Time Person of the Year

Time Person of the Year

Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year) is an annual issue of the United States newsmagazine Time that features and profiles a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."[1]



The tradition of selecting a Man of the Year began in 1927, with Time editors contemplating newsworthy stories possible during a slow news week. The idea was also an attempt to remedy the editorial embarrassment earlier that year for 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 Lindbergh as the Man of the Year would serve both purposes.[2]

Since then, individual people, classes of people, the computer, and Planet Earth have all been selected for the special year-end issue. In 1999, the title was changed to Person of the Year.[3] However, the only women to win the renamed recognition as an individual so far were those recognized as The Whistleblowers (2002) and Melinda Gates (jointly with Bill Gates and Bono in 2005). Before that, four women were granted the title as individuals, adapted as Woman of the YearWallis Simpson in 1936, Soong May-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek) in 1937, Queen Elizabeth II in 1952, and Corazon Aquino in 1986. Several classes of people comprise both men and women or women only, namely Hungarian Freedom Fighter in 1956, "U.S. Scientists" in 1960, Twenty-Five and Under in 1966, The Middle Americans in 1969, "American Women" in 1975, "The American Soldier" in 2003, and You in 2006.

Since the list began, every serving President of the United States has been a 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 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, who won it in 1944, 8 years before his election. He subsequently won the title again in 1959, while in office.

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.[4]

Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only person to have received the title 3 times - in 1932, 1934 and 1941.

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.[5] However Time magazine points out those such as Adolf Hitler in 1938, and Joseph Stalin in 1939 and again in 1942, and the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, have also been granted the title.

As a result of the public backlash it received from the United States for naming the Ayatollah Khomeini Man of the Year in 1979, Time has shied away from using figures that are controversial in the United States.[6] Time's Person of the Year 2001—immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks—was New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, although 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. The issue that declared Giuliani the Person of the Year included an article that mentioned Time's earlier decision to elect 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.

Another criticized 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, YouTube, MySpace and Wikipedia).[7]

