Tina Brown has served as editor-in-chief of Tatler, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Talk.
1. Tom Wolfe
Wolfe, more than anyone before or since, understood and defined the ethos of New York, which is about striving and inventing and climbing. He caught it with an exuberance and detail, and his view has become quintessential.
2. Martin Scorsese
Scorsese’s ability to bring alive the energy, the flavor, the power, and the sheer vitality of the city is unrivaled. He defined how outsiders viewed the city and its mean streets, especially in the seventies.
3. Richard Meier
Meier changed the New York skyline more than anyone else in the past 40 years. His striking glass structures define the modern aesthetic of the city’s architecture.
4. Michael Bloomberg
Bloomberg built a hugely successful company, and then moved on to become the city’s greatest mayor. His ability to reinvent himself and his entrepreneurial sense of opportunity are unparalleled.
5. Clay Felker
Felker had an absolutely unerring eye for what made this city work. The talents he found, like Gloria Steinem and Tom Wolfe, brought that viewpoint to life with such an extraordinary, defining lens.
6. Jerry Seinfeld
Seinfeld had an uncanny ability to capture the everyday sort of competitiveness and humor of New York. His comedy personalized the city by chronicling the daily annoyances and charm of the place.
7. Gloria Steinem
Steinem is spectacular like the city: She has the independence, the glamour, the braininess. Her ideals influenced generations of women who came after her.
8. Edward Koch
Koch seems to embody the city itself. He was brash, loud, insolent about any insult, and yet lovable and represented the typical New Yorker on the street. It was this relatability that made him a great mayor.
9. Joseph Papp
Papp was the man of New York theater in the past 40 years. His door was always open to new, exciting talent, and he brought culture to the public for free with Shakespeare in the Park.
10. Barbara Walters
Walters asks the brash questions that New Yorkers want to know. She’s interested in power, and she has the aggression of the city. She’s a survivor, which the city rewards, and as a woman, she was a pioneer in her field.