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Person of the Year (called Man of the Year or Woman of the Year until 1999) is an annual issue of the United States news magazine Time that features and profiles a person, a group, an idea, or an object that "for better or for worse... has done the most to influence the events of the year".Contents
The tradition of selecting a "Man of the Year" began in 1927, with Time editors contemplating the news makers of the years. The idea was also an attempt to remedy the editorial embarrassment earlier that year of not having aviator Charles Lindbergh on its cover following his historic trans-Atlantic flight. By the end of the year, it was decided that a cover story featuring Lindberg as the Man of the Yar would serve both purposes.Selection
Despite the name, the title is not just granted to individuals. Pairs of people such as married couples and political opponents, classes of people, the computer ("Machine of the Year" in 1982), and "Endangered Earth" ("Planet of the Year" in 1988) have all been selected for the special year-end issue.Groups
There have been several groups as Time Person of the Year, such as "The Peacemakers" (1993) and "The Ebola Fighters" (2014).U.S. Presidents
Since the list began, every serving President of the United States has been a Man or Person of the Year at least once with the exceptions of Calvin Coolidge, in office at time of the first issue, Herbert Hoover, the next U.S. president, and Gerald Ford. Most were named Man or Person of the Year either the year they were elected or while they were in office; the only one to be given the title before being elected is Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1944 as Supreme Commander of the Allied Invasion Force, eight years before his election. He subsequently received the title again in 1959, while in office. Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only person to have received the title three times, first as president-elect (1932) and later as the incumbent president (1934 and 1941).Women
In 1999, the title was changed to Person of the Year. Women who have been selected for recognition after the renaming include "The Whistleblowers" (Cynthia Cooper, Coleen Rowley, and Sherron Watkins in 2002), Melinda Gates (jointly with Bill Gates and Bono, in 2005), and Angela Merkel in 2015. Prior to 1999, four women were granted the title as individuals: three as "Woman of the Year"—Wallis Simpson (1936), Queen Elizabeth II (1952), and Corazon Aquino (1986)–and one as half of the "Man and Wife of the Year", Soong Mei-ling (1937). "American Women" were recognized as a group in 1975. Other classes of people recognized comprise both men and women, such as "Hungarian Freedom Fighters" (1956), "U.S. Scientists" (1960), "The Inheritors" (1966), "The Middle Americans" (1969), "The American Soldier" (2003), "You" (2006), "The Protester" (2011) represented on the cover by a woman, and "Ebola fighters" (2014). Although the title on the magazine remained "Man of The Year" for both the 1956 "Hungarian Freedom Fighter" and the 1966 "Twenty-five and Under" editions which both featured a woman standing behind a man, and "Men of the Year" on the 1960 "U.S. Scientists" edition which exclusively featured men on its cover. It wasn't until the 1969 edition on "The Middle Americans" did the title embrace "Man and Woman of the Year".Special awards
In 1949, Winston Churchill was named "Man of the Half-Century", and the last issue of 1989 named Mikhail Gorbachev as "Man of the Decade". The December 31, 1999 issue of Time named Albert Einstein the "Person of the Century". Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi were chosen as runners-up.Controversial choices
Despite the magazine's frequent statements to the contrary, the designation is often regarded as an honor, and spoken of as an award or prize, simply based on many previous selections of admirable people. However, Time magazine points out that controversial figures such as Adolf Hitler (1938), Joseph Stalin (1939 and 1942), Nikita Khrushchev (1957), and Ayatollah Khomeini (1979) have also been granted the title for their impacts.
As a result of the public backlash it received from the United States for naming Khomeini as Man of the Year in 1979, Time has since shied away from using figures who are controversial in the United States for commercial reasons, fearing reductions in sales or advertising revenue.
