To inspire, one must first have been inspired. To influence others, one must first have been influenced by someone else. At our annual TIME 100 dinner--which celebrates our issue about the 100 most influential people in the world--we ask some of our honorees to toast those who have inspired or influenced them. At this year's dinner, which more than 60 current and former TIME 100 winners attended, the toasts offered moving moments. John McCain paid tribute to his "compatriots" Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Lance Armstrong extolled the work of the oncologist Dr. Harold Freeman. PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi honored her two daughters, while Robert Downey Jr. tearfully thanked his father, filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. It was a sparkling evening--like the TIME 100 issue come to life. And it began with a performance by legendary jazz musician Herbie Hancock, was punctuated by a hilariously topical dialogue between Saturday Night Live's Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers and ended with a dazzling performance by singer Mariah Carey. Now that's influence plus inspiration.
Richard Stengel, MANAGING EDITOR