The 3 Most Powerful Old People in America

'Slate' ranks the most influential octogenarians in America.


Many people retire to a hammock in their backyard, bingo night, or the golf course. But some elder statesmen, business leaders, and cultural icons are achieving new heights in philanthropy, business, and law well into their ninth decade.

Slate recently ranked the 80 most powerful Americans over age 80. Here are a few of the highlights.

1. John Paul Stevens, 88, an associate Supreme Court justice who wrote the most cited opinion in American law: Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council

2. Kirk Kerkorian, 91, president and CEO of the investment company Tracinda Corp. and majority owner of the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas

3. T. Boone Pickens, 80, chairman and founder of the hedge fund BP Capital Management

The oldest person ranked was Edgar Wayburn, 101, an environmentalist who helped establish the largest urban park in the United States, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and pushed for the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. He clocked in at a sprightly No. 34. And the most powerful woman, 85-year-old New York gossip columnist Liz Smith, came in at No. 10 overall.

senior citizens
Stevens, John Paul
Pickens, T. Boone

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