, 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.
What makes her powerful: At 9 years old, Wallis became the youngest ever Academy Award nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She had to lie about her age to audition for 'Beasts of the Southern Wild,' and she beat 4,000 contenders for the starring role. Next up: a starring role in 'Annie' with Jamie Foxx.
Other powerful 10-year-olds: Vivienne Harr, who established a lemonade stand and a movement called Make a Stand to help fight slavery, rang the opening bell on the day of Twitter's initial public offering. Also: 'Kid President' Robby Novak, who just scored a TV series, which premieres on The Hub Network in June.
Founder of Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up
What makes her powerful: The youngest person to be interviewed by Forbes, Zuriel Oduwole started the 'Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up' program to inspire girls in Africa to achieve their dreams of an education. Oduwole, who has interviewed a dozen presidents and prime ministers from all over Africa, was named in December as one of the most influential Africans by New Africa magazine.
Daughter of Bill and Melinda Gates
What makes her powerful: The Gates' youngest child will get her hands on a reported $US10 million in inheritance from the richest person alive. Her dad Bill has said he will give an undisclosed sum to each of his three children and donate the rest to charity.
Another powerful 12-year-old: First Daughter Sasha Obama will decide where the first family lives after leaving the White House.
Creator of Bullyvention.com
What makes him powerful: The Virginia middle-school student started his bullying-prevention blog to 'use technology to bring lawmakers and teens together.' Bullyvention is not just a place anyone can speak out against bullying: It's also a tool that can be used to locate cyberbullying as it's happening around the country through a heat map that Puri created to track and record bullying patterns. Puri's is now the first website to team up with the U.S. House of Representatives' Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus.
What makes him powerful: This Zuckerberg-to-be is barely a teenager and already lords over a mini tech empire. He's the creator of a website called YouTell, launched in 2012 and built with the help of one of his dad's programmer friends. The site lets Facebook friends talk anonymously to one another, and has become popular with Singer's age group.
YouTell landed him two patents, five employees, 3.1 million users, and $US200,000 of seed funding, which allowed him to expand into the app market with Backdoor (iOS) and Backchat (Android).
Daughter of President Barack Obama
What makes her powerful: Obama's daughter accompanied her mother and younger sister on a trip to China last month where she met with President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan. Not only was the trip a notable foreign-policy move -- it was also a notable fashion move. A-list celebrities' kids lusted after Malia Obama's dress, a navy-and-red floral piece from Topshop, which sold out shortly after she appeared in it.
Women's education activist
What makes her powerful: Yousafzai is a young Pakistani student who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Her refusal to stand down from what she believed was right has brought to light the plight of millions of children around the world who are denied an education.
Last year, she was favoured to become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate ever, released a memoir, 'I Am Malala,' and became a Time magazine cover girl. Her goal is to become the prime minister of Pakistan.
Grammy Award-winning music artist
What makes her powerful: She's only 17, but New Zealand native Lorde -- real name Ella Yelich-O'Connor -- is a powerful player in the music industry with a lot of influence over teens and young adults. The youngest to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 26 years, Lorde took home two major awards at this year's Grammys.
What makes her powerful: A social-media goddess and ascendant fashion icon, Mota has turned her YouTube channel into a full-blown career and 'celebridom.' Her most popular channel features makeup tutorials, DIY, and 'haul videos' in which she shows off her most recent shopping finds.
The teen-apparel fixture has more Instagram followers than Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan combined, as well as a clothing and jewelry line at Aéropostale. Several sources familiar with YouTube advertising suggest she's pulling down $US40,000 a month from her videos alone.
Small forward for the University of Kansas Jayhawks
What makes him powerful: People call Andrew Wiggins, the small forward for the Kansas Jayhawks, the next LeBron James. And while his team lost to Stanford during the NCAA tournament, the 6-foot-8-inch Canadian with a sweet slam-dunk is considered the best player in the loaded 2014 NBA draft.
Grammy Award-winning musical artist
What makes him powerful: Over the past year, the Bieb's reputation has taken quite the tumble, thanks to a string of fights with paparazzi, pot-smoking allegations, and a DUI arrest. Still, Bieber has a net worth of $US58 million and is the second-most-popular celebrity on Twitter, with more than 50 million followers. He's being heralded for his marketing genius for updating his squeaky clean image to attract an older and broader fan base.
