Amal Clooney is the ‘most fascinating person’ of 2014

Amal Clooney, née Amal Alamuddin, has joined the ranks of Mother Teresa, Hilary Clinton and Nelson Mandela after being named the “most fascinating person” of 2014 by Barbara Walters.

The human rights lawyer became a celebrity almost overnight when she announced her engagement to Hollywood actor George Clooney this past summer. The pair were wed in September in a star-studded wedding in Venice that was covered exclusively by Hello! Canada.

During Barbara’s annual televised ABC special that aired on Sunday night (Dec. 14), the broadcast journalist explained her choice.

"You could say hers was the wedding of the year," she said. "But let's put it into perspective: It was really one of the greatest achievements in human history."

Barbara asked, "What does it take to fascinate one of the most fascinating men in the world?" while comparing the gorgeous barrister to royal icons like Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge.

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"Amal Alamuddin — known now as Amal Clooney — is suddenly in that stratosphere that we reserve for the Jackie O’s or the Princess Di’s or Kate Middletons. That is, everything she does, says or wears is officially fascinating."

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The special also showed clips of Barbara’s famous 1995 interview with a then-34-year-old George insisting that he will never marry again. “I know I’m never going to get married again because I wasn’t very good at it,” he said. (He was once wed to Talia Balsam.)

Other famous faces on this year's list include Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift, Neil Patrick Harris, Chelsea Handler and new mom Scarlett Johansson, who sat down with the broadcast journalist to discuss motherhood. (It's "wonderful and exhausting," she said.)

Retired NFL star Michael Strahan, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, reclusive billionaire businessman David Koch and Paypal co-founder Elon Musk were also deemed "most fascinating" this year.

Barbara, 85, has been selecting an eclectic array of personalities for her yearly roundup for more than two decades. She formerly retired in 2013, but couldn't resist returning to host her “10 Most Fascinating People” special once more.

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