Time's Person of the Year 2001, immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks, was New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The stated rules of selection, the individual or group of individuals who have had the biggest effect on the year's news, made Osama bin Laden a more likely choice that year. The issue that declared Giuliani the Person of the Year included an article that mentioned Time's earlier decision to select the Ayatollah Khomeini and the 1999 rejection of Hitler as "Person of the Century". The article seemed to imply that Osama bin Laden was a stronger candidate than Giuliani, as Adolf Hitler was a stronger candidate than Albert Einstein. The selections were ultimately based on what the magazine describes as who they believed had a stronger influence on history and who represented either the year or the century the most. According to Time, Rudolph Giuliani was selected for symbolizing the American response to the September 11th attacks, and Albert Einstein selected for representing a century of scientific exploration and wonder.
Film-maker Michael Moore claims that director Mel Gibson cost him the opportunity to be Person of the Year alongside Gibson in 2004. Moore's controversial political documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 became the highest-grossing documentary of all time the same year Gibson's The Passion of the Christ became a box-office success and also caused significant controversy. Moore said in an interview "I got a call right after the '04 election from an editor from Time Magazine. He said,' Time Magazine has picked you and Mel Gibson to be Time's Person of the Year to put on the cover, Right and Left, Mel and Mike. The only thing you have to do is pose for a picture with each other. And do an interview together.' I said 'OK.' They call Mel up, he agrees. They set the date and time in LA. I'm to fly there. He's flying from Australia. Something happens when he gets home... Next thing, Mel calls up and says, 'I'm not doing it. I've thought it over and it is not the right thing to do.' So they put Bush on the cover."
Another controversial choice was the 2006 selection of "You", representing most if not all people for advancing the information age by using the Internet (via e.g. blogs, MySpace YouTube, and Wikipedia).Online poll
Time magazine also holds an online poll for the readers to vote for who they believe to be the Person of the Year. While many mistakenly believe the winner of the poll to be the Person of the Year, the title, as mentioned above, is decided by the editors of Time. In the first online poll held in 1998, wrestler and activist Mick Foley won with over 50% of the votes. Foley was removed from the poll, and the title was given to Bill Clinton and Ken Starr, which led to outrage from the fans of Foley who mistakenly believed the winner of the poll would be the winner of the title. In 2006, the poll winner by a wide margin was Hugo Chávez, with 35% of the votes. The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, came in second. Time again ignored those results, not mentioning them in the announcement of the Person of the Year. Time continues to annually run an online poll for the "People's Choice", but stresses the decision on who the magazine recognizes is not made by the poll, but by the magazine's editors.Persons of the Year Year Image Choice Lifetime Notes Runners-up 1927 Lindbergh, CharlesCharles Lindbergh 1902–1974 In 1927, Lindbergh became the first person to fly a plane solo non-stop across the Atlantic, from New York to Paris. 1928 Chrysler, WalterWalter Chrysler 1875–1940 In 1928, Chrysler oversaw a merger of his Chrysler Corporation with Dodge before beginning work on the Chrysler Building. 1929 Young, Owen D.Owen D. Young 1874–1962 Young chaired a committee which authored 1929's Young Plan, a program for settlement of German reparations after World War I. 1930 Gandhi, MahatmaMahatma Gandhi 1869–1948 Gandhi was the leader of the India's independence movement. In 1930, he led the Salt Satyagraha, a 240-mile march to protest the imposition of taxes on salt by the British Raj. 1931 Laval, PierrePierre Laval 1883–1945 Laval was first elected Prime Minister of France in 1931. Laval was popular in the American press at the time for opposing the Hoover Moratorium, a temporary freeze on World War I debt payments that was disliked in both France and the US. 1932 Roosevelt, Franklin D.Franklin D. Roosevelt 1882–1945 Roosevelt won the 1932 US Presidential election by a landslide, defeating the incumbent, Herbert Hoover. 