Inventor of the Oculus Rift
What makes him powerful: Luckey is the founder of Oculus VR, a startup that makes virtual-reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift. His products were so impressive they caught the attention of Mark Zuckerberg, and Luckey's company was recently acquired by Facebook for $US2 billion. Oculus VR doesn't make a consumer product yet, but its headset for video-game developers has changed the way many people experience video games altogether.
What makes him powerful: No other player in the 2014 World Cup will be under as much scrutiny as Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior -- known around the world simply as Neymar -- a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Brazilian national team. He's proved he can handle the pressure in international competition, winning the Golden Ball award as MVP in the 2013 Confederations Cup.
While Neymar has had trouble finding his footing at Barcelona, on a team that already features Lionel Messi, he still earns 3.8 million pounds per goal.
CEO of Snapchat
What makes him powerful: As the creator of an app with 70 million users around the world, Spiegel is a dominant force in tech. He faced some backlash when he decided not to apologise for an information security breach, but the tech world waits patiently to see what his next move will be after turning down a $3 billion offer from Facebook.
Other powerful 23-year-olds: Magnus Carlsen of Norway won the world chess championship in November and ushered in a new era of the game. Jennifer Lawrence still commands the screen as the lead in the successful 'Hunger Games' franchise.
Grammy Award-winning musical artist
What makes her powerful: Swift may have gone home empty-handed from this year's Grammy Awards, but she's still the highest-paid singer. She topped Billboard's list for the second year in a row by bringing in nearly $US40 million, crushing it with merchandising, branding, and perhaps the best metric of fan passion: touring. Her sweet-spot demo captures revenue from every angle, while her global Red Tour put an estimated $30 million in her pocket.
Forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder
What makes him powerful: The next presumed NBA MVP scores about 20 shots a game and leads his team to impressive victories. Even LeBron has voiced jealousy of the 6-foot-9-inch forward's skills. People talk about the vast expanse of his arms (which span over 7 feet when outstretched), his quick release, and his superhuman-like hand-eye coordination, all of which make him a force to be reckoned with.
Another powerful 25-year-old: Inbee Park has been ranked No. 1 in the Women's World Golf Rankings for almost an entire year.
What makes him powerful: In the battle for maestro of La Liga, Messi might fall short of Cristiano Ronaldo in total goals scored this season, but the FC Barcelona and Argentina national team forward does seem to set records every time he sets foot on the pitch. He became the youngest player to score 200 league goals in Spain at 25, has scored against 100 goalkeepers, and nets a goal every 78 minutes, ahead of Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez, and Ronaldo.
Despite his numerous club titles, some say he needs to win the World Cup with Argentina to cement his place among all-time greats such as Diego Maradona and Pelé.
CEO of Tumblr
What makes him powerful: Karp's unnaturally accelerated success with Tumblr completely negates the fact that he didn't even finish traditional high school. Yahoo paid $1.1 billion in cash for his company last year, and Karp remains CEO. Karp ranked No. 2 on Business Insider's 2013 Silicon Alley 100 list.
Grammy Award-winning musician
What makes her powerful: The Mother Monster beat chart-topping artists such as Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift to become the second-highest-paid musician. Lady Gaga reeled in $US80 million last year, a figure that would have been higher had an injury not cut her Born This Way Ball Tour short.
CEO of Facebook
What makes him powerful: He's built the largest social network ever, with over 1 billion users, and from WhatsApp to Oculus VR, Zuckerberg has overseen a number of huge Facebook acquisitions in the past year. Now the Zuck has the ear of the White House: He recently took a trip to Washington after calling President Obama to express 'frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future.' He was subsequently invited to chat with other tech powerfuls about privacy and intelligence in technology.
Another powerful 29-year-old: LeBron James took the NBA championship and was named the NBA and Finals MVP for the second year in a row.
Former National Security Agency systems analyst
What makes him powerful: Snowden, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, perpetrated one of the greatest intelligence leaks in U.S. history. Last May, Snowden snuck as many as 200,000 classified documents out of an NSA facility, fled to Hong Kong, and distributed documents to journalists. The collection -- which includes NSA intelligence reports, spying requests from other U.S. government agencies, and information on the mass surveillance of citizens -- disrupted American ties with allies and benefited adversaries.
