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Time Person of the Year facts for kids

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Person of the Year
Presented by Time
Country United States
First awarded 1927; 96 years ago (1927)

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 and website Time featuring 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". Time also runs an annual reader's poll that has no effect on the selection, which is made solely by the magazine's editors.


The tradition of selecting a "Man of the Year" began in 1927, with Time editors contemplating the news makers of the year. 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 Lindbergh as the Man of the Year would serve both purposes.


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 subsequent 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).


Before 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" (1950 and 2003), "You" (2006), "The Protester" (2011) represented on the cover by a woman, and "Ebola fighters" (2014). However, 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 was not until the 1969 edition on "The Middle Americans" that the title embraced "Man and Woman of the Year".

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, Angela Merkel in 2015, "The Silence Breakers" in 2017, Greta Thunberg in 2019 and Kamala Harris (jointly with Joe Biden) in 2020. In 2020, to celebrate International Women's Day, Time editors released 89 new Time covers, each showing women, in addition to the 11 already chosen, as counterparts to the Person of the Year choices from the past century.

Groups and non-humans

Despite the name, the title is not just granted to individuals. Pairs of people such as married couples and political opponents, classes of people, and inanimate objects have all been selected for the special year-end issue.

Multiple named people

Classes of unnamed people

  • The American fighting-man / The American soldier (1950, 2003)
  • The Hungarian freedom fighter (1956)
  • U.S. scientists (1960)
  • The Inheritor (1966)
  • Middle Americans (1969)
  • American women (1975)
  • You (2006)
  • The Protester (2011)
  • Ebola fighters (2014)
  • The Silence Breakers (2017)
  • The Guardians (2018)

Inanimate objects

  • The Computer (Machine of the Year, 1982)
  • The Endangered Earth (Planet of the Year, 1988)

Special editions

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 impact on events.

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 Rudy 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 the 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 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, 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.

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).

Withdrawn selections

In 1941, the fictional elephant Dumbo from the Disney movie of the same name was selected to be "Mammal of the Year", and a cover was created showing Dumbo in a formal portrait style. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7 pre-empted the cover. The U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt was named Man of the Year for a record third time, although Dumbo's Mammal of the Year profile still appeared on the inside pages of the magazine.

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."

On November 24, 2017, U.S. president Donald Trump, who had been Person of the Year in 2016, posted on the social media network Twitter that Time editors had told him he would "probably" be named Person of the Year for a second time, conditional on an interview and photo shoot which he had refused. Time denied that they had made any such promises or conditions to Trump, who was named a runner-up.

