Welcome to Slate's 80 Over 80, our annual catalog of the nation's silver lions: fourscore elder statesmen, titans of industry, cultural icons, and notorious newsmakers who have remained influential into their ninth decade and beyond. As always, we've ranked these still-twinkling stars according to their power and importance, with extra credit given for energetic achievements post-80 and for being really, really old.
For the second year in a row, Mormon President Thomas S. Monson stands atop the list. As the divine prophet, seer, and revelator for 5.5 million Americans and more than 12 million people around the world, he's the most powerful 83-year-old we could find. Look for Monson to stay on top for years to come—at least until Boyd K. Packer, octogenarian president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, succeeds him as the alpha Mormon.