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||USA||1902–1974||In May 1927, Lindbergh was the first person to fly a plane non-stop over the Atlantic Ocean (from New York City, USA to Paris, France).|
|1928||Walter Chrysler||USA||1875–1940||In 1928, Chrysler joined his company with Dodge, and began work on the Chrysler Building.|
|1929||Owen D. Young||USA||1874–1962||Young led a committee which wrote the Young Plan. This was a payment plan to help Germany pay reparations for World War I. Germany owed 112 billion marks (US $26.3 billion) for damage caused by the war.|
|1930||Mahatma Gandhi||IND||1869–1948||Gandhi was the leader of the Indian independence movement. In 1930, he led the Salt Satyagraha, a 240-mile march to protest the British Raj putting taxes on salt.|
|1931||Pierre Laval||France||1883–1945||Laval was a four-time Prime Minister of France. He blocked an international loan package to a big Austrian bank called Creditanstait. The bank had to declare bankruptcy. This was one of the first major bank failures that led to the Great Depression.|
|1932||Franklin D. Roosevelt||USA||1882–1945||Roosevelt won the 1932 United States Presidential election by a landslide, defeating the incumbent, Herbert Hoover.|
|1933||Hugh Samuel Johnson||USA||1882–1942||In 1933, Johnson was made the director of the National Recovery Administration. President Roosevelt gave this agency the job of bringing industry, labor, and government together to create codes of "fair practices" and set prices.|
|1934||Franklin D. Roosevelt||USA||1882–1945||Roosevelt was President of the United States from 1933 to 1945.|
|1935||Haile Selassie I||Ethiopia||1892–1975||Selassie was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. In October 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia, starting the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.|
|1936||Wallis Simpson||USA||1896–1986||In 1936, King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom decided to abdicate his throne (give up being King) so he could marry Simpson.|
|1937||Chiang Kai-shek||Republic of China||1887–1975||Chiang was Premier of the Republic of China when the Second Sino-Japanese War started in 1937.|
|Soong May-ling||Republic of China||1898–2003||Soong was Chiang Kai-shek's wife.|
|1938||Adolf Hitler||Germany||1889–1945||In 1938, Hitler was Chancellor of Germany. That year, Germany invaded Austria and added it to Germany. Hitler also got France, the United Kingdom, and Italy to sign the Munich agreement, which allowed Germany to take over the Sudetenland.|
|1939||Joseph Stalin||Soviet Union||1878–1953||In 1939, Stalin was leading the Soviet Union. He ordered the Soviet Red Army to invade eastern Poland.|
|1940||Winston Churchill||UK||1874–1965||Churchill was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation and the Battle of Britain (one of Nazi Germany's first big losses and an important turning point in the war)|
|1941||Franklin D. Roosevelt||USA||1882–1945||Roosevelt was President of the United States in 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He declared war on Japan, which brought the U.S. into World War II. TIME had actually chosen Dumbo as their "Mammal of the Year" before the Pearl Harbor attack, but quickly changed it afterward.|
|1942||Joseph Stalin||Soviet Union||1878–1953||Stalin was the head of the Soviet Union during the Battle of Stalingrad. The battle lasted until 1943 and many people died, but it stopped the Nazis from moving any farther east or taking over the Soviet Union.|
|1943||George Marshall||USA||1880–1959||As Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, Marshall gave the President advice and helped him make decisions about what the military should do during World War II.|
|1944||Dwight D. Eisenhower||USA||1890–1969||Eisenhower was in charge of all Allied troops during the Battle of Normandy in 1944.|
|1945||Harry S Truman||USA||1884–1972||Truman became the U.S. President when Roosevelt died in 1945. Truman ordered the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Shortly after the Nagasaki bombing, Japan surrendered and World War II ended.|
|1946||James F. Byrnes||USA||1879–1972||Byrnes was U.S. Secretary of State during the Iran crisis of 1946, when the Soviet Union refused to leave parts of Iran that it had occupied during World War II. He also cancelled the Morgenthau Plan, which would have destroyed all the industrial factories in West Germany so it could never fight another war.|
|1947||George Marshall||USA||1880–1959||Marshall became U.S. Secretary of state in 1947. He wrote the Marshall Plan, a plan for how the U.S. could help Western Europe recover from World War II.|
|1948||Harry S Truman||USA||1884–1972||Truman was elected President in 1948. This was one of the most unexpected wins in American history.|
|1949||Winston Churchill||UK||1874–1965||Churchill was chosen as the "man of the half-century." By 1949, he was the Leader of the Opposition in the U.K.|