1933 Johnson, Hugh S.Hugh S. Johnson 1882–1942 In 1933, Johnson was appointed director of the National Recovery Administration, tasked by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to bring industry, labor and government together to create codes of "fair practices" and set prices. 1934 Roosevelt, Franklin D.Franklin D. Roosevelt (2) 1882–1945 Roosevelt was President of the United States from 1933 to 1945. 1935 Selassie, HaileHaile Selassie 1892–1975 Selassie was Emperor of Ethiopia in 1935, when Italian forces invaded Ethiopia, starting the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. 1936 Simpson, WallisWallis Simpson 1896–1986 In 1936, Simpson's relationship with King Edward VIII led the king to abdicate his thrones in order to marry her. 1937 Kai-shek, ChiangChiang Kai-shek 1887–1975 Chiang was Premier of the Republic of China at the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Mei-ling, SoongSoong Mei-ling 1898–2003 Soong was wife of Chiang Kai-shek from 1927 until his death in 1975. Addressed as Madame Chiang Kai-Shek by the magazine, she was recognized together with her husband as "Man & Wife of the Year". 1938 Hitler, AdolfAdolf Hitler 1889–1945 As German Chancellor, Hitler oversaw the unification of Germany with Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938, after the Anschluss and Munich Agreement respectively. 1939 Stalin, JosephJoseph Stalin 1878–1953 In 1939, Stalin was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and de facto leader of the Soviet Union. He oversaw the signing of a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany before invading eastern Poland. 1940 Churchill, WinstonWinston Churchill 1874–1965 Churchill was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation and the Battle of Britain. 1941 Roosevelt, Franklin D.Franklin D. Roosevelt (3) 1882–1945 Roosevelt was President of the United States in 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor, declaration of war against Japan and resulting entry of the United States into World War II. The editors had already chosen Dumbo as their "Mammal of the Year" before the Pearl Harbor attack, but quickly changed it to Roosevelt afterward (and before it was published). 1942 Stalin, JosephJoseph Stalin (2) 1878–1953 By 1942, Stalin was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Premier of the Soviet Union, overseeing the Battle of Stalingrad (1942–1943). 1943 Marshall, GeorgeGeorge Marshall 1880–1959 As United States Army Chief of Staff in 1943, General Marshall was instrumental in organizing US actions in World War II. 1944 Eisenhower, Dwight D.Dwight D. Eisenhower 1890–1969 General Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during 1944's Operation Overlord. 1945 Truman, Harry S.Harry S. Truman 1884–1972 Truman became President of the United States after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, authorizing the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 1946 Byrnes, James F.James F. Byrnes 1879–1972 In 1946, Byrnes was United States Secretary of State during the Iran crisis of 1946, taking an increasingly hardline position in opposition to Stalin. His speech, "Restatement of Policy on Germany", set the tone of future US policy, repudiating the Morgenthau Plan economic policies and giving Germans hope for the future. 1947 Marshall, GeorgeGeorge Marshall (2) 1880–1959 Appointed United States Secretary of State in 1947, Marshall was the architect of the Marshall Plan. 1948 Truman, Harry S.Harry S. Truman (2) 1884–1972 Truman was elected in his own right as President of the United States in 1948, considered to be one of the greatest election upsets in American history. 1949 Churchill, WinstonWinston Churchill (2) 1874–1965 Proclaimed as the "Man of the half-century", Churchill had led Britain and the Allies to victory in WWII. In 1949, Churchill was Leader of the Opposition. 1950 American fighting !The American fighting-man Representing U.S. troops involved in the Korean War (1950–1953). 