Slate Announces Top 80 over 80

By Charlotte Bumstead
The silver lions have been released, and they are not to be taken lightly. They stand among the most powerful, inspirational, courageous, energetic, and intelligent persons to tackle their ninth decade on Earth. Wearing wrinkles with pride, these accomplished individuals continue to cast their silvery sparkle upon us. Slate lists its 80 most influential people over 80—the kings and queens of the Zoomer generation.

At 83 years old, Mormon President Thomas S. Monson holds his spot at the top of the list for the second year in a row. Considered by more than 12 million adherents around the world to be a prophet, seer and revelator, Monson is predicted to remain the most powerful for years to come.

Clint Eastwood landed the top five ranking in his first year of eligibility. This 80-year-old actor, director and producer has brought home five Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, two Cannes Film Festival awards and five People’s Choice Awards. Talk about a trophy shelf. He also recently pulled in $12 million on the premiere weekend of his film Hereafter.

Right on his tail, Barbara Walters slides in at number 6. At 81, the American broadcast journalist and author is a cultural icon of morning television. In 2009 she was awarded Best Talk Series for The View, and was named by Forbes as the third most powerful woman in the media.

Bright-eyed Betty White also makes the list. The 88-year-old actress, comedian and author has dominated in the Emmy Awards; including being the first woman ever to receive an Emmy for game show hosting. Her SNL guest-host appearance in May 2010 has sparked a current Facebook campaign to lock her in for the permanent position.

Political scientist, diplomat, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize; Henry Kissinger is another prominent name. The 87-year-old is most recently known for advocating plans to bring the World Cup to the United States.

Holding strong his reigns as King of the Blues, singer and songwriter B.B. King is deservedly named. Since he started recording in the 1940s, the 85-year-old has released over 50 albums and has won 15 Grammys over his career. King continues to tour.

Other notable names include: Hugh Hefner, Noam Chomsky, Warren Buffet, Stan Lee, Helen Thomas, and Bob Barker. Slate suggests we keep an eye on 79ers William Shatner and Regis Philbin, too.