|1950||The American fighting-man||USA||"The American fighting-man" was chosen to stand for all U.S. soldiers fighting in the Korean War, which started in 1950.|
|1951||Mohammad Mosaddegh||Iran||1882–1967||Mossadegh was elected Prime Minister of Iran in 1951. He caused the Abadan Crisis by taking over a British oil company. He also kicked all Western companies out of the oil refineries in Abadan, Iran.|
|1952||Elizabeth II||Commonwealth realms[n 1]||1926–||In 1952, Elizabeth became Queen of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ceylon, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa. She became Queen after her father, King George VI, died.|
|1953||Konrad Adenauer||West Germany||1876–1967||In 1953, Adenauer was re-elected as Chancellor of Germany.|
|1954||John Foster Dulles||USA||1888–1959||As United States Secretary of State in 1954, Dulles created the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). SEATO's goal was to stop communists from taking over any more countries in Southeast Asia.|
|1955||Harlow Curtice||USA||1893–1962||Curtice was the head of General Motors from 1953 to 1958. In 1955, GM became the first corporation to earn US$1 billion in a single year. Led by Curtice, they sold five million vehicles that year.|
|1956||The Hungarian freedom fighter||Hungary||"The Hungarian freedom fighter" honors the people who fought for Hungary's independence from the Soviet Union in the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956.|
|1957||Nikita Khrushchev||Soviet Union||1894–1971||In 1957, Khrushchev became the definite leader of the Soviet Union, after surviving a plan to get rid of him. Also in 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first satellite ever to enter the Earth's orbit. This started the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the U.S.|
|1958||Charles de Gaulle||France||1890–1970||After being retired from politics for 10 years, de Gaulle was chosen as Prime Minister of France in 1958. After a crisis in May 1958, the French Fourth Republic collapsed and the Fifth Republic was created. It had a new constitution which replaced France's parliamentary government with a government led by a President. De Gaulle was then elected President of the Fifth Republic.|
|1959||Dwight D. Eisenhower||USA||1890–1969||Eisenhower was President of the United States from 1953 to 1961.|
|1960||American Scientists||USA||The 1960 award honored all American 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||USA||1917–1963||Kennedy became the U.S. President in 1961. He ordered the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. The U.S. trained people who had been kicked out of Cuba to do the invasion. They wanted to remove Fidel Castro from power. The invasion failed terribly.|
|1962||Pope John XXIII||Holy See/ Italy||1881–1963||Pope John XXIII led the Catholic Church from 1958-1963. In 1962, he volunteered to help the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the U.S. solve the Cuban Missile Crisis peacefully. All three countries said the Pope did a good job.|
|1963||Martin Luther King, Jr.||USA||1929–1968||King was a famous civil rights leader from 1955–1968. He and his supporters used non-violent protests to gain rights for African-American people. In 1963, King gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.|
|1964||Lyndon B. Johnson||USA||1908–1973||Johnson had automatically become President when President Kennedy was murdered in November 1963. However, in 1964, Johnson was elected President. He got the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed; said the U.S. would fight a "War on Poverty"; and got the U.S. more involved in the Vietnam War.|
|1965||William Westmoreland||USA||1914–2005||General Westmoreland was the commander of all United States soldiers in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.|
|1966||"The Inheritor"||Today, "The Inheritors" are usually called "the baby boomers." In 1966, "The Inheritors" were a generation of people ages 25 and under.|
|1967||Lyndon B. Johnson||USA||1908–1973||In 1967, Johnson was becoming very unpopular because of the Vietnam War. Protests were getting more common, especially after Johnson sent more soldiers to Vietnam. There were also riots in many cities after Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered. Johnson tried to get more civil rights laws passed, but could not. Also in 1967, Johnson chose Thurgood Marshall as the first African American Supreme Court Justice.|
|1968||The Apollo 8 astronauts||USA||The Apollo 8 astronauts were William Anders, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell. They were the first people ever to orbit (fly around) the Moon. This was an important step towards walking on the moon.|
|1969||The Middle Americans||USA||"Middle Americans" are people who live in the center of the United States. In 1969, many conservative, religious Middle Americans started to make their opinions known. For example, one town prayed in their schools after the Supreme Court ruled this was illegal. State legislatures suggested over 100 laws to prevent college students from protesting the war.|