Supreme leader of North Korea
What makes him powerful: Last month, North Korea claimed that voters in the country unanimously re-elected supreme leader Kim Jong-un. He isn't the most favourably viewed leader in the world, but it's hard to deny his influence. He can snap his fingers and have anyone -- be it family or North Korean officials -- executed. And he gets Dennis Rodman to sing him 'Happy Birthday.'
Grammy Award-winning musician
What makes her powerful: Queen Bey is the third-most-honored woman in Grammy history, claiming 17 wins and 46 nominations. While some say her sexual empowerment is a far cry from feminism, others laud her songs like 'Run The World (Girls)' for wearing the label proudly. She's half of the highest-earning celebrity couple -- she and music-mogul husband Jay Z took home $US95 million last year.
Another powerful 32-year-old: Kate Middleton, aka the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to the heir to the British throne in July 2013.
CEO of Burger King Worldwide
What makes him powerful: Schwartz became the CEO of Burger King Worldwide in June 2013, making him one of the youngest CEOs of a major corporation. The Cornell alum was previously the company's CFO, and its deputy CFO before that.
Another powerful 33-year-old: Kim Kardashian is a notable influence -- both good and not so good -- in entertainment, and she just landed her first Vogue cover.
Vice chair of the Clinton Foundation
What makes her powerful: Clinton, the only child of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, works alongside her parents to strengthen health care in the U.S. and abroad. Outside of the foundation, she works as a correspondent for NBC News.
The former First Daughter is keeping an open mind about running for public office, if at some point she felt she could no longer support her elected representatives.
Point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers
What makes him powerful: Last year, at 34, Kobe became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points. A torn Achilles tendon took him out of the game over the summer, but he was back on the court in December. He has been called the hardest-working player in the NBA.
Grammy Award-winning musical artist
What makes him powerful: Kanye has been compared to Steve Jobs, Picasso, Michael Jordan, Jimi Hendrix, and even God -- of course Yeezy drew those comparisons himself. His sixth studio album, 'Yeezus,' was certified gold less than two months after release, later went platinum, and inspired a film coming to theatres.
Kanye makes the list because, as radical and self-indulgent as he is, all of America tunes in to hear what he has to say.
What makes him powerful: Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the highest-earning athlete in the world -- once pocketing $40 million for a single fight -- and with homes, cars, and an impressive shoe collection, he knows exactly how he wants to spend his paychecks. He's also undefeated: In 45 career matches, Mayweather hasn't lost a fight yet.
CEO of Yahoo
What makes her powerful: This former Googler is proof you can teach old dogs -- like ageing Internet giant Yahoo -- new tricks. In her two years since taking the reins, she got a redesign to go through, put mobile first (and meant it), and acquired an insane number of companies. Called a 'destroyer of startups,' Mayer has ransacked Silicon Valley to cobble together a younger, hipper team at Yahoo.
Golden Globe-winning actor
What makes him powerful: The recent Golden Globe winner saw monstrous box-office success with 'The Great Gatsby' and 'The Wolf of Wall Street.' His portrayal of financial scumbag Jordan Belfort won DiCaprio some of the best reviews of his career. He has yet to win an Oscar, but DiCaprio continues to make movies that everyone wants to see simply because he's in them.
Co-founder and director of special projects at Google
What makes him powerful: Larry Page's 'other half' is responsible for trying to decide which ideas Google will pursue. He oversees Google X's 'moon shots,' 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.
Google recently carried out its plan to split its stock, consolidating the voting power of executives Brin, Page, and executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
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 $US18 billion in profits -- money that Page will be able to use to forward his grand visions for granting Internet access to the world.
CEO of Tesla and Space X
What makes him powerful: Arguably the greatest inventor alive, Elon Musk steered three revolutionary companies to monstrous success, while his own fortune more than tripled in the last year. Tesla's on a fast and furious quest to disrupt the auto industry, with plans underway to build a massive Gigafactory. SpaceX launched the first commercial satellite into orbit and is under agreement with NASA to resupply the International Space Station.
Musk, who made his fortune co-founding PayPal, was the inspiration for Tony Stark's character in 'Iron Man.'
