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The Youngest Most Powerful People Of 2014

Who says age is a barrier to success? Today FORBES released its annual list of the world’s 72 most powerful people (one for every 100 millio...

Who says age is a barrier to success? Today FORBES released its annual list of the world’s 72 most powerful people (one for every 100 million on the planet). From emerging tech titans to the supreme leader of a wayward nation and the self-proclaimed caliph of a rogue terror group, some of those who have achieved positions of power have managed to do so at a notably young age. In total, ten of the 72 are younger than 50.

As the tech world continues to become more powerful, so do its luminaries. Four of the youngest power list members run leading new tech companies. The youngest person on the list, Mark Zuckerberg (No. 22), is just entering his thirties with the largest share of the social network market and a personal fortune of more than $30 billion. His Facebook has become a preferred medium for many of the most powerful to interact with the world (even Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has an official account).
Meet The 12 Youngest Powerful People Of 2014
Google GOOGL -0.24% cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, both 41, control how we interact with the world’s knowledge (what’s the old adage about knowledge and power again?), putting them inside the top ten, at No. 9, this year. They’re also the third youngest on the list. Tencent’s Ma Huateng (No. 53) and Baidu’s Robin Li (No. 41) head two of China’s largest internet companies at ages 43 and 45, respectively.

And none of their companies have been around for longer than two decades, proving that, in the internet age, one of the surest ways to grab power — and grab it quickly — is to dominate the digital world.
The Youngest Most Powerful People Of 2014
Another path is through political strength. Peña Nieto (No. 60) and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron (No. 10), both 48, each climbed the ladder before reaching the top rung — Peña Nieto as governor of the State of Mexico, Cameron as a member of Parliament.
Political power can come in many forms: our list of the world’s most influential includes presidents, prime ministers, chancellors and kings. Not all are good guys. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un (No. 49), who inherited his role in his late twenties, has continued the family business of threatening the United States. He’s just behind Zuck, as the list’s second youngest. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL), comes in No. 54. The 43 year old waged war on the West this summer and declared himself the leader of the newly-established caliphate.

Other young list members include Tesla and SpaceX head Elon Musk (No. 52), 43; Samsung Vice Chair Jay Y. Lee (No. 35), 46; Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (No. 64), 47; and Wal-Mart chief Doug McMillon (No. 29), 48.

Click here for the full list of the world’s most powerful people — and to sound off about what we got right and who we missed.