|1970||Willy Brandt||West Germany||1913–1992||Brandt was Chancellor of Germany. In 1970, he worked to create a better relationship between his country and East Germany (which was controlled by the Soviet Union).|
|1971||Richard Nixon||USA||1913–1994||Nixon was U.S. President from 1969-1974. In 1971, he started improving the U.S.'s relationship with China. He also suggested making health insurance private and supporting Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). Also in 1971, he created the United States National Postal Service.|
|1972||Richard Nixon||USA||1913–1994||In 1972, Nixon visited China. He was the first U.S. President to visit China. He signed the SALT I treaty with the Soviet Union, agreeing that both the U.S. and the Soviets would limit the number of new missiles they made. Later in 1972, he was re-elected President.|
|Henry Kissinger||USA||1923–||Kissinger was Nixon's National Security Advisor. He traveled with Nixon to China.|
|1973||John Sirica||USA||1904–1992||Sirica was the judge who ordered President Nixon to turn over tape recordings that had to do with the Watergate scandal. The tapes recorded conversations that happened in the White House.|
|1974||King Faisal||Saudi Arabia||1906–1975||Faisal was King of Saudi Arabia during the oil crisis of 1973–1974. In 1973, Israel was fighting a group of Arab countries in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Saudi Arabia refused to ship oil to any of the Western countries that supported Israel. This caused the oil crisis, where many Western countries did not have enough oil.|
|1975||American women||USA||This award honored feminists in the U.S. who were fighting for equal rights for women. The feminist movement was 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||USA||1924–||In 1976, Carter was elected President of the U.S.|
|1977||Anwar Sadat||Egypt||1918–1981||Sadat was President of Egypt. In 1977, he became the first Arab leader to travel to Israel. The two countries discussed having a better relationship.|
|1978||Deng Xiaoping||People's Republic of China||1904–1997||In 1978, Deng took over the Chinese government in a coup d'état. He overthrew Hua Guofeng and made himself Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China.|
|1979||Ayatollah Khomeini||Iran||1902–1989||In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini led the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The Revolution overthrew the Shah (King) of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. It made Iran into a theocracy (a country controlled by religious leaders) and an Islamic Republic.|
|1980||Ronald Reagan||USA||1911–2004||Reagan was elected President of the U.S. in 1980.|
|1981||Lech Wałęsa||Poland||1943–||Walesa led the Polish Solidarity trade union. This was the first trade union in the Soviet Union that was not controlled by a communist political party. In December 1981, he was arrested and arrest and Poland was put under martial law.|
|1982||The Computer||In 1982, the computer was voted "Machine of the Year."|
|1983||Ronald Reagan||USA||1911–2004||In 1983, as President of the U.S., Reagan ordered the Invasion of Grenada and pushed for the Strategic Defense Initiative.|
|Yuri Andropov||Soviet Union||1914–1984||Andropov was a Soviet leader. He was strongly against Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. Andropov was hospitalized in August 1983 and died in 1984.|
|1984||Peter Ueberroth||USA||1937–||Uberroth organized the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The Soviet Union boycotted the Olympics. They did this because the U.S. had boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics because they were held in Moscow.|
|1985||Deng Xiaoping||People's Republic of China||1904–1997||Deng was Paramount Leader of China. He was honored for making changes to improve the Chinese economy. He made these changes even though they went against common Marxist beliefs.|
|1986||Corazon C. Aquino||Philippines||1933–2009||Aquino was an important part of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines. In 1986, the Revolution led to Ferdinand Marcos leaving power. The Philippines became a democracy again. Aquino was elected President of the Philippines.|
|1987||Mikhail Gorbachev||Soviet Union||1931–||As leader of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev started a program called Perestroika in 1987. This program tried to improve the Soviet economy.|
|1988||The Endangered Earth||"The Endangered Earth" was voted "Planet of the Year" in 1988.|
|1989||Mikhail Gorbachev||Soviet Union||1931–||Gorbachev was voted "Man of the Decade." In 1989, as the Soviet Union's leader, Gorbachev made the first free Soviet elections happen. Also in 1989, the Eastern Bloc split into separate countries.|