Persons of the Year

Year Image Choice Lifetime Notes Runners-up
1927 Charles Lindbergh Time cover 1928.jpg Lindbergh, CharlesCharles 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 P. Chrysler at White House (cropped).png 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 Owen D. Young.jpg 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 Time cover 1931.jpg 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 Pierre Laval-TIME-1932.jpg Laval, PierrePierre 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 TIME Man of the Year 1933 color photo.jpg Roosevelt, Franklin D.Franklin D. Roosevelt 1882–1945 Roosevelt won the 1932 US presidential election by a landslide, defeating the incumbent, Herbert Hoover.
1933 Hugh S. Johnson.jpg Johnson, Hugh S.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 Time cover 1935.jpg Roosevelt, Franklin D.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 Time cover 1936.jpg Selassie, HaileHaile Selassie 1892–1975 Selassie was Emperor of Ethiopia in 1935, when Italian forces invaded Ethiopia, starting the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.
1936 Wallis Simpson -1936.JPG Simpson, WallisWallis 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(蔣中正).jpg 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.
Soong May-ling wearing China Air Force pin.jpg 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 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H1216-0500-002, Adolf Hitler (cropped).jpg Hitler, AdolfAdolf 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 CroppedStalin1943.jpg 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 portrait NYP 45063.jpg Churchill, WinstonWinston Churchill 1874–1965 Churchill was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation and the Battle of Britain.
1941 Franklin Roosevelt signing declaration of war against Japan.jpg 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.
1942 JStalin Secretary general CCCP 1942.jpg 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 George C. Marshall, U.S. Secretary of State (cropped).jpg Marshall, George C.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 General Dwight D. Eisenhower.jpg Eisenhower, Dwight D.Dwight D. Eisenhower 1890–1969 General Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during 1944's Operation Overlord.
1945 Harry S. Truman.jpg 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 James F. Byrnes cph.3c32232.jpg 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 George C. Marshall, U.S. Secretary of State (cropped).jpg Marshall, George C.George C. Marshall (2) 1880–1959 Appointed United States Secretary of State in 1947, Marshall was the architect of the Marshall Plan.
1948 Truman initiating Korean involvement.jpg Truman, Harry S.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 Sir Winston S Churchill.jpg 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 Man-of-the-Year-TIME-1951.jpg The American fighting-man Representing U.S. troops involved in the Korean War (1950–1953).
1951 Mossadeghmohammad.jpg Mossadegh, MohammadMohammad Mossadegh 1882–1967 In 1951, Mossadegh was appointed Prime Minister of Iran and expelled western oil companies, starting the Abadan Crisis.
1952 Queen Elizabeth II-TIME-1953.jpg Elizabeth II Born 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-TIME-1954.jpg Adenauer, KonradKonrad Adenauer 1876–1967 In 1953, Adenauer was re-elected as Chancellor of West Germany.
1954 Senator John Foster Dulles (R-NY) (cropped).jpg 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 Mr. Harlow H. Curtice, General Manager. Buick Motor Division.jpg 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 Szétlőtt harckocsi a Móricz Zsigmond körtéren.jpg The Hungarian freedom fighter Representing Hungarian revolutionaries involved in the failed 1956 uprising.
1957 Nikita-Khrushchev-TIME-1958.jpg 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 Charles-DeGaulle-TIME-1959.jpg 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 Dwight D. Eisenhower, official photo portrait, May 29, 1959.jpg Eisenhower, Dwight D.Dwight D. Eisenhower (2) 1890–1969 Eisenhower was President of the United States from 1953 to 1961.
1960 Conical flask teal.svg 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, White House photo portrait, looking up.jpg 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 Pope John XXIII - Time Magazine Cover - January 4, 1963.jpg 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..jpg King Jr., Martin LutherMartin Luther King Jr. 1929–1968 A leader of the Civil Rights Movement, King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963.
1964 37 Lyndon Johnson 3x4.jpg 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 Gen William C Westmoreland.jpg Westmoreland, WilliamWilliam Westmoreland 1914–2005 General Westmoreland was commander of U.S. forces in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
1966 US Birth Rates.svg The Inheritor Representing a generation of American men and women, aged 25 and under.
1967 LBJ3.jpg Johnson, Lyndon B.Lyndon B. Johnson (2) 1908–1973 Johnson was President of the United States from 1963 to 1969.
1968 Apollo 8 Crewmembers - GPN-2000-001125.jpg The Apollo 8 astronauts Born 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 US map-Central.png The Middle Americans Also referred to as the silent majority.
1970 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F057884-0009, Willy Brandt.jpg 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 Richard M. Nixon, ca. 1935 - 1982 - NARA - 530679.jpg Nixon, RichardRichard Nixon 1913–1994 Nixon was President of the United States from 1969 to 1974.
1972 Richard M. Nixon 30-0316M original (cropped).jpg 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.
Henry Kissinger.jpg Kissinger, HenryHenry Kissinger Born 1923 Kissinger, as Nixon's National Security Advisor, traveled with the President to China in 1972.
