As part of our Men of the Moment campaign, we're honoring more of 2013's great men in philanthropy, sports, style, comedy and much more. These guys inspired us, exceptionally entertained us, dominated our social-media feeds and made us insanely jealous with their general brilliance. Click through, then check out videos and interviews with more of our Men of the Moment honorees here.
Elon Musk This year the Tesla-founding visionary made business travelers weep with joy when he unveiled a design for the Hyperloop, a super-high-speed pneumatic train that would deliver passengers from New York to Los Angeles in under an hour. Dreaming is free, but several groups are pushing the idea forward; Musk makes our list because he reminds us how exhilarating forward-thinking can be.
Capt. Will Swenson In October, the retired Army captain was awarded the Medal of Honor — of which he is the sixth living recipient — for heroics on a 2009 Afghan battlefield: He saved a dozen troops and provided first aid to injured Afghans under heavy fire. The honor was long delayed—the official account blamed lost paperwork; it was more likely due to Swenson’s outspokenness against what he viewed as the Army’s incompetence. Now he’s seeking a return to active duty. Either way, we hope he keeps talking.
The Weeknd The 23-year-old Canadian, a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye, released his first studio album this year after dropping several mix tapes, making it official: He's reinventing R&B before our eyes. (Tesfaye's Twitter bio: "i'm hard to digest and hate spoon feeding." His songs are adventurously produced, his videos bracing, even shocking. Case in point, from his 2013 album Kiss Land:
Louie CKLouie makes our list not so much for his comedy (which remains awesome), but for cutting out the middleman, allowing people to experience his performances at discounted rates. He sells tickets directly to fans (which they can’t scalp) and his 2013 TV special, “Oh My God,” aired on HBO before being available for a $5 download. Other artists have begun copying the model, which puts more money in everyone’s pockets except, like, Ticketmaster.
Cory Booker This year the former governor of Newark managed to win a U.S. Senate seat and expand ideas about masculinity. It's a good bet that his new ideas about government al responsiveness—see his wide-open Twitter interplay with constituents—will accompany him to DC.
Damian LillardThe Portland Trailblazers guard defied most expectations to win the 2012-'13 NBA Rookie of the Year award. And a little over a month into his second season, he is averaging 20 points and 6 assists per game for a surprising 16-3 Portland squad.
Manny MachadoThe Orioles third baseman/shortstop is already drawing comparisons to greats like Cal Ripken. In his first full season in the majors, he made the All-Star team while threatening records held by Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle, among others.
John Oliver The Daily Show correspondent absolutely killed as a summer replacement for Jon Stewart—and that's the comic idiom for "triumphed," "rocked" or "kicked ass," not the grave injury DS fans expected would happen without Stewart. Instead not only maintaining the show’s satirical equilibrium but nudging it to new heights. His moment continues: Oliver just got his own show on HBO.
Ryan CooglerDirector of this year's standout debut film, Fruitvale Station, Coogler explored themes of race and police brutality in a fresh and provocative way.
Dao-Yi Chow & Maxwell Osborne, Public School The recipients of this year's CFDA Award for Menswear (the equivalent of Oscar's Best Picture in the style world), the duo known as Public School is creating a brand of polished streetwear that's truly innovative—Blade Runner meets business casual.
Key & PeeleThose who maintain that sketch comedy is floundering haven’t seen this dynamic duo, who have been kicking ass on their Comedy Central show, on the road, and on the internets, where their Epic Rap Battles of History is the latest viral sensation, for damn good reason:
Ronan Farrow The possibly superhuman 25-year-old—Rhodes Scholar, Yale Law grad, government adviser on global youth issues and possible holder of Sinatra’s genetic material—was already on our radar via one of the funniest Twitter feeds in existence (whether live-tweeting award shows or wishing estranged father Woody Allen "happy Father's Day—or as we call it in my family, brother-in-law's day.") Now he’s joining MSNBC as a host of a weekday one-hour show, and we're watching.
Todd Snyder The rising menswear star is kicking classics up a few notches, making everything from true investment pieces to gym wear. His recent collaboration with vintage athletic brand champion is killer.
Evans WadongoGrowing up in Kenya, he strained to read by the dim light of a kerosene lantern. Now he’s making solar-charged lanterns and using them to spur economic development. So far his NGO has made and distributed 32,000 lamps and is poised to increase that number dramatically by opening 20 manufacturing centers in Kenya and Malawi.
King KruleHe's 19 years old and sounds like he's 50, but Archy Marshall's appeal transcends gimmick: He's mixing soul, hip-hop and electronics into an essential, often riveting, listen.
Jozy AltidoreThe explosive 24-year-old striker has already scored 21 goals for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team. In 2013, he came into his own, notching 8 goals in 14 appearances, helping the USA qualify for the 2014 World Cup and claiming the U.S. Soccer Federation's award for Male Athlete of the Year.
Chris Hardwick This year the culty host of The Nerdist, Talking Dead and Talking Bad (man, it has been a long time since Singled Out) really came into his own, launching the post-Colbert Report talk show @Midnight (just renewed), where he attracted the kind of virality previously reserved for Jon Stewart with a heartfelt tribute to his late father.
Judson KinnucanThis 37-year-old Chicagoan (left) is the founder of Bin Donated, an innovative charity that places 55-gallon donation drums all over the city. Since 2009, he has collected 145,000 pounds of goods—estimated to be worth more than $1 million—benefitting more than 200 charities across Chicago.
Jerry KillThe U of Minnesota football coach has beaten kidney cancer and changed his life, taking a step back to manage the epilepsy that threatened to kill him. At the same time, he has revived a program that hadn't been nationally ranked since 2008. With a game left to play, the Gophers are 8-3, drawing record crowds and on track for a bowl game.
Aaron Levine This year, the head men’s designer at Club Monaco (a veteran of Thom Browne) has reinvented the perfectly adequate mall brand into a land of must-haves: The fall/winter line ranges from sharp basics (scads of perfectly tailored button-downs, chinos and cashmere sweaters) to eminently wearable experiments (a diamond-quilted sweatshirt and double-breasted cardigans), proving that J. Crew doesn’t have a lock on affordable style.
Russell WilsonSeattle’s breakout quarterback is a 2012 third-round draft pick who at 5’11” is changing the perception of how tall you really have to be to play the position (better than almost anyone else) in the NFL.
Team HoytThis father-son team consists of retired Air National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Dick, 73, and his son Rick, 51, who has cerebral palsy. Dick wanted the boy to experience the world despite his disability, and to date he has pushed and pulled his wheelchair-using son through 1,077 endurance events, including 70 marathons and six Ironman triathlons. They still compete in 20 to 25 events per year.
Sam SimonThe Simpsons co-creator, battling colorectal cancer since last November, has begun donating his sizable fortune to charity. He established the Sam Simon Foundation, which rescues dogs from animal shelters and trains them to assist disabled veterans. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Virginia headquarters has been christened the Sam Simon Center in recognition of his support. And through an LA food bank he feeds about 200 families each day.
Ashifi GogoFounder of Sproxil, which produces scratchoff stickers for pill bottles that verify their authenticity, a potential solution to the 700,000 people who die each year from counterfeit tuberculosis and malaria drugs. To date the system has been used more than 2 million times, landing the company amongst Fast Company’s 10 most innovative companies in 2013.
Rob Delaney The standup comic and Twitter god broke his reputation wide open with the release of his memoir Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage., where he revealed himself to be a talented stylist and insightful, occasionally heartbreaking storyteller on the subjects of alcoholism, sex, relationships and speedos.