|1990||George H. W. Bush||USA||1924–2018||As U.S. President, Bush was in charge of the United States Military during the Gulf War (1990-1991). He died on November 30th 2018, 7 months after his wife Barbara passed away.|
|1991||Ted Turner||USA||1938–||Turner started CNN. In 1991, CNN became very popular. It was the only TV news network that was able to broadcast video live from Iraq when the U.S. and its allies started bombing Iraq. This made CNN more popular than ABC, CBS, and NBC for the first time ever.|
|1992||Bill Clinton||USA||1946–||Clinton was elected President of the U.S. in 1992.|
|1993||The Peacemakers|| Palestinian Authority
|Honoring peacemakers, represented by Yasser Arafat, F. W. de Klerk, Nelson Mandela, and Yitzhak Rabin. Arafat (President of the Palestinian National Authority and Rabin (Prime Minister of Israel) signed the 1993 Oslo Accord. This was the first face-to-face agreement between Palestinian and Israeli leaders. De Klerk (State President of South Africa) got Mandela released from prison in 1990. The two worked together to end apartheid.|
|1994||Pope John Paul II||Holy See/ Poland||1920–2005||John Paul II was Pope (head of the Catholic Church) from 1978 to 2005. In 1994, he hosted Papal Concert to Commemorate the Holocaust. It was the first event at the Vatican ever to be dedicated to the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust. He also worked for an end to the Rwandan Genocide.|
|1995||Newt Gingrich||USA||1943–||Gingrich led the "Republican Revolution", where the U.S. voted in huge numbers for Republican party candidates. Gingrich got elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.|
|1996||David Ho||R.O.C/ USA||1952–||Ho was a scientist who researched AIDS. He made many important discoveries about AIDS.|
|1997||Andrew Grove||Hungary/ USA||1936–2016||Grove became President and CEO of Intel in 1997. Since he helped start the company in 1968, he helped invent microprocessors. They are so important for computers that even today, almost every electronic device has a microprocessor.|
|1998||Bill Clinton||USA||1946–||Clinton was impeached in 1998 about the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Clinton was found not guilty by the U.S. Senate.|
|Kenneth Starr||USA||1946–||Starr was an investigator for Congress. He wrote a book called The Starr Report which was released to the public in 1998. It became very popular.|
|1999||Jeffrey P. Bezos||USA||1964–||TIME also voted Bezos one of the Most Important People of the Century. He created Amazon.com, which became the world's most popular online store. He also created video streaming and many other important computer-related things.|
|2000||George W. Bush||USA||1946–||In 2000, Bush was elected President of the U.S. The election was very close, and the Supreme Court had to decide who the winner was.|
|2001||Rudolph Giuliani||USA||1944–||Giuliani was Mayor of New York City during the September 11th attacks.|
|2002||The Whistleblowers||USA||Honoring "the Whistleblowers" (people who tell police or the public about illegal things companies are doing). Represented by Cynthia Cooper (WorldCom), Coleen Rowley (FBI), and Sherron Watkins (Enron)|
|2003||The American soldier||USA||Honoring U.S. soldiers around the world, but especially in the War in Iraq, which started in 2003.|
|2004||George W. Bush||USA||1946–||In 2004, Bush was re-elected President of the U.S. As President, he continued to be in charge of the U.S. military in Iraq.|
|2005||The Good Samaritans|| Ireland
|Represented by philanthropists Bono, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates. Bono, a member of the rock band U2, helped to organise the 2005 Live 8 concerts, which raised money for poor countries. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and then the richest person in the world, founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife.|
|2006||You||Earth||TIME made "You" the 2006 person of the year. "You" represent the millions of people who create things on the Internet (like websites, blogs, or Wikipedia pages)|
|2007||Vladimir Putin||Russia||1952–||In 2007, Putin was serving as President of Russia. He dissolved the government before an upcoming parliamentary election.|
|2008||Barack Obama||USA||1961–||.In 2008, the U.S. voted Obama the next President of the U.S. In January 2009, when he was sworn in, he became first African-American President in U.S. history.|
|2009||Ben Bernanke||USA||1953–||Bernanke was the Chairman (head) of the Federal Reserve during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008|
|2010||Mark Zuckerberg||USA||1984–||Zuckerberg founded the famous website Facebook|
|2011||The Protester||"The Protester" represented the many protest movements that happened around the world in 2011. These included the Arab Spring, the Indignants Movement, Tea Party movement, Occupy Movement, and protests in Greece, India and Russia|
|2012||Barack Obama||USA||1961–||In 2012, Obama was re-elected President of the United States.|
|2013||Pope Francis||Vatican City/ Argentina||1936–||Francis was elected head of the Roman Catholic Church in 2013, after the last Pope, Benedict XVI, gave up the position|