1973 WatergateFromAir.JPG 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 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia on on arrival ceremony welcoming 05-27-1971 (cropped).jpg 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 MarilynMonroe - YankArmyWeekly.jpg 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 JimmyCarterPortrait2.jpg Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter Born 1924 In 1976, Carter was elected President of the United States, defeating incumbent President Gerald Ford.
1977 Anwar Sadat cropped.jpg 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 Deng Xiaoping.jpg 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 عکسی از خمینی.JPG Khomeini, RuhollahRuhollah Khomeini 1902–1989 Khomeini led the 1979 Iranian Revolution, establishing himself as Supreme Leader.
1980 Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpg Reagan, RonaldRonald Reagan 1911–2004 Reagan was elected President of the United States in 1980, defeating incumbent President Jimmy Carter.
1981 Strajk sierpniowy w Stoczni Gdańskiej im. Lenina 22.jpg Wałęsa, LechLech Wałęsa Born 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 Sanco 8001.jpg The Computer Denoted "Machine of the Year" to herald the dawn of the Information Age.
1983 Ronald Reagan presidential portrait (cropped).jpg 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.
Yuri Andropov - Soviet Life, August 1983.jpg 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 Peter Ueberroth 1985.jpg Ueberroth, PeterPeter Ueberroth Born 1937 Ueberroth orchestrated the organization of the 1984 Summer Olympics, which involved a Soviet-led boycott.
1985 Deng Xiaoping and Jimmy Carter at the arrival ceremony for the Vice Premier of China. - NARA - 183157-restored(cropped).jpg Xiaoping, DengDeng Xiaoping (2) 1904–1997 As Paramount Leader of China, Deng was acknowledged for "sweeping economic reforms that have challenged Marxist orthodoxies".
1986 Corazon Aquino 1986.jpg Aquino, CorazonCorazon Aquino 1933–2009 Aquino was a prominent figure in 1986's People Power Revolution, being elected President of the Philippines.
1987 Gorbachev (cropped).jpg Gorbachev, MikhailMikhail Gorbachev Born 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 Earth Eastern Hemisphere.jpg 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 RIAN archive 850809 General Secretary of the CPSU CC M. Gorbachev (crop).jpg Gorbachev, MikhailMikhail Gorbachev (2) Born 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, President of the United States, 1989 official portrait (cropped).jpg Bush, George H. W.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 LF.JPG Turner, TedTed Turner Born 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.jpg Clinton, BillBill Clinton Born 1946 Clinton was elected President of the United States in 1992, defeating incumbent President George H. W. Bush.
1993 Peace sign.svg 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 JohannesPaul2-portrait.jpg John Paul II 1920–2005 Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005.
1995 NewtGingrich.jpg Gingrich, NewtNewt Gingrich Born 1943 Leader of the "Republican Revolution", a Republican party election landslide, which led to Gingrich being elected Speaker of the House.
1996 David Ho portrait.JPG Ho, DavidDavid Ho Born 1952 Ho, a scientist, pioneered much AIDS research.
1997 Andrew Grove.jpg Grove, AndrewAndrew Grove 1936–2016 In 1997, Grove was chairman and CEO of Intel, recognized as a pioneer in the semiconductor industry.
1998 William J. Clinton - NCI Visuals Online (cropped).jpg Clinton, BillBill Clinton (2) Born 1946 As President of the United States, Clinton was impeached in 1998 following the Lewinsky scandal. The Senate acquitted him of the charges.
Starr-large (1).jpg Starr, KenKen Starr Born 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' iconic laugh.jpg Bezos, JeffJeff Bezos Born 1964 Bezos is founder and was CEO of
2000 GeorgeWBush.jpg Bush, George W.George W. Bush Born 1946 In 2000, Bush was elected President of the United States, defeating incumbent Vice President Al Gore.
2001 Rudy Giuliani.jpg Giuliani, RudyRudy Giuliani Born 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 Whistle icon.svg 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 2ID Recon Baghdad.jpg The American soldier (2) Representing U.S. forces around the world, especially in the Iraq War (2003–2011).
2004 George-W-Bush.jpeg Bush, George W.George W. Bush (2) Born 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 Bill og Melinda Gates 2009-06-03 (bilde 01).JPG
Bono WEF 2008.jpg
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 official portrait.jpg Putin, VladimirVladimir Putin Born 1952 Putin was President of Russia from 2000 to 2008.
2008 Obama portrait crop.jpg Obama, BarackBarack Obama Born 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 official portrait.jpg Bernanke, BenBen Bernanke Born 1953 Chairman of the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis of 2007–08.
2010 Mark Zuckerberg at the 37th G8 Summit in Deauville 037.jpg Zuckerberg, MarkMark Zuckerberg Born 1984 Founder of social-networking website Facebook.
2011 Marcha estudiantes Chile.jpg 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 President Barack Obama, 2012 portrait crop.jpg Obama, BarackBarack Obama (2) Born 1961 In 2012, Obama was re-elected President of the United States, defeating Mitt Romney.
2013 Pope Francis Philadelphia 2015 (cropped).jpg Francis Born 1936 Elected Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in 2013, following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
2014 PPE Training (2).jpg 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.
2015 Angela Merkel Juli 2010 - 3zu4.jpg Merkel, AngelaAngela Merkel Born 1954 Chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021, recognized for leadership in the Greek debt crisis and European migrant crisis.
2016 Official Portrait of President Donald Trump.jpg Trump, DonaldDonald Trump Born 1946 In 2016, Trump was elected President of the United States, defeating Hillary Clinton.
2017 Feminism and Media 2.jpg The Silence Breakers
2018 Jamal Khashoggi in March 2018.jpg
Police escort detained Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo.jpg
The Guardians

