Time Person of the Year
The "Person of the Year" is not always a person. It can be a person, group, idea, or thing that "for better or for worse...has done the most to influence the events of the year". This means that being chosen is not an award, like being chosen as the "best person of the year." The Person of the Year may be an enemy of the United States, like Adolf Hitler (1938) or Joseph Stalin (1939 and 1942). Every year, Time chooses the person who they think has had the most effect on the things that have happened in that year (whether those things were good or bad).
The first Person of the Year was aviator Charles Lindbergh, in 1927. Since then, Persons of the Year have included groups, whole generations, important objects, and even the Earth. Since the list began, every serving President of the United States has been a Person of the Year at least once, except for Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Gerald Ford. Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only person to have been named Person of the Year three times.
Persons of the Year[change | change source]
|1927||Charles Lindbergh||1902–1974||Lindbergh completed the first solo transatlantic flight in May 1927 by piloting his monoplane Spirit of St. Louis from Garden City, New York to Paris, France.|
|1928||Walter Chrysler||1875–1940||In 1928, Chrysler oversaw a merger of his Chrysler Corporation with Dodge before beginning work on the Chrysler Building.|
|1929||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||Mahatma 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||Pierre Laval||1883–1945||Laval was first appointed 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||Franklin D. Roosevelt||1882–1945||Roosevelt won the 1932 US Presidential election by a landslide, defeating the incumbent, Herbert Hoover.|
|1933||Hugh S. Johnson||1882–1942||In 1933 Johnson was appointed director of the National Recovery Administration. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave him the task of bringing industry, labor and government together to create codes of "fair practices" and set prices.|
|1934||Franklin D. Roosevelt (2)||1882–1945||Roosevelt was President of the United States from 1933 to 1945. In 1934, Roosevelt's New Deal reforms were beginning to bear fruit.|
|1935||Haile Selassie I||1892–1975||Selassie was Emperor of Ethiopia in 1935, when Italian forces invaded Ethiopia, starting the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.|
|1936||Wallis Simpson||1896–1986||In 1936, Simpson's relationship with King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, led the king to abdicate his throne in order to marry her.|
|1937||Chiang Kai-shek||1887–1975||Chiang was Premier of the Republic of China at the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937.|
|Soong 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||Adolf Hitler||1889–1945||As Chancellor of Germany, Hitler oversaw the unification of Germany with Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938, after the Anschluss and Munich Agreement respectively. Instead of a conventional portrait, the cover was an illustration by Rudolph von Ripper entitled 'From the unholy organist, a hymn of hate'.|
|1939||Joseph 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||Winston Churchill||1874–1965||Churchill was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation and the Battle of Britain.|
|1941||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.|
|1942||Joseph 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||George C. 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||Dwight D. Eisenhower||1890–1969||General Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during 1944's Operation Overlord.|
|1945||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||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||George C. Marshall (2)||1880–1959||Appointed United States Secretary of State in 1947, Marshall was the architect of the Marshall Plan.|
|1948||Harry S. Truman (2)||1884–1972||Truman was elected in his own right as President of the United States in 1948, which is considered to be one of the greatest election upsets in American history.|
|1949||Winston 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||The American fighting-man||Representing U.S. troops involved in the Korean War (1950–1953).|
|1951||Mohammad Mossadegh||1882–1967||In 1951, Mossadegh was appointed Prime Minister of Iran and expelled western oil companies, starting the Abadan Crisis.|
|1952||Elizabeth II||Born in 1926||In 1952, Elizabeth acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms upon the death of her father, King George VI|
|1953||Konrad Adenauer||1876–1967||In 1953, Adenauer was re-elected as Chancellor of West Germany.|
|1954||John Foster Dulles||1888–1959||As United States Secretary of State in 1954, Dulles was architect of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.|
|1955||Harlow 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||The Hungarian freedom fighter||Representing Hungarian revolutionaries involved in the failed 1956 uprising.|
|1957||Nikita 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||Charles 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||Dwight D. Eisenhower (2)||1890–1969||Eisenhower was President of the United States from 1953 to 1961.|
|1960||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||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||1881–1963||Pope 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||Martin Luther King Jr.||1929–1968||A leader of the Civil Rights Movement, King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963.|