1951 Mossadegh, MohammadMohammad Mossadegh 1882–1967 In 1951, Mossadegh was elected as Prime Minister of Iran and expelled western oil companies, starting the Abadan Crisis 1952 Elizabeth !Elizabeth II Born in 1926 In 1952, Elizabeth acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom upon the death of her father, King George VI 1953 Adenauer, KonradKonrad Adenauer 1876–1967 In 1953, Adenauer was re-elected as Chancellor of West Germany. 1954 Dulles, John FosterJohn Foster Dulles 1888–1959 As United States Secretary of State in 1954, Dulles was architect of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. 1955 Curtice, HarlowHarlow Curtice 1893–1962 Curtice was President of General Motors (GM) from 1953 to 1958. In 1955, GM sold five million vehicles and became the first corporation to earn US$1 billion in a single year. 1956 Hungarian !The Hungarian freedom fighter Representing Hungarian revolutionaries involved in the failed 1956 uprising. 1957 Khrushchev, NikitaNikita Khrushchev 1894–1971 In 1957, Khrushchev consolidated his leadership of the Soviet Union, surviving a plot to dismiss him by members of the Presidium, and leading the Soviet Union into the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik 1. 1958 de Gaulle, CharlesCharles de Gaulle 1890–1970 De Gaulle was appointed Prime Minister of France in May 1958 and, following the collapse of the Fourth Republic and establishment of the Fifth Republic, was then elected President of France in December. 1959 Eisenhower, Dwight D.Dwight D. Eisenhower (2) 1890–1969 Eisenhower was President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. 1960 Us Scientists !U.S. Scientists Represented by George Beadle, Charles Draper, John Enders, Donald A. Glaser, Joshua Lederberg, Willard Libby, Linus Pauling, Edward Purcell, Isidor Rabi, Emilio Segrè, William Shockley, Edward Teller, Charles Townes, James Van Allen and Robert Woodward. 1961 Kennedy, John F.John F. Kennedy 1917–1963 Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States in 1961, ordering the failed invasion of Cuba by U.S.-trained Cuban exiles. 1962 John XXIII, PopePope John XXIII 1881–1963 John XXIII was head of the Roman Catholic Church from 1958 to 1963. In 1962, he volunteered as a mediator in the Cuban Missile Crisis, gaining praise from both sides. He also initiated the Second Vatican Council that same year. 1963 King Jr., Martin LutherMartin Luther King Jr. 1929–1968 A Civil Rights Movement leader, King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963. 1964 Johnson, Lyndon B.Lyndon B. Johnson 1908–1973 Johnson was elected in his own right as President of the United States in 1964, before securing the passage of the Civil Rights Act, declaring a War on Poverty and escalating U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. 1965 Westmoreland, WilliamWilliam Westmoreland 1914–2005 General Westmoreland was commander of U.S. forces in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. 1966 Inheritor !The Inheritor Representing a generation of American men and women, aged 25 and under. 1967 Johnson, Lyndon B.Lyndon B. Johnson (2) 1908–1973 Johnson was President of the United States from 1963 to 1969. 1968 Apollo !The Apollo 8 astronauts In 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 (William Anders, Frank Borman and Jim Lovell) became the first humans to travel beyond low Earth orbit, orbiting the Moon and paving the way for the first manned Moon landings in 1969. 1969 Middle America !The Middle Americans Also referred to as the silent majority. 1970 Brandt, WillyWilly Brandt 1913–1992 As Chancellor of West Germany, Brandt was acknowledged for "seeking to bring about a fresh relationship between East and West" through his "bold approach to the Soviet Union and the East Bloc". 1971 Nixon, RichardRichard Nixon 1913–1994 Nixon was President of the United States from 1969 to 1974. 1972 Nixon, RichardRichard Nixon (2) 1913–1994 As President of the United States, Nixon visited China in 1972, the first U.S. President to do so. Nixon later secured the SALT I pact with the Soviet Union before being re-elected in one of the largest landslide election victories in American history Kissinger, HenryHenry Kissinger Born in 1923 Kissinger, as Nixon's National Security Advisor, travelled with the President to China in 1972. 