Twentieth Century Titans

From cars to computers, entire industries that are now indispensable to modern life have been formed this century by people with great ideas and the vision to see them through. Not only did big business thrive in this century, but the organizations and systems that support it did as well.

CBS News and Time magazine honor builders and titans whose vision and leadership made this the American century.

"We wanted to see people who changed the way we lived by things they invented," Time managing editor Walter Isaacson told CBS Early Show Anchor Bryant Gumbel.

Henry Ford and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates are 20th century titans not for what they invented but because they took what existed and made it more readily available and changed society, each by generating a new popular culture: one built around the automobile, the other around the computer.

Beloved by his employees, Sam Walton was a force in rural America, bringing mass quantity of goods at a low cost and always one step ahead of competition, he modernized his market and died the richest man in America.

William Levitt is the man acclaimed as "the father of suburbia," while Lucky Luciano was the godfather of all godfathers. In the early '30s, Luciano ran his mob like a chief executive would run a corporation.

Pete Rozelle, a onetime public relations man was elected commissioner of the National Football League in 1961. As NFL commissioner, he redefined the impact of televised sports and in the process changed the American lifestyle. Rozelle's greatest creation: the Super Bowl, America's most-watched and most-hyped television event.

When it comes to electronics and the marketing of goods for the electronic age, no one can top Akio Morita, co-founder of Sony and a titan of the century.

All of which leads to the only woman on the list: It was after the war that Estee Lauder sold Duchess lipstick to Saks Fifth Avenue and operated on the belief that no matter what American women were doing, they still wanted to look beautiful.