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Why James Bond is AskMen’s Most Influential Man of 2012

Reinvention stands out as a common denominator among the men who made the list, from Jay-Z (No. 22), who’s taking on a larger role as a businessman and political activist, to the newly crowned Snoop Lion (No. 36) and the ever-evolving Howard Stern (No. 37). And who better exemplifies this trait than James Bond, a character who has undergone multiple reinventions over a period of 50 years and 23 movies, with six different actors portraying him. 

Through it all, Bond has remained a bastion of cool, an influential style icon and tastemaker. So it’s maybe not quite as surprising as it might at first seem that the British super-spy was voted No. 1 by men everywhere.

James Bassil, AskMen’s editor-in-chief, says, “Despite the regular reminders that our gender has reached its end, AskMen’s Top 49 list offers up plenty of examples of men who have sustained success – and others who found it anew through reinventing themselves, just as many of our readers have had to in recent years.”

Bond wasn’t the only fictional character to make the Top 49 either: Christian Grey came in at No. 13, proving that men everywhere have benefited from their spouses’ lower inhibitions and more open minds after reading 50 Shades of Grey.

It’s also an election year, and AskMen voters tagged Obama as their clear pick, with the president coming in 13 spots ahead of Mitt Romney (No. 24). Both politicians, however, were outdone by Clinton, who placed third, behind Bond and Usain Bolt (No. 2). 

And while Bolt may have been the runner-up in the Top 49, he was second to none at the London Olympics, where the sprinter’s record-breaking performance showed men everywhere the hard work and sheer determination needed to stay at the top of your game.

Rounding out this year’s Top 5 were “Family Guy” and “Ted” creator Seth MacFarlane (No. 4) andJoseph Gordon-Levitt (No. 5), both part of Hollywood’s new wave. Notably absent was a member of the acting world’s old guard, George Clooney. Clooney’s absence means Kanye West (No. 31) is the only man to make the Top 49 all seven years in a row, and LeBron James (No. 32) joins Obama with five appearances apiece. 

See who else made this year’s Top 49, over at AskMen.

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