What makes him powerful: In a short time Ted Cruz went from being the GOP's ultimate conservative purist to one of the most despised men in the U.S. Senate, provoking the federal government shutdown last year. Still, the Tea Party rep has made an impression with his take-no-prisoners and make-no-compromises approach to legislating. He staged a 21-hour faux filibuster to defund Obamacare. He failed then, but recently had his bill to bar Iran's U.N. envoy from entering the U.S. pass in the Senate, a tidy win for the Texas freshman minority senator.
What makes him powerful: The 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee has become a powerful member of Congress. Currently chair of the House Budget Committee, he recently unveiled the House Republican budget, which would cut government spending by $US1.5 trillion over the next 10 years and repeal the Affordable Care Act.
He's also the clear front-runner to successor Rep. Dave Camp as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, where he would be in charge of policies governing Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and more.
Another powerful 45-year-old: 'Lean In' author Sheryl Sandberg is credited with bringing adult supervision to Facebook and is one of the world's first self-made billionaire women.
CEO of Baidu
What makes him powerful: Money is power, and Robin Li has a lot of both. With an estimated net worth of $US12.1 billion, he's one of the richest people in tech. And as the CEO of China's top search engine, Li's like the Larry Page of Asia. According to Bloomberg, Li said in October that his company would invest even more aggressively in mobile search; installments of its search app rose to 330 million users -- an increase of 50% -- from June to September.
Venture capitalist and co-founder of Palantir Technologies
What makes him powerful: Famous for being Facebook's first investor, and co-founder and former CEO at PayPal, Thiel has another big winner with big-data consultancy Palantir Technologies. The semisecret firm has worked for the FBI and CIA, and raised $107.5 million in December.
Thiel's name is synonymous with entrepreneurship. His venture firm Founders Fun helps power Airbnb, Practice Fusion, and payments company Stripe; and each year, Thiel gives 20 teenagers $US100,000 to drop out of college and start a company.
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 $US9 billion. He was orphaned as a child and today lives a luxurious lifestyle full of superyachts, commercial aeroplanes, getaway homes all over the world, and a friendship with Vladimir Putin. Abramovich's stake in steel company Evraz lost about two-thirds of its value in 2013, but he continues to do business in metals.
Another powerful 47-year-old: Recently appointed Walmart CEO Doug McMillon runs the No. 1 company in the 2013 Fortune 500.
Best-selling author of the Harry Potter series
What makes her powerful: Rowling, who ignited a new generation of readers with her magical series, became the first billionaire author. She's still cashing in on the boy wizard 17 years later. In an unprecedented move, 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 consumers. The Pottermore site allows Rowling to reap 100% of everything she sells.
CEO of Amazon
What makes him powerful: Amazon seems to be stretching into new frontiers every few weeks, from its drones program to its quest to dominate mobile payments. The e-commerce giant has been making a lot of moves in hardware lately, with Fire TV and an upcoming smartphone that will let you see 3-D images without wearing special glasses.
Bezos puzzled everyone when he scooped up The Washington Post last August, but he has some pretty shrewd plans for saving the paper.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
Retired NBA player
What makes him powerful: Despite the fact that Michael Jordan hasn't played in an NBA game in more than 10 years, he's still one of the highest-earning athletes. The royalties he gets from MJ-branded shoes, steakhouses, and other products -- not to mention he's the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats -- earns him about $US90 million a year. He's got a lot of confidence in his legacy, too. In October, Jordan said he could have beaten LeBron in his prime, and called out Kobe for 'stealing his moves.'
Other powerful 51-year-olds: Despite the Bridgegate scandal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may still be making a run for president in 2016. Also, Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela, though the country has been in turmoil as of late.
President of the United States
What makes him powerful: Some say Obama's lame-duck period has set in early, considering the abysmal launch of Obamacare, the 16-day government shutdown, and the NSA's surveillance blunders. Still, POTUS remains in charge of the most powerful nation in the world.
In his second term, he's turned his attention and focus to foreign policy. The leader of the free world has his work cut out for him -- tackling negotiations over Iran's nukes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Syria's chemical-weapons program.
CEO of Apple
What makes him powerful: For nearly three years as CEO, Cook has overseen the release of dozens of new products that people wait hours in line for, and Cook recently stated that iOS is killing it in enterprise. Cook joined Twitter just this fall, where he proved that people hang on his every character. His first tweet was retweeted over 8,000 times and favorited over 4,000 times. In 2012, Cook topped The Wall Street Journal's list of the highest-paid CEOs.