Journalists who faced persecution, arrest or murder for their reporting. Those highlighted on four different covers were:

2019 Greta Thunberg au parlement européen (33744056508), recadré.png Greta Thunberg Born 2003 Environmental activist and founder of the school strike for the climate campaign.
2020 Joe Biden presidential portrait (cropped).jpg Joe Biden Born 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.
Kamala Harris Vice Presidential Portrait (cropped).jpg Kamala Harris Born 1964
2021 Elon Musk Royal Society.jpg Elon Musk Born 1971 CEO of Tesla, Inc., founder and CEO of SpaceX, and the richest person in the world as of 2021 Time did not release a shortlist for 2021.

Other categories

In addition to the main Person of the Year list, Time has acknowledged other impactful people or groups in other categories.

Entertainer of the Year

Year Choice Notes
2019 Lizzo American rapper and singer-songwriter
2020 BTS South Korean K-pop boy band
2021 Rodrigo, OliviaOlivia Rodrigo American singer-songwriter

Athlete of the Year

Year Choice Notes
2019 United States women's national soccer team The international women's soccer team for the United States
2020 James, LeBronLeBron James American basketball player
2021 Biles, SimoneSimone Biles American gymnast

Businessperson of the Year

Year Choice Notes
2019 Iger, BobBob Iger CEO and executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company
2020 Yuan, EricEric Yuan CEO and founder of Zoom Video Communications

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. Time continues to annually run an online poll for the "People's Choice", but stresses the decision on whom the magazine recognizes is not made by the poll, but by the magazine's editors.

Year Readers' Choice Notes
2010 Assange, JulianJulian Assange Founder of WikiLeaks
2011 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Prime Minister of Turkey
2012 Jong-un, KimKim Jong-un Supreme leader of North Korea
2013 Abdel Fattah el-Sisi President of Egypt
2014 Modi, NarendraNarendra Modi Prime Minister of India
2015 Sanders, BernieBernie Sanders United States Senator from Vermont and 2016 presidential candidate
2016 Modi, NarendraNarendra Modi Prime Minister of India
2017 Mohammad bin Salman Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
2018 BTS K-pop band
2019 Hong Kong Protesters Protesters in Hong Kong in response to the extradition bill
2020 Essential Workers Those who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Jair Bolsonaro President of Brazil
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