Persons of the Year

Year Image Choice Lifetime Notes
1927 LindberghStLouis.jpg Charles Lindbergh  USA 1902–1974
1928 WalterChrysler.jpg Walter Chrysler  USA 1875–1940
1929 Owen D. Young on TIME Magazine, January 6, 1930.jpg Owen D. Young  USA 1874–1962
1930 MKGandhi.jpg Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi  India 1869–1948
1931 Laval 1931.jpg Pierre Laval  France 1883–1945
1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt TIME Man of the Year 1933 color photo.jpg Franklin D. Roosevelt  USA 1882–1945
1933 1933 Time Man of the Year cover.jpg Hugh Samuel Johnson  USA 1882–1942
1934 FDR in 1933.jpg Franklin D. Roosevelt  USA 1882–1945
1935 Selassie restored.jpg Emperor Haile Selassie I  Ethiopia 1892–1975
1936 Wallis Simpson -1936.JPG Wallis Simpson  USA 1896–1986
1937 Chiang Kai-shek(蔣中正).jpg Chiang Kai-shek  Republic of China 1887–1975
Songmayling.jpg Soong May-ling  Republic of China 1898–2003
1938 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S33882, Adolf Hitler retouched.jpg Adolf Hitler  Germany 1889–1945
1939 Portrait of Stalin in 1936.gif Joseph Stalin  USSR 1878–1953
1940 Winston Churchill 1941 photo by Yousuf Karsh.jpg Winston Churchill  UK 1874–1965
1941 Franklin Roosevelt signing declaration of war against Japan.jpg Franklin D. Roosevelt  USA 1882–1945
1942 JStalin Secretary general CCCP 1942.jpg Joseph Stalin  USSR 1878–1953
1943 General George C. Marshall, official military photo, 1946.JPEG George Marshall  USA 1880–1959
1944 General Dwight D. Eisenhower.jpg Dwight D. Eisenhower  USA 1890–1969
1945 Harry-truman.jpg Harry S. Truman  USA 1884–1972
1946 James Francis Byrnes, at his desk, 1943.jpg James F. Byrnes  USA 1879–1972
1947 General George C. Marshall, official military photo, 1946.JPEG George Marshall  USA 1880–1959
1948 Truman initiating Korean involvement.jpg Harry S. Truman  USA 1884–1972
1949 Sir Winston S Churchill.jpg Winston Churchill  UK 1874–1965 Man of the half-century
1950 The American fighting-man  USA Representing Korean War troops
1951 Mossadegh US04.jpg Mohammed Mossadegh  Iran 1882–1967
1952 Elizabeth and Philip 1953.jpg Queen Elizabeth II [n 1] 1926–
1953 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F078072-0004, Konrad Adenauer.jpg Konrad Adenauer  West Germany 1876–1967
1954 JohnFosterDulles.jpeg John Foster Dulles  USA 1888–1959
1955 Harlow Curtice.jpg Harlow Curtice  USA 1893–1962
1956 The Hungarian freedom fighter  Hungary
1957 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B0628-0015-035, Nikita S. Chruchstschow.jpg Nikita Khrushchev  USSR 1894–1971
1958 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F010324-0002, Flughafen Köln-Bonn, Adenauer, de Gaulle-cropped.jpg Charles de Gaulle  France 1890–1970
1959 Dwight D. Eisenhower, official photo portrait, May 29, 1959.jpg Dwight D. Eisenhower  USA 1890–1969
1960 American scientists  USA 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 John F. Kennedy, White House color photo portrait.jpg John F. Kennedy  USA 1917–1963
1962 John-xxiii-2.jpg Pope John XXIII  Holy See/ Italy 1881–1963
1963 Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS.jpg Martin Luther King, Jr.  USA 1929–1968
1964 37 Lbj2 3x4.jpg Lyndon B. Johnson  USA 1908–1973
1965 Gen William C Westmoreland.jpg William Westmoreland  USA 1914–2005
1966 Baby boomers
1967 37 Lbj2 3x4.jpg Lyndon B. Johnson  USA 1908–1973
1968 Apollo 8 Crewmembers - GPN-2000-001125.jpg The Apollo 8 astronauts  USA William Anders, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell
1969 The middle Americans  USA Also referred to as the Silent Majority[8]
1970 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F057884-0009, Willy Brandt.jpg Willy Brandt  West Germany 1913–1992
1971 Richard Nixon.jpg Richard Nixon  USA 1913–1994
1972 Richard Nixon.jpg Richard Nixon  USA 1913–1994
Henry Kissinger.jpg Henry Kissinger  USA 1923–
1973 John Sirica  USA 1904–1992
1974 Faisal of Saudi Arabia - 1941.jpg King Faisal  Saudi Arabia 1906–1975
1975 American women  USA 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 JimmyCarterPortrait2.jpg Jimmy Carter  USA 1924–
1977 Anwar Sadat cropped.jpg Anwar Sadat  Egypt 1918–1981
1978 DengXiaoping.jpg Deng Xiaoping  People's Republic of China 1904–1997
1979 Portrait of Imam Khomeini.jpg Ayatollah Khomeini  Iran 1902–1989
1980 Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpg Ronald Reagan  USA 1911–2004
1981 Lech walesa prezydent RP.gif Lech Wałęsa  Poland 1943–
1982 The Computer Machine of the Year
1983 Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpg Ronald Reagan  USA 1911–2004
Andropov1.jpg Yuri Andropov  USSR 1914–1984
1984 Peter Ueberroth.jpg Peter Ueberroth  USA 1937–
1985 DengXiaoping.jpg Deng Xiaoping  People's Republic of China 1904–1997
1986 Corazon Aquino 1986.jpg Corazon C. Aquino  Philippines 1933–2009
1987 Mikhail Gorbachev 1987 Cropped.jpg Mikhail Gorbachev  USSR 1931–
1988 The endangered Earth Planet of the Year
1989 Mikhail Gorbachev 1987 Cropped.jpg Mikhail Gorbachev  USSR 1931– Man of the Decade
1990 George H. W. Bush, President of the United States, 1989 official portrait.jpg George H. W. Bush  USA 1924–
1991 Ted Turner LF.JPG Ted Turner  USA 1938–
1992 Bill Clinton.jpg Bill Clinton  USA 1946–
1993 The Peacemakers  Palestine
 South Africa
Represented by Yasser Arafat, F.W. de Klerk, Nelson Mandela, and Yitzhak Rabin
1994 JohannesPaul2-portrait.jpg Pope John Paul II  Holy See/ Poland 1920–2005
1995 Newt Gingrich by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg Newt Gingrich  USA 1943–
1996 David Ho in lab.JPG David Ho  Republic of China/ USA 1952–
1997 Andrew Grove.jpg Andrew Grove  Hungary/ USA 1936–
1998 Bill Clinton.jpg Bill Clinton  USA 1946–
Starr-large (1).jpg Kenneth Starr  USA 1946–
1999 Jeff Bezos 2005.jpg Jeffrey P. Bezos  USA 1964– See also: Person of the Century
2000 George-W-Bush.jpeg George W. Bush  USA 1946–
2001 Rudy Giuliani.jpg Rudolph Giuliani  USA 1944–
2002 The Whistleblowers  USA Represented by Cynthia Cooper (WorldCom), Coleen Rowley (FBI) and Sherron Watkins (Enron)
2003 The American soldier  USA
2004 George-W-Bush.jpeg George W. Bush  USA 1946–
2005 The Good Samaritans  Ireland
Represented by Bono, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates
2006 Time youcover01.jpg You[9] Represented by the individual content creator on the World Wide Web
2007 Vladimir Putin official portrait.jpg Vladimir Putin[10]  Russia 1952–
2008 Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg Barack Obama[11]  USA 1961–
2009 Ben Bernanke official portrait.jpg Ben Bernanke[12]  USA 1953–
2010 Mark Zuckerberg at the 37th G8 Summit in Deauville 037.jpg Mark Zuckerberg[13]  USA 1984–
  1. ^ No single flag is presented for Elizabeth II as she was in 1952 the sovereign of more than one independent state, specifically the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, Pakistan and South Africa