Honorary chairman, chief creative officer, and director of Michael Kors
What makes him powerful: The longtime star of 'Project Runway' just became a billionaire, as shares of his namesake company surged after posting better-than-expected profit. He owns about 2% of the luxury goods company, valued at $US390 million.
Kors got his start in fashion after dropping out of the Fashion Institute of Technology in his first year and being discovered by a Bergdorf Goodman buyer. He launched his line in 1981.
Entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks
What makes him powerful: The successful entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks has opinions on tech and football and when he voices them everyone listens. In his role as a shark on ABC's 'Shark Tank,' he also has the power to make a budding entrepreneur's dream come true with ample funding and guidance from someone who's been there.
CEO of IBM
What makes her powerful: Rometty heads up the biggest computer company by revenue, generating $US104.5 billion annually. In light of four consecutive misses on revenue expectations, however, she's shaking up the global technology giant.
Software has always been the lifeblood of IBM, but Rometty is ready to turn that business on its head to own the up-and-coming cloud-computing market. She vows to spend another $US1 billion to put its entire software portfolio into the cloud, and spend another $US1 billion to turn IBM's super-smart Watson technology into a cloud service.
Founder and technology adviser of Microsoft
What makes him powerful: The godfather of personal computing recently came back to work at Microsoft, a company he founded in 1975. He will spend a third of his time helping with future product direction and the company's desktop applications, and expects to spend the remainder of his week devoted to charity work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Harvard dropout is the richest person alive, worth $US77 billion.
Another powerful 58-year-old: As its CEO, Jamie Dimon shepherded JPMorgan Chase, and its $2.3 trillion in assets to boot, through the global financial crisis.
Chancellor of Germany
What makes her powerful: She's been called 'Europe's most dangerous leader' and the 'Iron Frau,' among other things for her handling of the euro crisis, but even then 70% of all Germans thought Merkel was the one to save the euro. She was just re-elected to her third term as chancellor of Germany, and is more popular than ever.
Another powerful 59-year-old: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pioneered a three-tier approach -- nicknamed 'Abenomics' -- to get the Japanese economy humming again.
President of China
What makes him powerful: Jinping is positioning himself as 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 -- 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.
Jinping does, however, stand firmly by China's system of government, saying that the Community Party is the only model proven to work for China.
Other powerful 60-year-old: Oprah Winfrey hosted and produced the top-rated, award-winning 'Oprah Winfrey Show' for 25 years, created a TV network, and is the richest African-American in the world.
President of Russia
What makes him powerful: Vladimir Putin regained his grip on power after he took on the role as undisputed leader of opposition to Obama's planned intervention in Syria, and won. Now he has his hands tied up in Ukraine and has other world leaders wringing their hands.
When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Syria could avoid attack by turning over its chemical weapons, Putin pounced. He proposed a plan to place Syria's weapons under international control, which would delay a U.S. congressional vote in favour of a diplomatic solution. Essentially, he put the U.S. in check. Russia spent more than £50 billion on the Sochi Olympics -- or 'Putin's Olympics' as Sochi residents were calling it -- making these the most expensive Winter Games in history.
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 15th-largest GDP at $1.15 trillion.
Earlier this month, 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.
CEO of ArcelorMittal
What makes him powerful: Mittal is the subcontinent's second-richest man, with an estimated net worth of $US16.7 billion, and the CEO of the world's largest steel company, ArcelorMittal. He employs hundreds of thousands of people in more than 60 countries, and is a member of a number of powerful boards, including Goldman Sachs and European Aeronautic Defence. He's also part of the World Steel Association's Executive Committee, so he has eyes -- and hands -- everywhere.
Other powerful 63-year-olds: Arianna Huffington commands one of the largest media corporations in the world. CEO Bob Iger oversees Disney as the release date for the first of three more 'Star Wars' movies approaches.
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. He recently froze contact with the Palestinian government in retaliation for recent moves aimed at gaining greater international support for statehood -- crippling the U.S.-mediated peace talks that are set to expire at the end of the month. This leaves Netanyahu sitting squarely between two roles: historic peacemaker and mayor of Israel.
