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Monday, November 30, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Gates Among Time's Top 20 20Th-Century Business Titans

AP

NEW YORK - Mafia boss Charles "Lucky" Luciano and auto pioneer Henry Ford joined Walt Disney and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on Time magazine's list of the 20th century's most influential business geniuses.

In its list of "Builders and Titans," Time singles out 19 men and one woman for their innovations and old-fashioned capitalistic chutzpah.

For instance, Sam Walton would fly over rural areas in an airplane, find a point between a few small towns, touch down, buy some farmland at that intersection and order another Wal-Mart store to be built on the site.

The magazine, released this week, said while the 20 people selected "most embody capitalism and its triumphs," it noted that the honorees were almost exclusively white American men.

The sole woman on the list was Estee Lauder, who built a cosmetics empire by focusing on sales methods and giving away free samples.

The only non-American is Japan's Akio Morita, who oversaw Sony's rise to dominance with products that included the transistor radio and the Walkman.

Others on the list: Louis B. Mayer, founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio; former National Football League commissioner Pete Rozelle; William Levitt, creator of America's postwar suburbia; Ray Kroc, the man behind McDonald's; Willis Carrier, inventor of the air conditioner; advertising executive Leo Burnett; Thomas Watson Jr., the man who built IBM; Juan Trippe, founder of Pan American Airlines; broadcasting pioneer David Sarnoff; union leader Walter Reuther; stockbroker Charles Merrill; banker A.P. Giannini; and global builder Stephen Bechtel.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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