|1964||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||William Westmoreland||1914–2005||General Westmoreland was commander of U.S. forces in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.|
|1966||The Inheritor||Representing a generation of American men and women, aged 25 and under.|
|1967||Lyndon B. Johnson (2)||1908–1973||Johnson was President of the United States from 1963 to 1969.|
|1968||The Apollo 8 astronauts||Born in 1933, 1928 and 1928||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||The Middle Americans||Also referred to as the silent majority.|
|1970||Willy 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||Richard Nixon||1913–1994||Nixon was President of the United States from 1969 to 1974.|
|1972||Richard 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.|
|Henry Kissinger||Born in 1923||Kissinger, as Nixon's National Security Advisor, traveled with the President to China in 1972.|
|1973||John 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||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 Yom Kippur War.|
|1975||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||Jimmy Carter||Born in 1924||In 1976, Carter was elected President of the United States, defeating incumbent President Gerald Ford.|
|1977||Anwar 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||Deng Xiaoping||1904–1997||China's Vice Premier. Deng overthrew Hua Guofeng to assume de facto control over China in 1978, as Paramount Leader.|
|1979||Ruhollah Khomeini||1902–1989||Khomeini led the 1979 Iranian Revolution, establishing himself as Supreme Leader.|
|1980||Ronald Reagan||1911–2004||Reagan was elected President of the United States in 1980, defeating incumbent President Jimmy Carter.|
|1981||Lech 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||The Computer||Denoted "Machine of the Year" to herald the dawn of the Information Age.|
|1983||Ronald Reagan (2)||1911–2004||In 1983, as President of the United States, Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada and championed the Strategic Defense Initiative.|
|Yuri 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||Peter Ueberroth||Born in 1937||Ueberroth orchestrated the organization of the 1984 Summer Olympics, which involved a Soviet-led boycott.|
|1985||Deng Xiaoping (2)||1904–1997||As Paramount Leader of China, Deng was acknowledged for "sweeping economic reforms that have challenged Marxist orthodoxies".|
|1986||Corazon Aquino||1933–2009||Aquino was a prominent figure in 1986's People Power Revolution, being elected President of the Philippines.|
|1987||Mikhail 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||The Endangered Earth||Planet of the Year, representing the growing environmental movement as well as several natural and ecological disasters that struck in 1988: among them were the 1988–1989 North American drought, "syringe tide", 1988 Bangladesh cyclone and 1988 Armenian earthquake, as well as ozone depletion, global warming, radioactive contamination and deforestation.|
|1989||Mikhail 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||George H. W. Bush||1924–2018||As President of the United States, Bush oversaw U.S. involvement in the Gulf War (1990–1991).|
|1991||Ted Turner||Born in 1938||Founder of CNN. The piece particularly highlighted CNN's coverage of Operation Desert Storm and the Gulf War, proclaiming it "History as it happens".|
|1992||Bill Clinton||Born in 1946||Clinton was elected President of the United States in 1992, defeating incumbent President George H. W. Bush.|
|1993||The Peacemakers||Represented by Yasser Arafat, F. W. de Klerk, Nelson Mandela, and Yitzhak Rabin.|
De Klerk, as State President of South Africa, oversaw Mandela's release from prison in 1990. The pair worked together to end the Apartheid system.
Arafat, as President of the Palestinian National Authority, and Rabin, as Prime Minister of Israel, signed the 1993 Oslo Accord, the first face-to-face agreement between Palestinian and Israeli authorities.
|1994||John Paul II||1920–2005||Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005.|
|1995||Newt Gingrich||Born in 1943||Leader of the "Republican Revolution", a Republican party election landslide, which led to Gingrich being elected Speaker of the House.|
|1996||David Ho||Born in 1952||Ho, a scientist, pioneered much AIDS research.|
|1997||Andrew Grove||1936–2016||In 1997, Grove was Chairman and CEO of Intel, recognized as a pioneer in the semiconductor industry.|
|1998||Bill Clinton (2)||Born in 1946||As President of the United States, Clinton was impeached in 1998 following the Lewinsky scandal. The Senate acquitted him of the charges.|
|Ken Starr||Born in 1946||Starr, a lawyer investigating various figures within the Clinton administration, published his Starr Report in 1998, opening the door for the impeachment of Bill Clinton.|
|1999||Jeff Bezos||Born in 1964||Bezos is founder and was CEO of Amazon.com.|
|2000||George W. Bush||Born in 1946||In 2000, Bush was elected President of the United States, defeating incumbent Vice President Al Gore.|
|2001||Rudy Giuliani||Born in 1944||Giuliani, Mayor of New York City at the time of the September 11 attacks in 2001, was selected as a symbol of America's response to the attacks.|
|2002||The Whistleblowers||Represented by Cynthia Cooper, Coleen Rowley, and Sherron Watkins.|
In 2001, Watkins uncovered accounting irregularities in the financial reports of Enron, testifying before Congressional committees the following year. In 2002, Cooper exposed a $3.8 billion fraud at WorldCom. At the time, this was the largest incident of accounting fraud in U.S. history. In 2002, Rowley, an FBI agent, gave testimony about the FBI's mishandling of information related to the September 11 attacks of 2001.