CEO of LVMH
What makes him powerful: The CEO of luxury-brand empire LVMH since 1989, Arnault oversees an expansive umbrella of luxury, with 60 brands including Dom Perignon, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Sephora. His fortune was up $US4.5 billion in the past year, placing him at No. 13 on Forbes' billionaires list.
Another powerful 65-year-old: Tadashi Yanai's company Uniqlo is a retail dynamo that's set to take over the world.
Former U.S. Secretary of State
What makes her powerful: Nearly the entire Democratic party, most of the media, and big liberal donors count Clinton as the presidential front-runner in 2016. She 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.
The former First Lady is also Internet famous, having inspired this viral Texts from Hillary meme.
Federal Reserve board chair
What makes her powerful: Yellen was just tapped to chair the Federal Reserve at the beginning of this year, which is 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.
CEO of Ford Motor Co.
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 the company generated a profit of $8.6 billion, an increase of $US603 million from a year ago.
Co-founder and co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co.
What makes him powerful: While the legendary bond investor's reputation continues to plummet after the former CEO's shady departure, Gross may still be the most powerful man in the market. He manages PIMCO's $236 billion Total Return Fund, the largest fund in the world, which posted its first loss since 1999 in 2013. Over the last five years, the behemoth bond shop has launched more than 150 investment funds across multiple platforms.
What makes him powerful: 'The Wolf of Wall Street' became one of the most controversial films of the director's 50-year career. Scorsese, who's behind classics including 'Taxi Driver,' 'Raging Bull,' and 'Goodfellas,' publicly defended the glitzy, morally depraved comedy and landed his eighth Best Director Oscar nomination for it. While he was ultimately passed up for the win, Scorsese's movie had effect elsewhere: the job market. According to a four-month study by job-search site Indeed.com, there was a spike in the number of searches for stockbroker positions around the release of the film.
Another powerful 71-year-old: Vice President Joe Biden is President Obama's political right-hand man.
Former New York City mayor
What makes him powerful: The richest mayor in New York City collected a $US1 salary as mayor, made possible because of the Bloomberg Terminal. The invention propelled him from a bond trader to a media mogul worth $31 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.
Co-owner of Koch Industries
What makes him powerful: The Kochs have a massive handle on politics, being some of the first to realise the political potential of social-welfare groups and trade associations, and these organisations have spent more than $US383 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.
Honorary chairman of América Móvil
What makes him powerful: Slim's four-year run as the world's richest person came to an end in 2013, but he's arguably more dominant than his successor, Bill Gates. Slim -- worth an estimated $71 billion -- controls three-quarters of the communications market in Mexico. A year ago, Mexico's President Pena Nieto sought to take him down a level by boosting competition for fixed-line telephones, mobile phones, 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.
Chairman of Safra Group
What makes him powerful: Safra leads a global banking empire with tens of billions in assets, and the Lebanese-born Brazilian resident is also extremely generous, donating tons of money to good causes around the world through the philanthropic organisation he named after his late brother. At 75, Safra continues to lead a busy life; last year he merged private Swiss bank Bank Sarasin with his other European banks to form Bank J. Safra Sarasin. He acquired more than a dozen properties in the U.S., beefing up his already hefty real-estate portfolio even more.
Chairman of Nike
What makes him powerful: Knight started selling Japanese running shoes out of the trunk of his car in 1964 and, more than 10 years later, renamed the company Nike. The sports-apparel juggernaut is more culturally relevant than ever: It designed the U.S. men's national team jersey for the World Cup, launched into the wearables industry with the Fuel Band, and counts 64% of the NBA among its shoe endorsers.
Knight made the third-largest charitable gift last year, donating $500 million to cancer research at his alma mater, the University of Oregon.
Leader of the Roman Catholic Church
What makes him powerful: Since becoming the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years, in March 2013, the Argentina-born Francis developed a platform that criticises the 'idolatry of money,' beseeches politicians to guarantee all citizens work, education, and health care, 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. Pope Francis even publicly confessed his sins for all the world to hear.
Founder of Inditex Group
What makes him powerful: Ortega built his fashion empire on two basic rules: Give customers what they want and get it to them fast. His methodology paid off. The third-richest person in the world is up a total of $US26.5 billion in the past two years, thanks to the rapid expansion of his Zara brand and growing real-estate portfolio. Though he stepped down as chairman of Inditex in 2011, he still owns nearly 60% of its shares.
