The Power List: PETER THIEL
April 17 2012 2:13 PM EST
February 05 2015 9:27 PM EST
Venture Capitalist/Hedge Fund Manager, 44
It took a gay, libertarian entrepreneur to realize the nascent power of Facebook in 2004, when the PayPal cofounder became the social network's first major investor, with a $500,000 loan that enabled Mark Zuckerberg to realize world domination. That stake is now worth $2.13 billion, allowing Thiel to pursue loftier projects, including research into life extension and his incentive scheme for would-be entrepreneurs under the age of 20: $100,000 to drop out of college and launch their own businesses.