The NEWSWEEK 50: Michael Bloomberg

New Yorkers aren't fond of personality cults, since so many of them preside over their own. But most were OK with Bloomberg's push to repeal the city's term-limits law—setting up a run for a third term. To them, Bloomberg isn't only America's eighth-richest man, but one of its most innovative public figures. In public health (banning smoking and trans fats in restaurants), education (he's overhauled the school system and wrestled with teachers' unions) and green measures, he's leading where Washington hasn't. And as Wall Street panics, he's also led by staying calm—and solvent. (Story continued below...)