I met Ray Charles when he was 17, and I was ummm. He is only person of world renown I have met directly. Senators Heinz, Specter in problem-solving sessions; I've met and directly worked with five State governors; Several members of Congress Joint Committees. The list goes because of the nature of my "Other Life."
I learned that their decisions were better than most others only because of the power imbued by their office and their access to better information on which to base those decisions --- with rare exception. In most instances, because of the natural of the system they were seeking information if not outright help.
I have most respect for the individual whose celebrity is based on talent, and performance as an individual. Power is its own reward.