6 of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World are full-time Authors or Educators

Considering how many careers and life paths there are out there, and the number of billionaires and politicians on the list, it’s amazing that 6 of the people wonders of the world serve full-time in education and writing.


Walter Isaacson
“The age of landmark biographies had, we might assume, long since passed, replaced by one of short attention spans, interactive gadgets and fewer bookstores. Enter Walter Isaacson and his trio of brilliant works about men of genius — Franklin, Einstein and Jobs,” writes former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. If that’s not enough to get you to buy his latest book Steve Jobs, check out this guest blog post by Pattie Baker.

Ann Patchett

Fellow award-winning author and close friend of Patchett, Elizabeth Gilbert shares the story of Ann helping Nashville become a more literary community by opening a local bookstore. Read the full story here.

E. L. James


Here’s what TIME Editor-at-Large Belinda Luscombe says about the fresh author: “Six months ago she was Erika Leonard, a mother of two who dabbled in saucy stories for the Web. Now she’s E.L. James, publishing phenomenon, whose Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has deeply stirred booksellers, Hollywood and, apparently, many, many mothers. Reading may never be the same.”


Freeman Hrabowski

At 12, Hrabowski was jailed for five days for participating in a civil rights protest in Alabama. He completed college at 19 and got his Ph.D. at 24. Now 61, this brilliant man has not only done a great job educating himself but also countless more African Americans who get Ph.D.s in science and engineering at his school, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Cami Anderson

Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker says Cami is “investing her life’s work in the educational trenches and working to liberate our country from the destructive delusion that children can’t achieve at the highest levels just because they were born into tough circumstances.” He goes on to say that “Cami declared that whether a child had been incarcerated or pregnant or had dropped out, aged out or flunked out, she could still nurture her genius, learn, develop and, yes, graduate.”

Salman Khan

The ultimate innovator, Bill Gates, calls Khan “a true education pioneer. He started by posting a math lesson, but his impact on education might truly be incalculable.” His free online school, http://www.khanacademy.org/, aspires to give every child on our planet the chance for a free, world-class education.

We hope you’re as inspired by these 6 change-makers as we are.

What impact have writer and educators had on your life? We’d love to hear about them by your sharing below.

One Comment

  1. Pattie Baker says:

    Erin: I just finished reading Isaacson’s Einstein and loved that one as well! Next, Franklin!

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