Another powerful 78-year-old: Veteran activist investor Carl Icahn stepped back into the spotlight with a net worth up $US5.5 billion last year, thanks to big bets on Netflix and Herbalife.
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, by far the biggest oil company in the world. He's on the good side of the U.S. right now when it comes to oil and energy, having recently said he viewed the increase in U.S. oil production as a new source of supply that will help stabilise oil markets.
Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands
What makes him powerful: The casino mogul made an average of $US32 million a day over the last year, the third most of anyone alive. In an effort to protect his earnings, he's overseeing a campaign against Internet gambling, portraying it as dangerous to children and unfairly targeting the poor. Sheldon nets about $US36 billion.
He's also one of the most prolific political donors of the super PAC era. He's considered a wild card, after misguidedly dumping $US20 million into Newt Gingrich's long-shot presidential campaign in 2012.
Prime Minister of India
What makes him powerful: The Oxbridge-educated Singh is the only prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a five-year term, and the first Sikh to hold the office. Singh's former media adviser's recent book calls into doubt the prime minister's ability to rule, alleging that Sonia Gandhi was the 'super Prime Minister,' but Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi publicly defended Singh, saying 'only Manmohan Singh was super PM.'
Another powerful 81-year-old: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the second female justice after Sandra Day O'Connor, and the first Jewish female justice.
President of Cuba
What makes him powerful: Fidel Castro's brother and successor is revitalizing Cuba's relations across the globe, encouraging talks with the U.S. and the European Union while reiterating that the country's political and economic systems are non-negotiable. The U.S. and Cuba have not had diplomatic relations since the Communist revolution led by Fidel more than 50 years ago, but incremental changes in U.S.-Cuba policy have allowed greater communication with people on the island and the transfer of remittances.
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 net worth of about $US64.1 billion. Last year he and 3G Capital bought H.J. Heinz for $US23.2 billion, and invested another several billion in various energy corporations. His bequest to the Bill Gates Foundation was a kick in the pants to fellow billionaires, who soon followed suit to pledge their own fortunes to charity when they die.
Another powerful 83-year-old: News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch is a wealthy media magnate who, unfortunately, lost his reputation to a phone-tapping scandal in 2011.
Creator and co-host of 'The View' and ABC News correspondent
What makers her powerful: Walters, the first woman co-anchor of network evening news, is retiring this spring after a storied career spanning more than five decades. She helped to assemble the original cast of 'The View' in 1997, and is heralded by the president of ABC Entertainment for changing the daytime landscape with this multiple-host model that is now widely emulated.
Chairman of Hutchinson Whampoa
What makes him powerful: Li Ka-shing may be the richest man in Asia, but his power far exceeds his wealth. He's known for investing, with creepy clairvoyance, 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 Li put his faith, and $US23 million, in plant-based egg-replacement company Hampton Creek through his Horizon Ventures; and back in 2011 he funded then 15-year-old Nick D'Aloisio's mobile-news aggregation app Summly, which Yahoo just bought last month for $US30 million.
King of Thailand
What makes him powerful: Thailand's current political conflict involves opponents and supporters of the country's caretaker prime minister and her beleaguered government; but King Adulyadej has yet to intervene in the struggle. Amidst antigovernment rallies and fears of a so-called judicial coup, the highly revered monarch has sat out, while the government around him carries out its promise to use 'only gentleness and tenderness to solve problems.' He is seen as the sole uniting figure in the country.
What makes him powerful: Poitier has been a lot of firsts in the biz. He was the first black actor to win a Best Actor Oscar (50 years ago this month) and the first black man to kiss a white woman in a movie. The man remains an icon to many new and aspiring film stars. Despite humble beginnings, Poitier, who couldn't read until he was well into his teens, has written a number of autobiographies and, last year, a sci-fi-esque novel.
Another powerful 87-year-old: Now 87, Fidel Castro was the powerful leader of Cuba before illness and old age forced him to step down (his brother took his place).
