Obama tops Forbes list of world's most powerful people

Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:09am EST
 
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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - U.S. President Barack Obama can add another accolade to his already long list of awards after being named the world's most powerful person in an inaugural ranking by Forbes magazine.

Obama, whose popularity at home and abroad has boosted the image of the United States according to numerous surveys, topped the list that also features al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey as people wielding some influence over the world.

In compiling the inaugural ranking, Forbes said it had narrowed the list to 67 people, "a number based on the conceit that one can reduce the world's 6.7 billion people to the one in every 100 million that matter."

"The goal in compiling this list is to expose power and not glorify it, and over time reveal how influence is as easily lost as it is hard to gain," the magazine said.

World and industry leaders dominated the top 10 of the list, which Forbes said was assessed on the number of people the person influences, their ability to project power beyond their immediate sphere of influence, their control of financial resources and how actively that person wields power.

Also on the list were financial heavyweights including Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein (18) and billionaire investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett (14), as well as Pope Benedict (11).

Bin Laden came in at number 37 and Winfrey at number 45.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown came in at number 29 while Queen Elizabeth failed to make the list.

The top 10 list is as follows:   Continued...

 
<p>President Barack Obama speaks behind the helmet and weapon of one of the fallen soldiers during the III Corps and Fort Hood Memorial Ceremony November 10, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque</p>