See also


  1. ^ Person of the Year: 75th Anniversary Celebration (Special Collector's Edition ed.). New York: Time Books. 2002. OCLC 52817840. 
  2. ^ Time (2002) p. 1.
  3. ^ First "Person" of the Year (rather than "Man" of the Year) is Jeff Bezos of amazon.com.
  4. ^ Golden, Frederic (3 January 2000). "Person of the Century: Albert Einstein". Time. http://www.time.com/time/time100/poc/magazine/albert_einstein5a.htm. Retrieved 2008–02–13. 
  5. ^ Time (2002) pp. 2, 79.
  6. ^ Time (2002) p. 79.
  7. ^ "TIME.com - Person of the Year 2006 - Who Will It Be?". Time. 2006–11–13. http://www.time.com/time/personoftheyear/2006/walkup/. Retrieved 2010–05–25. 
  8. ^ Larsen, Roy (January 5, 1970). "A Letter From The Publisher". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,943108,00.html#ixzz1EiZ91J8D. 
  9. ^ Lev Grossman (13 December 2006). "Time's Person of the Year: You". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1569514,00.html. Retrieved 2008–02–14. 
  10. ^ "Person of the Year 2007". Time. 2007. http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/0,28757,1690753,00.html. Retrieved 2009–07–08. 
  11. ^ "Person of the Year 2008". Time. 2008–12–17. http://www.time.com/time/specials/2008/personoftheyear/article/0,31682,1861543_1865068,00.html?cnn=yes. Retrieved 2008–12–17. 
  12. ^ Grunwald, Michael (16 December 2009). "Person of the Year 2009". Time. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1946375_1947251,00.html. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  13. ^ Grossman, Lev (15 December 2010). "Person of the Year 2010". Time. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2036683_2037183,00.html. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 

External links

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