Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson was included on Time magazine’s annual “100 Most Influential People in the World” list, released Wednesday.
Isaacson was among a diverse cast on the list, ranging from world leaders like President Barack Obama and Ayatullah Ali Khamenei to comedian Chelsea Handler and quarterback Tim Tebow. He is also the magazine’s former managing editor.
The magazine editors wrote that the list was made up of people who “inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world.”
The issue features a short, glowing profile of Isaacson written by former Secretary of State — and part-time Aspenite — Madeline Albright.
“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,” Albright writes.
She praises Isaacson for shaping world thought through accessible and insightful biographies — even in a digital age when fat books, like his, ought to be irrelevant.
Albright calls Isaacson’s biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs a “trio of brilliant works about men of genius.”
The Jobs biography was among the best-selling and highest-praised books of 2011.
“I’m very flattered,” Isaacson said of the honor, via email Wednesday, “and also thrilled that Secretary Albright wrote it.”
Isaacson has run the Institute since 2003, and overseen the founding and growth of the annual Aspen Ideas Festival.