John Templeton, 86
Mutual fund and international investing pioneer; pocketed some $400 million when he sold Templeton, Galbraith & Hansberger Ltd. to Franklin Resources Inc. in 1992
"Considering the progress in medicine, electronics, communications, agriculture, and how that's getting more rapid, we should be overwhelmingly grateful that we are living in this blossoming time of mankind.
"It is a matter of free competition. Throughout most of human history things were controlled from the top. Under free competition, you get rewarded and honored for doing things better and better. It's now estimated that the production of the earth is a hundred times greater than it was two centuries ago.
"It has been one of the most amazing things that has happened in the last century, how nation after nation has opened up to free markets. I don't think that those that had Communist or dictatorial governments will ever go back to them.
"The world is becoming unified rather than diverse. Globalization is speeding up to an amazing extent. When I was born, there was no such thing as television. Today the average American family has a TV on seven hours a day. That's spreading to other countries. People of all nations of the world are seeing what goes on in other nations. I think the English language will be spoken by over half the people in the world in the next 50 years."