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Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year) is an annual issue of the United States news magazine Time that features and profiles a man, woman, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."
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.
Since then, a person, group of people, and in two special cases, an invention and the planet Earth, has been selected for the special year end issue. In 1999, the title was changed to Person of the Year in an effort to be more inclusive, and avoid purportedly sexist phraseology. However, the only women to win the renamed recognition so far were those recognized as The Whistleblowers (2002) and Melinda Gates (jointly with Bill Gates and Bono in 2005). Four women were granted the title when it was still Man of the Year: Wallis Simpson in 1936, Soong May-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek) in 1937, Queen Elizabeth II in 1952, and Corazon Aquino in 1986. Nevertheless, women would also be included in several groups, 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, Herbert Hoover (the presidents who were in office at the time of the first issue and the term immediately following it, respectively) and Gerald Ford.
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.
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. 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.
In 1998, professional wrestler Mick Foley led the online poll to be voted Time Man of the Year however he was removed as a candidate after Time felt he had not done enough to deserve the accolade.
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. Time's Person of the Year 2002—immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks—was New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, although the 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 blogs, YouTube, MySpace and Wikipedia). Slate labeled the selection as just stupid; however, several other selections have contained large groups, if more discriminate.
Persons of the Year
List of Past/Present Persons of the Year
|1927||Charles Lindbergh||1902–1974||First and youngest single person chosen|
|1929||Owen D. Young||1874–1962|
|1930||Mahatma Gandhi||1869–1948||First Indian and first non-American person chosen|
|1931||Pierre Laval||1883–1945||First European chosen|
|1932||Franklin D. Roosevelt||1882–1945||First president chosen|
|1933||Hugh Samuel Johnson||1882–1942|
|1934||Franklin D. Roosevelt||1882–1945||2nd time chosen|
|1935||Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia||1892–1975||First monarch chosen; First African chosen|
|1936||Wallis Simpson||1896–1986||First woman chosen|
|1937|| Chiang Kai-shek|
|First couple chosen|
|1941||Franklin D. Roosevelt||1882–1945||3rd time chosen|
|1942||Joseph Stalin||1878–1953||2nd time chosen|
|1944||Dwight D. Eisenhower||1890–1969|
|1945||Harry S. Truman||1884–1972|
|1946||James F. Byrnes||1879–1972|
|1947||George Marshall||1880–1959||2nd time chosen|
|1948||Harry S. Truman||1884–1972||2nd time chosen|
|1949||Winston Churchill||1874–1965||Man of the Half-Century; 2nd time chosen|
|1950||The American Fighting-Man||Representing Korean War troops; first abstract chosen|
|1951||Mohammed Mossadegh||1882–1967||First Middle Eastern|
|1952||Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom||b. 1926|
|1954||John Foster Dulles||1888–1959|
|1956||Hungarian Freedom Fighter||Abstract choice|
|1958||Charles de Gaulle||1890–1970|
|1959||Dwight D. Eisenhower||1890–1969||2nd time chosen|
|1960||U.S. Scientist's||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|
|1962||Pope John XXIII||1881–1963||First Pope chosen|
|1963||Martin Luther King, Jr.||1929–1968|
|1964||Lyndon B. Johnson||1908–1973|
|1966||The Generation Twenty-Five and Under (Baby Boomers)||Abstract choice|
|1967||Lyndon B. Johnson||1908–1973||2nd time chosen|
|1968||The Apollo 8 astronauts||William Anders, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell|
|1969||The Middle Americans (United States)||Abstract choice|
|1972||Richard Nixon||1913–1994||2nd time chosen|
|Henry Kissinger||b. 1923|
|1974||King Faisal of Saudi Arabia||1906–1975|
|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||b. 1924|
|1981||Lech Wałęsa||b. 1943|
|1982||The Computer||Machine of the Year; first non-human chosen; abstract choice|
|1983||Ronald Reagan||1911–2004||2nd time chosen|
|1984||Peter Ueberroth||b. 1937|
|1985||Deng Xiaoping||1904–1997||2nd time chosen; Oldest person chosen (aged 81)|
|1986||Corazon C. Aquino||b. 1933|
|1987||Mikhail Gorbachev||b. 1931|
|1988||The Endangered Earth||Planet of the Year; 2nd non-human chosen; abstract choice|
|1989||Mikhail Gorbachev||b. 1931||Man of the Decade; 2nd time chosen|
|1990||George H. W. Bush||b. 1924||Bush was referred to as The Two George Bushes — this is not a reference to George W. Bush]] but to how George H.W. Bush was complimented for international affairs and criticized for domestic affairs, including his quote, "Read my lips: no new taxes."|
|1991||Ted Turner||b. 1938|
|1992||Bill Clinton||b. 1946|
|1993||The Peacemakers||Represented by Yasser Arafat, F.W. de Klerk, Nelson Mandela, and Yitzhak Rabin|
|1994||Pope John Paul II||1920–2005||2nd Pope chosen|
|1995||Newt Gingrich||b. 1943|
|1996||David Ho||b. 1952|
|1997||Andy Grove||b. 1936|
|1998||Bill Clinton||b. 1946||2nd time chosen|
|Kenneth Starr||b. 1946|
|1999||Jeffrey P. Bezos||b. 1964|
|2000||George W. Bush||b. 1946||First winner to be a relative of a former winner|
|2001||Rudolph Giuliani||b. 1944|
|2002||The Whistleblowers||Represented by Cynthia Cooper, WorldCom; Coleen Rowley, FBI; and Sherron Watkins, Enron|
|2003||The American Soldier||Abstract choice; 2nd time chosen|
|2004||George W. Bush||b. 1946||2nd time chosen|
|2005||The Good Samaritans||Represented by Bono, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates|
|2006||You||Abstract choice; A salute to the individual content creator on the World Wide Web|
|2007||Vladimir Putin||b. 1952|
|2008||The '08 Candidates||Abstract choice; A salute to McCain and Obama and all the other "colorful" candidates|
| 2009 | John McCain | | b. 1936 |- |}