What Happened to the ‘Future Leaders’ of the 1990s?
December 13, 2014 9:44 AM   Subscribe

In its December 5, 1994 issue, Time Magazine picked 50 people who would be leaders in the future. They decided to revisit what happened to each person on the 20th anniversary of their predictions.
posted by reenum (26 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow they actually made a few accurate predictions.
posted by GuyZero at 9:53 AM on December 13, 2014


An interesting mix to be sure. A lot of them aren't too surprising - big finance people continue to have big success in finance, top-level civil servants stay as top-level civil servants, elected officials losing elections and transitioning into well-connected lobbying firms. Then there is the turd-in-the-pool that is Frank Lutz.
posted by Think_Long at 9:57 AM on December 13, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'd have guessed that at least one of them would have ended up in jail.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:01 AM on December 13, 2014 [8 favorites]


"She remains, in short, Oprah."

Quite a few names that have remained frequently in the news over the years. It's interesting (though not surprising) how many are now in lobbying or consulting roles.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:02 AM on December 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


That's a surprisingly varied mix, though with quite a few settling into less interesting (but presumably better paid) work in finance, lobbying, or consulting.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:02 AM on December 13, 2014


I can't scroll the article to read it. What are they doing?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:08 AM on December 13, 2014


I think it's fascinating to look at this list and realize who is not on it. No Barack Obama. No Elena Kagen. No Sonia Sotomayor. No Neil deGrasse Tyson. All of them were exactly within that age range and were missed for people who have faded away. They got some things right, for sure, and some of the folks have only faded from prominence recently. But what's really neat to me is the people they never saw coming. It gives me hope for a future that we can't even predict now.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:11 AM on December 13, 2014 [33 favorites]


Might be an interesting read if not for the moving ads. Blech.
posted by harrietthespy at 10:13 AM on December 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think it's fascinating to look at this list and realize who is not on it. No Barack Obama. No Elena Kagen. No Sonia Sotomayor.

While Bill Gates and Marc Andreessen (who was 23 when he release Mosaic, really?) are on the list, it doesn't include Steve Jobs. He was at his lowest point when this list was made, but he definitely would have been on there if it was made in let's say 1998.

I find it interesting that only one person on the list (JFK Jr.) has died. Proportionately more of my high school classmates died of natural causes before our 10 year reunion.
posted by sideshow at 10:34 AM on December 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


Evan Bayh: then 37 and Governor of Indiana. Took his father's good name out back and shot it. Now a paid contributor for FOX News.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:53 AM on December 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can't scroll the article to read it. What are they doing?

They're drowning in gratuitous javascript, is what.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:08 AM on December 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


It gives me hope for a future in which every person of promise becomes a lobbyist before age 25.
posted by benzenedream at 11:19 AM on December 13, 2014 [5 favorites]


I often think about JFK, Jr., and where he might be now if he hadn't died in 1999. Fuck.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:27 AM on December 13, 2014


I can't scroll the article to read it. What are they doing?
Fails in Firefox
IE & Chrome seem ok.
posted by hexatron at 12:27 PM on December 13, 2014


I find it interesting that only one person on the list (JFK Jr.) has died. Proportionately more of my high school classmates died of natural causes before our 10 year reunion.

The years must have been rough on your class, since you would expect only one death out of 91 among 18 year olds in the U.S. after 10 years using the CDC's 1994 life tables. That said, if you take the average age of the people on the list (35) and figure out the odds of a group that age making it 20 years, you'd expect 1 in 14 to kick the bucket, so they did do pretty well for themselves.

It would appear as though they only list 49 out of 50. Their archive link isn't working for me so I can't figure out who they left out. Who is the mysterious #50?
posted by robla at 12:37 PM on December 13, 2014


Modesty forbids.
posted by maxwelton at 1:06 PM on December 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


Fails in Firefox

No, I got it to work in FF, but I had to enable a raft of scripts to do it. And to hell with that, it wasn't worth the effort.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:19 PM on December 13, 2014


I'd have guessed that at least one of them would have ended up in jail.

Quick count says 18 deep into politics.

Based on that alone, I would have expected 5-6. And I'm sure some of them have skated close to the law.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:52 PM on December 13, 2014


Well, Condi Rice and Jamie Dimon at least should be in jail. Does that count?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 3:29 PM on December 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


Sold out
Is selling out
Has tried to sell out
Remains an unscrupulous sell-out
Writes about selling out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
NFL Commish, maybe? We don't know. Probably selling out
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:54 PM on December 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Frank Luntz, then 32 and a Republican pollster and analyst

God I hate him.
posted by JHarris at 4:37 PM on December 13, 2014


They seem pretty disinclined to say anything negative about anyone on their list--Naomi Wolf, for example.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:16 PM on December 13, 2014


Well, Condi Rice and Jamie Dimon at least should be in jail.

And Ralph Reed. That some of these people manage to walk free today speaks more to the complete collapse of accountability at elite levels of society, encouraged by the Bush and Obama Justice Departments, than any inherent virtue in how they lived their lives.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:50 PM on December 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


Kagan's and Sotomayor's absenses are not surprising. A young lawyer who aspires to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court absolutely needs to have a low profile; contentious scholarship or political activity is an absolutely disqualifier for confirmation. (The list did contain a couple of well-known, vocal legal scholars who are today ... well-known, vocal legal scholars.)

The 38-year-olds who today aspire to the Supreme Court today are publishing just enough bland articles to keep tenure, or taking on enough non-controversial cases to keep their law firm partnerships, and limiting their ideological remarks to strictly-off-the-record cocktail parties where the Federalist or American Constitution Society talent spotters will be sure to take note.

I think it's all too bad, but it's not going to change while the federal courts have a lifetime term and absolute power over critical political decisions.
posted by MattD at 7:07 PM on December 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wow they actually made a few accurate predictions.

Yeah, but they also missed a few obvious ones, such as:

1. The Internet
2. The American military
3. Women
posted by sour cream at 12:43 AM on December 14, 2014


I find it interesting that for the most part (aside from some politics-to-lobbyist and politics-to-media changes, which are blurry lines anyhow), pretty much the entire list shows "These people were really, really good at their job in the 1994, so they're still doing that same job today."

I was hoping for more "this two-term South Dakota senator resigned his seat in 2002 to pursue his passion in life and opened a deep-sea fishing charter boat company off the Florida Keys" or "although the software she designed redefined the internet during the 1990s, the so-called 'internet bubble' of 2000 destroyed her nest egg and her career, and she is now a homemaker who enjoys selling her hand-made doilies on Etsy." This would almost be more satisfying, not in a schadenfreude way, but in the interesting way that very few people these days spend 20 years doing anything anymore.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:07 AM on December 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


« Older The most bombastic Christmas No 1 since Mr Blobby?   |   "Be brave but never take chances" Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments