Skip To Content

    21 Of The World's Most Powerful People As Youngsters

    Started from the bottom, now the whole team here.

    1. Elizabeth II β€” Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

    Taken when she was only an 18-year-old princess, this picture shows the young Elizabeth Alexandra Mary during her time in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II, 1945.

    2. Barack Obama β€” 44th U.S. President

    Lisa Jack/Contour by Getty Images

    Obama sits on the couch of a college friend smoking a cigarette in 1980, long before he would become president of the United States.

    3. Hillary Clinton β€” Former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Presidential Candidate

    Lee Balterman/The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images

    Clinton, then Hillary Diane Rodham, sits for a photo shoot while attending Wellesley College, 1969.

    4. Bill Clinton β€” 42nd U.S. President

    In a rare encounter between a current and future president, a young Bill Clinton meets President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

    5. Donald Trump β€” Entrepreneur and 2016 Presidential Candidate

    Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

    The real estate mogul in his senior year of New York Military Academy, 1964.

    6. Dilma Rousseff β€” President of Brazil


    This mugshot shows the future Brazilian president apprehended for her participation in a guerrilla movement against the country's military dictatorship.

    7. Martin Luther King Jr. β€” Minister and Civil Rights Leader

    Christine King Farri

    King at the age of 6.

    8. Vladimir Putin β€” President of Russia

    Laski Diffusion / Getty Images

    An 18-year-old Putin's class photo, 1970.

    9. Xi Jinping β€” General Secretary of the Communist Party of China


    Xi Jinping, then party chief of Zhengding county, Hebei province, 1983.

    10. Angela Merkel β€” Chancellor of Germany

    Merkel, wearing a Free German Youth uniform, is awarded the Lessing Medal for outstanding social and academic performance, 1971.

    11. John F. Kennedy β€” 35th U.S. President

    Hulton Archive / Getty Images

    This 1927 portrait shows the young president-to-be at age 10.

    12. Joseph Stalin β€” Former Leader of the Soviet Union

    Stalin at age 24 in 1902.

    13. Fidel Castro β€” Former Prime Minister of Cuba

    Fidel Castro relaxing at an outpost in the Sierra Maestra, 1957.

    14. George W. Bush β€” 43rd U.S. President

    George W. Bush as a baby with his parents, 1947.

    15. Shinzō Abe β€” Prime Minister of Japan


    In the center of the picture, kindergartner Abe sits on the lap of his grandfather, then-Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi.

    16. Oprah Winfrey β€” Media Mogul

    Rex Shutterstock / REX Shutterstock

    Seventeen-year-old Winfrey shows off her "Miss Fire Prevention" trophy in her hometown of Nashville in 1971.

    17. Albert Einstein β€” Theoretical Physicist

    Einstein poses for a portrait at 14.

    18. Bill Gates – Co-Founder of Microsoft

    Rex Shutterstock / REX Shutterstock

    A mugshot of Gates taken by the Albuquerque police in 1977 after he was arrested for traffic violation.

    19. Steve Jobs – Co-Founder and Former CEO of Apple

    Tom Munnecke / Getty Images

    Jobs poses at the first West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, where the Apple II computer debuted in 1977.

    20. Mahatma Gandhi β€” Leader of the Indian independence movement

    A young Gandhi poses for a picture in 1906.

    21. Pope Francis β€” 266th Pope of the Catholic Church

    Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who would become Pope Francis, poses for a portrait as a teenager in Buenos Aires.