Two Louisiana natives – journalist/author Walter Isaacson and online education innovator Salman Khan - are among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, according to the list released this week by the magazine.
Isaacson, a New Orleans native and current president of the Aspen Institute, is profiled in an essay by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.
Khan, a Metairie native and founder of the online learning site Khan Academy, is profiled in an essay by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who calls Khan a “true education pioneer.”
Albright and Time single out Isaacson for his recent biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs, as well as earlier works on Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein – “men of genius,” as Time refers to the trio.
“What most separates Isaacson, 59, from would-be peers is his wisdom in choosing subjects whose individual talents have affected all our lives. We care, and so we read, and so we learn — first one lesson, then many,” Albright writes in the essay. “Both as an author and as president of the intellectually fertile Aspen Institute, Isaacson is a purveyor of knowledge, a supplier to addicts who seek a deeper understanding of all manner of things.”
Isaacson, a former Time editor and CNN chairman/CEO, began his journalism career at The Times-Picayune/States-Item in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Isidore Newman School and Harvard College and was a Rhodes scholar at Pembroke College.
Khan, 35, is a Grace King High School graduate and founder of Khan Academy, the online learning web site which was also recently profiled by CBS News’ 60 Minutes.
“Like a lot of great innovators, Salman Khan didn't set out to change the world. He was just trying to help his teenage cousin with her algebra from across the country,” writes Gates in his profile of Khan.
“The aspiration of khanacademy.org is to give every kid a chance at a free, world-class education. The site has over 3,000 short lessons that allow kids to learn at their own pace…. He started by posting a math lesson, but his impact on education might truly be incalculable.”
Khan is a Harvard and MIT graduate.
The ninth annual Time list also includes Warren Buffett, Mitt Romney, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul, Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton, NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, "Fifty Shades of Grey" author E L James and many others.