ATLANTA’S 55 MOST POWERFUL
WHAT IS POWER?
Compiling a list of the 55 most powerful people in a metro area of almost 6 million carries no small amount of risk. First, limiting it to 55 is to implicitly acknowledge that we live in an oligarchy, in which the few have dominion over the many. Well, is that wrong? Consider just the top 10 on our list—politicians, businesspeople, philanthropists—and the forces they can muster: money, people, vast technologies, personal charisma, not to mention the influence that comes with their titles. Which brings us to another risk of compiling a power list: defining what power is. When we were at loggerheads over whom to include and whom to leave off, we came back to a central theme: The person had to have a direct hand in shaping the metro Atlanta of today. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but now. Then we decided to rank them, which is when it really got interesting. Developers up against radio hosts? Politicians against rappers? Educators against CEOs? You can imagine the arguments.
So here it is. The 55 most powerful, as seen by us, today. The only thing we know for sure is that by tomorrow, it could all change.
Edited by Steve Fennessy and Scott Henry
Written by Cameron Albert-Deitch, Charles Bethea, Max Blau, Steve Fennessy, Hayden Field, Josh Green, Lauren Loudermilk, Evan Mah, Tony Rehagen, and Payson Schwin.