|2014||Ebola fighters|| Liberia
|"Ebola fighters" honors health care workers who helped fight the spread of Ebola virus during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. This meant not only to doctors and nurses, but also ambulance workers, burial parties, and everyone else who fought Ebola in any way.|
|2015||Angela Merkel||Germany||1954–||Merkel was Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She was honored for her leadership in the Greek debt crisis and European migrant crisis.|
|2016||Donald Trump||USA||1946-||On November 9, 2016, Trump was elected President of the United States in the 2016 United States presidential election.|
|2017||The Silence Breakers||2017–2018||The people who spoke out against sexual abuse and harassment, including the figureheads of the Me Too movement in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse and harassment allegations in October 2017. 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, actress Alyssa Milano, activist Tarana Burke, actress Selma Blair, the six plantiffs in a lawsuit against the Plaza Hotel, politician Sara Gelser, dishwasher Sandra Pezqueda, filmmaker Blaise Godbe Lipman, actress Rose McGowan, psychotherapist and writer Wendy Walsh, blogger Lindsey Reynolds, entrepreneur Lindsay Meyer, housekeeper Juana Melara, journalist Sandra Muller, actor Terry Crews, University of Rochester professors Celeste Kidd and Jessica Cantlon, journalist Megyn Kelly and art curator Amanda Schmitt.|
|2018||The Guardians and the War on Truth||2018||Journalists who faced persecution, arrest or murder for their reporting. Those highlighted on four different covers were: Jamal Khashoggi, Washington Post columnist murdered for his criticism of the Saudi crown prince; Maria Ressa, editor of the Philippine news website Rappler, who was indicted for her critical coverage of its president’s controversially violent policies; Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, Reuters journalists captured in Myanmar while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims; and the Capital Gazette, a Maryland newspaper company targeted by a gunman who killed of its five staff members in a mass shooting.|
|2019||Greta Thunberg||Sweden||2003-||Environmental activist and founder of the school strike for climate campaign.|
|2020||Joe Biden and Kamala Harris||United States||Biden: 1942- and Harris: 1964-||In 2020, Biden and Harris were announced President and Vice President of the United States, defeating incumbent President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. The results have not been formalized as of this writing.|
Photo gallery[change | change source]
1927 – 1950[change | change source]
A U.S. soldier comforts another after a fellow soldier died in the Korean War (1950)
1951 – 1980[change | change source]
1980 – 2000[change | change source]
2001 – 2019[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
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- Person of the Year: 75th Anniversary Celebration (Special Collector's ed.). New York: Time Books. 2002. OCLC 52817840.
- "Person of the Year: A Photo History – Notorious Leaders: Controversial Choices". Time. 2006-12-16. Retrieved 2013-09-27.
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- "Harlow H. Curtice is dead at 69". The New York Times. 4 November 1962. Retrieved 2009-10-06. (fee for article)
- Jennings Parrott (December 30, 1985). "Time Picks China's Deng Xiaoping as Man of the Year". Los Angeles Times.
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- Lev Grossman (13 December 2006). "You — Yes, You — Are TIME's Person of the Year". Time. Retrieved 2012–12–20. Check date values in:
- "Person of the Year 2007". Time. 2007. Retrieved 2009–07–08. Check date values in:
- "Person of the Year 2008". Time. 2008–12–17. Retrieved 2008–12–17. Check date values in:
- Grunwald, Michael (16 December 2009). "Person of the Year 2009". Time. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
- Grossman, Lev (15 December 2010). "Person of the Year 2010". Time. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- Grunwald, Michael (14 December 2011). "Person of the Year 2011". Time. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- "Person of the Year 2012". Time. 2008–12–19. Retrieved 2012–12–23. Check date values in:
- "Pope Francis, The People's Pope". Time. 2013–12–11. Retrieved 2013–12–11. Check date values in:
- "The Choice". Time. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
- McLaughlin, Eliott C. (December 10, 2014). "Ebola fighters are Time's 'Person of the Year'". CNN Online. Canadian News Network. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
- Nancy Gibbs (9 December 2015). "The Choice: Why Angela Merkel is TIME's Person of the Year 2015". TIME.
- Alter, Charlotte (December 11, 2020). "2020 Person of the Year - Joe Biden and Kamala Harris". Time. Retrieved December 11, 2020.