Make no mistake; selecting the most influential Americans who are 50+ wasn’t the easiest course of action to launch NiC with. But, as we looked over the landscape we realized that very few voices—very, very few voices—seemed to notice, let alone care, about arguably the most important and growing population in our country: Us.
Though it has almost become de rigueur for intelligent mature adults to complain about why ratings-obsessed television executives and movie studio honchos are so locked in on the 18-34 set and all but ignore the massive 50+ audience—after all, don’t we have all the spending money?—we decided to try a different tact in shaking up the public discourse: We created NiC, a smart, sexy, informative, relevant destination where you, me and a heck of a lot of people just like us will determine what’s important to us in the zeitgeist, though 18-34 year olds are certainly welcome.
Determining any list is always fraught with numerous conflicting obstacles—ratio of men to women, diversity, geographic concentration—but when you add our relentless determination to create the single-best, most-discussed and definitive ranked list of influential people 50+ in the US, well, let’s just say the conversations around the NiC offices were rather spirited. And, yes, celebrities, politicians, sports figures and media personalities do make up the lion’s share of the 50 because when a ranking is solely based on influence—what NiC considers real power—having a bold-faced name is a prerequisite. It just is.
So we’ve come up with 25 men and 25 women (and just a few bubblin’ under) who by their sheer star power or their convention-defying renegade approach to life, have made—and continue to make—a significant impression on our collective psyche. And with that, NiC announces that the undeniable force for positivity otherwise known as Oprah Winfrey resoundingly takes the top spot on our inaugural list of most influential Americans 50+. I mean, how could she not? The very idea that an African-American woman born in 1950s Mississippi could unquestionably sit at No.1 on such an impossibly prestigious list truly boggles the mind in delicious ways. That same exciting incredulity will help fuel NiC as we move forward with much more groundbreaking (and unconventional) stories for you to digest and discuss.
I so look forward to our own spirited conversations about the 50 extraordinary Americans you’re about to read about. Agree with the names on this list or not, one thing is certain, we’ll be talking about them. And, well, isn’t that the point?