1973 Sirica, JohnJohn Sirica 1904–1992 In 1973, as Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Sirica ordered President Nixon to turn over Watergate-related recordings of White House conversations. 1974 Faisal !King Faisal 1906–1975 Faisal, King of Saudi Arabia, was acknowledged in the wake of the oil crisis of 1973–1974, caused by Saudi Arabia withdrawing its oil from world markets in protest at Western support for Israel during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. 1975 American women !American women Represented by Susan Brownmiller, Kathleen Byerly, Alison Cheek, Jill Conway, Betty Ford, Ella Grasso, Carla Hills, Barbara Jordan, Billie Jean King, Carol Sutton, Susie Sharp, and Addie Wyatt. 1976 Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter Born in 1924 In 1976, Carter was elected President of the United States, defeating incumbent President Gerald Ford. 1977 Sadat, AnwarAnwar Sadat 1918–1981 Sadat, as President of Egypt, traveled to Israel in 1977—the first Arab leader to do so—to discuss normalization of Egypt-Israel relations. 1978 Xiaoping, DengDeng Xiaoping 1904–1997 China's Vice Premier. Deng overthrew Hua Guofeng to assume de facto control over China in 1978, as Paramount Leader. 1979 Khomeini, RuhollahRuhollah Khomeini 1902–1989 Khomeini led the 1979 Iranian Revolution, establishing himself as Supreme Leader. 1980 Reagan, RonaldRonald Reagan 1911–2004 Reagan was elected President of the United States in 1980, defeating incumbent President Jimmy Carter. 1981 Wałęsa, LechLech Wałęsa Born in 1943 Leader of the Polish Solidarity trade union and architect of the Gdańsk Agreement until his arrest and the imposition of martial law in December 1981. 1982 Computer !The Computer Denoted "Machine of the Year" to herald the dawn of the Information Age. 1983 Reagan, RonaldRonald Reagan (2) 1911–2004 In 1983, as President of the United States, Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada and championed the Strategic Defense Initiative. Andropov, YuriYuri Andropov 1914–1984 Andropov, as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, was a strong critic of the Strategic Defense Initiative. Andropov was hospitalized in August 1983 and subsequently died in 1984. 1984 Ueberroth, PeterPeter Ueberroth Born in 1937 Ueberroth orchestrated the organization of the 1984 Summer Olympics, which involved a Soviet-led boycott. 1985 Xiaoping, DengDeng Xiaoping (2) 1904–1997 As Paramount Leader of China, Deng was acknowledged for "sweeping economic reforms that have challenged Marxist orthodoxies". 1986 Aquino, CorazonCorazon Aquino 1933–2009 Aquino was a prominent figure in 1986's People Power Revolution, being elected President of the Philippines. 1987 Gorbachev, MikhailMikhail Gorbachev Born in 1931 As General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and leader of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev oversaw Perestroika political reforms in 1987. 1988 Endangered !The Endangered Earth Planet of the Year, involving an aspect of Mother Nature. 1989 Gorbachev, MikhailMikhail Gorbachev (2) Born in 1931 Acknowledged as "Man of the Decade". Gorbachev, as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Soviet leader), oversaw 1989's first free Soviet elections before the fragmentation of the Eastern Bloc. 1990 Bush, George H. W.George H. W. Bush Born in 1924 As President of the United States, Bush oversaw U.S. involvement in the Gulf War (1990–1991). 1991 Turner, TedTed Turner Born in 1938 Founder of CNN. 1992 Clinton, BillBill Clinton Born in 1946 Clinton was elected President of the United States in 1992, defeating incumbent President George H. W. Bush. 1993 Peacemakers !The Peacemakers Represented by Yasser Arafat, F. W. de Klerk, Nelson Mandela, and Yitzhak Rabin.
Represented on the covers by Dr. Jerry Brown, the medical director at the Eternal Love Winning Africa Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, Dr. Kent Brantly, a physician with Samaritan's Purse and the first American to be infected in the 2014 outbreak, Ella Watson-Stryker, a health promoter for Doctors Without Borders who is originally from the United States, Foday Gallah, an ambulance supervisor and Ebola survivor from Monrovia, Liberia, and Salome Karwah, a trainee nurse and counselor from Liberia whose parents died of Ebola, as well as others mentioned in the article itself, such as Dr. Pardis Sabeti from the Broad Institute.7 runners-up