Head of state of the U.K. and 15 other Commonwealth realms
What makes her powerful: It's been more than 60 years since news reached Princess Elizabeth, who was on an official trip in Africa, that her father King George the VI had died. Since her reign began at the age of 25, she's wielded a 'soft power,' asserting her influence with a discreet nod of the head or polite word in the ear of a prime minister, to indirectly effect political change.
King of Saudi Arabia
What makes him powerful: King Abdullah reigns over Islam's two holiest sites and the world's second-largest crude-oil deposit, which consists of more than 250 billion barrels and about 18% of global crude-oil reserves. Landing at No. 8 on Forbes' Most Powerful People list, he's the oldest in the top 10, and therefore the most powerful in his age bracket.
President of Zimbabwe
What makes him powerful: Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since the end of white domination in 1980 and retains an iron 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 most recently reelected in 2013 in an election deemed 'free and fair' by a government official.
Chairman and founder of Azrieli Group
What makes him powerful: Azrieli maintains a global commercial real-estate portfolio and is known as the grandfather of the shopping mall. While he's made his presence most largely known in Israel, he's highly prominent in Canada, noting significant growth in their 2013 Q4 results, which just went public. Azrieli was awarded an honorary Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University in January.
Another powerful 91-year-old: Retired Air Force Gen. Chuck Yeager is the first pilot confirmed to have traveled faster than the speed of sound.
What makes her powerful: The 'Golden Girls' star carries more clout in Hollywood than ever. Her TV Land show 'Hot in Cleveland' will start its fifth season in March, Lifetime is resurrecting her reality show 'Off Their Rockers' for a 20-episode season, and her episode hosting 'Saturday Night Live' brought record ratings to the network.
Be it a Super Bowl ad or 'Community' cameo, if White's in it, America watches.
Founder of Chick-fil-A
What makes him powerful: Chick-fil-A and its founder, Cathy, caused a stir in the last few years for taking a stance against gay marriage. The company's position had a negative effect on its popularity, causing boycotts across the country, but the fact that Cathy created such an uproar over the issue is remarkable.
Co-founder and owner of German supermarket chain Aldi Süd
What makes him powerful: Ten years ago, Germany's grocery king opted out of the day-to-day operations of the company that he and his brother founded, but the behemoth discounter shows no signs of stopping. With 4,800 locations worldwide, Aldi had an estimated revenue of $US51 billion in 2013 and plans to open 55 new shops a year.
Albrecht, Germany's richest man, helped Aldi to thrive by offering low prices in one of Europe's richest countries, appealing to instincts for thrift.
American businessman and venture capitalist
What makes him powerful: In 2013, 17 billionaires were over the age of 90, including one Henry Hillman, who inherited the Pittsburgh Coke & Chemical fortune from his father, and then diversified it by investing in real estate, private equity, and venture capital. Hillman, as a founding investor of well-known VC firm Kleiner Perkins, doles out millions to successful startups and got companies like AOL, Amazon, Google, and Citrix off the ground.
Another powerful 95-year-old: Romanian actor Radu Beligan was declared the world's oldest active actor by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Founder of MGM Resorts International
What makes him powerful: Kerkorian stepped down as director in 2011 of MGM Resorts International, the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas strip. It counts the Bellagio, the Mirage, and the MGM Grand among its iconic properties.
What makes him powerful: Acting from a young age, Douglas served in the Navy during World War II before returning to the silver screen and immediately landing the lead in 'The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.' He has won many lifetime-achievement awards for his work, and while his son Michael Douglas is the most famous, his other children are known in the industry as actors, producers, and directors.
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.
What makes him powerful: Possibly Hollywood's oldest 'method' actor, Wallach is still making memorable performances, most recently in 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.' A Tony Award winner, Wallach's transition to screen, particularly in 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,' put him on the map as a versatile film actor.
One of the last living survivors of the Armenian genocide
What makes her powerful: The facts of the Armenian Holocaust are as clear and real as those of the later Jewish Holocaust, but muffled because the state of Turkey remains a holocaust denier. Salibian remembers better. In the early 20th century, the Ottoman government perpetrated a genocide that reduced the empire's Armenian population from more than 2 million to about 387,000.
A child of the Great War, Salibian and her family were among the very last Christians to flee the brutality of Ottoman in their Armenian homeland in 1917. Today, she lives in the Mission Hills of California, spending time with her extended family and reading the New Testament every day.
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