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40th Anniversary

Who Matters Most

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Kurt Andersen
is a columnist for New York.

1. Felix Rohatyn
Did Rohatyn save New York? Maybe. He was certainly one of the people highly responsible for getting us over that horrible hump in the seventies, when the city almost went bankrupt.

2. Rupert Murdoch
The Post and what Murdoch made of it have changed the way New York thinks about itself; events presented by the Post are perceived more as Zeitgeist emblems than actual human tragedies.

3. Richard Johnson
“Page Six” brought gossip to its apotheosis and dominance. It chronicles the ups and downs of New York’s social pecking order, and has profoundly influenced the tone of other forms of media.

4. Danny Meyer
Meyer brought about the relaxed civility that was new to the city’s restaurant scene. He captured the idea of good food in a nice place, while remaining New Yorky enough to satisfy tastemakers.

5. Andy Warhol
There’s no single person who has had more of an effect on fine art in the last 40 years. Warhol’s version of self-consciousness and celebrity celebration has influenced all realms of culture.

6. Run-DMC
Hip-hop is really the only pop musical genre that has come to be in the last 40 years, and it took off right here with them.

7. Woody Allen
Allen’s version of New York in Annie Hall and Manhattan shaped how New Yorkers thought of themselves. We’d not be as proudly neurotic without him.

8. Bob and Harvey Weinstein
The Weinsteins brought the action of Hollywood to New York, and made movies that embodied the city—artful, feisty, gritty, independent.


9. Bill Bratton
Bratton was really responsible for the decline of crime in New York in the nineties. Murders have gone down by 78 percent—it’s the closest thing to a city miracle that I’ve seen.

10. Michael Bloomberg
Bloomberg is an honest, hardworking, practical guy who has proven that competence and toughness don’t require bellicosity. Under his leadership the city has changed for the good.

Reported by Janelle Nanos.


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