|2003||The American soldier (2)||Representing U.S. forces around the world, especially in the Iraq War (2003–2011).|
|2004||George W. Bush (2)||Born in 1946||In 2004, Bush was re-elected President of the United States, defeating John Kerry and overseeing U.S. involvement in the Iraq War.|
|2005||The Good Samaritans||Represented by Bono, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates.|
Bono, philanthropist and member of the rock band U2, helped to organise the 2005 Live 8 concerts. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and richest person in the world at the time, and his wife Melinda, founded the philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
|2006||You||Representing individual content creators on the World Wide Web.|
|2007||Vladimir Putin||Born in 1952||Putin was President of Russia from 2000 to 2008.|
|2008||Barack Obama||Born in 1961||In 2008, Obama was elected President of the United States, defeating John McCain becoming the first African-American President of the United States in January 2009|
|2009||Ben Bernanke||Born in 1953||Chairman of the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis of 2007–08.|
|2010||Mark Zuckerberg||Born in 1984||Founder of social-networking website Facebook.|
|2011||The Protester||Recognizing the historic significance of many grassroots protests across the world during that year, such as the ongoing Arab Spring and those against austerity measures in Greece and later in Spain, against corruption in India, against the drug war in Mexico, for education in Chile, for social justice in Israel, as well as the riots in England, the anti-government protests in Russia and the emerging global Occupy Movement.|
|2012||Barack Obama (2)||Born in 1961||In 2012, Obama was re-elected President of the United States, defeating Mitt Romney.|
|2013||Francis||Born in 1936||Elected Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in 2013, following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.|
|2014||Ebola fighters||"Ebola fighters" refers to health care workers who helped stop the spread of Ebola virus disease during the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, including not only doctors and nurses, but also ambulance attendants, burial parties and others.
Those represented on the covers included
|2015||Angela Merkel||Born in 1954||Chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021, recognized for leadership in the Greek debt crisis and European migrant crisis.|
|2016||Donald Trump||Born in 1946||In 2016, Trump was elected President of the United States, defeating Hillary Clinton.|
|2017||The Silence Breakers||The people who spoke out against sexual abuse and harassment, including the figureheads of the Me Too movement. Represented on the cover by strawberry picker Isabel Pascual (pseudonym), lobbyist Adama Iwu, actress Ashley Judd, software engineer Susan Fowler, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, and a sixth woman, a hospital worker who wished to remain anonymous and whose face cannot be seen.
The feature also specifically spotlights, in order:
Journalists who faced persecution, arrest or murder for their reporting. Those highlighted on four different covers were:
|2019||Greta Thunberg||Born in 2003||Environmental activist and founder of the school strike for the climate campaign.|||
|2020||Joe Biden||Born in 1942||In 2020, Biden and Harris were elected President and Vice President of the United States respectively, defeating incumbent President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. In January 2021, Harris became the first woman, first African American, and first Asian American vice president. Biden became the oldest president to assume office, first from Delaware, and second Catholic.|||
|Kamala Harris||Born in 1964|
|2021||Elon Musk||Born in 1971||CEO of Tesla, Inc., founder of SpaceX, and the richest person in the world as of 2021||Time did not release a shortlist for 2021.|
Photo gallery[change | change source]
1927 – 1950[change | change source]
1951 – 1979[change | change source]
1980 – 2000[change | change source]
2001 – 2021[change | change source]
Video of Barack Obama's speech after becoming the first African-American President of the U.S. (2008)
References[change | change source]
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