I'm watching Special Report on FNC, and Bret Baier threw out the tease, "Is Barack Obama the most famous living person in the history of the world?" The question made me pause for a moment, and left me quite amazed at the profundity of the observation.
Now, whether Obama is the most famous living person ever is debatable (I would argue that George W. Bush probably retains that crown, for now), but BO would certainly rank a close second. The criteria, of course, is the simple fact that either W or Obama is known by more people on the face of the earth at this moment than any other living person (and known by more people at this moment than any other person has been known in his or her lifetime).
Whether BO is first or second in the listing, this is amazing. Less than two years ago, he was known by relatively few people. Regardless of your esteem for the man (or lack thereof) who now serves as our President, has there ever, in the history of the world, been such a meteoric rise in fame?
Who would be third most recognizable living person? I would say, Ali!
Of course, one name remains the most recognizable name in history: Jesus!!!