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50 Over 50

The 'Influentials' Who Shape Our Opinions

These opinionators know how to make their voices heard

Henry Louis Gates, 62

PROFESSOR

He’s a product of Yale and Oxford, but the nation’s leading voice concerning relations among the races started out as a poor kid from Keyser, W.Va. He shapes minds at Harvard and on his PBS television series, Finding Your Roots.

Stephen Hilger/Bloomberg News/Getty Images

Paul Gigot, 57

EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, Wall Street Journal

It’s easy to stand up for the little guy, but who’s gonna speak out on behalf of the corporate entities that provide jobs and security for millions of Americans? Enter Gigot, defender of the private sector in the public square.

AP (pictured on "Meet the Press" with fellow-guest, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin)

Bill O'Reilly, 63, Jon Stewart, 50

POLITICAL PUNDIT, Fox News

HOST, The Daily Show

O'Reilly brings a conservative voice to political discourse. Stewart is today's Walter Cronkite, only funnier. They faced off in October at their "O'Reilly v. Stewart 2012: Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium" charity event.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Jill Abramson, 58

EXECUTIVE EDITOR, The New York Times

As the Times works to stay afloat in the Internet age, the 161-year-old paper’s first female chief helps set the nation’s news agenda. Since March, digital subscriptions have grown 12 percent, pushing beyond a half-million.  

Todd Plitt/Contour/Getty Images

Richard Edelman, 58

PRESIDENT and CEO, Edelman

His PR firm crafts images for America’s biggest businesses. In '04, before most of us knew what a blog was, he was writing one. A prophet about the free flow of information, he says “the keys to the car have been taken away from the government.”

Jin Lee/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Arianna Huffington, 62

PUBLISHER, The Huffington Post

She was a conservative firebrand until she wasn’t. In 2005 she changed how people read news online. What began as a left-leaning news aggregation site has built a reputation for original reporting and superior writing. 

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Irwin Gotlieb, 63

CEO, GroupM Global

Gotlieb negotiates when and where advertisements appear to reach critical audiences. His efforts have been noticed: He is the first ad exec ever inducted into the Broadcast and Cable Hall of Fame.

Matthew Peyton/Getty Images

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