Great Stories in Time 100

The ‘Time 100’ for all its American slant and shortcomings always manages to showcase some extraordinary people. The current list has legends like Oprah, Bill Clinton, Obama, Jobs and Elton John who have exercised enormous influence on millions.

It also features the Brazilian President Lula, who started working after fifth grade to support his family, worked as a shoeshine boy, lost part of his finger in a factory accident and then at 25 watched his wife Maria and child die during pregnancy. Now he steers Brazil to a new high. Judge Sonia Sotomayor was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 8, lost her factory worker father at 9 and with her trail blazing work has now been nominated to the US Supreme Court as an associate justice, the third woman in history and the first Latin American.

Fifty years ago, nobody gave Singapore a chance to survive and almost single-handedly, Lee Kuan Yew has transformed it to a leading city-state. Kissinger calls him the finest strategist in the world.

Elon Musk, 38 and born in South African is in the Da Vinci mould. He has designed and/or founded PayPal, Tesla (electric cars), and Space X (now with a contract for NASA’s outer space transport) and is the largest provider of solar power systems in the US. Truly, extraordinary.

With nine in the list, the Indians seem over -represented. Chetan Bhagat is a curious choice. Some like Namperumalsamy and Sanjit Roy, despite sterling work, are yet to be widely acknowledged in India. Manmohan Singh, Amartya Sen and Tendulkar continue to shine.

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