The Person of the Year is an annually published issue of the TIME Magazine – introducing the person, either a man or a woman or a group or an inanimate object that made the most to influence the events of the given year. Originally started in 1927, called “Man of the Year or Woman of the Year”, the issue’s name was officially changed to Person of the Year in 1999. It is important to mention that the selected person of the year is always connected to a significant political, social or cultural change.
Let’s see some of the most important earlier winners from the past:
- Women – An important female person to receive the title was Angela Merkel in 2015, in relation to dealing with the 2015 European Migration Crisis. Other important women selected were Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 and Corazon Aquino in 1986.
- Groups and non-humans – Groups of people sometimes are also chosen for the issue, such as The Guardians in 2018 (who were journalists to face persecution and murder after arrest), or The Silence Breakers in 2017 (who were social activists fighting against sexual harassment and assault), or to mention a more historical figure, The Hungarian freedom fighter in 1956, remembering the resistance against the Soviet Union. Other important examples include a non-human nominee, The Computer from 1982, which showed the growing importance of the Personal Computer in the world. The planet Earth also became a non-human winner in 1988, dealing with the environmental dangers and disasters nature has to face.
- U.S. Presidents – Although there were many U.S. Presidents to be chosen, some more recent examples are Donald Trump in 2016, and Barack Obama in 2008 and in 2012, who both won the presidential elections in those given years. Bill Clinton (and judge Ken Starr) was also selected in 1998, in relation with the Clinton impeachment connected to his sexual affairs and lying under oath.
- Controversial choices – There were some other important, but controversial figures selected as Persons of the Year, such as Adolf Hitler in 1938, and Joseph Stalin in 1939 and in 1942, who are understandably not considered as positive characters by the majority of the world, but certainly made their impact on history.Former New York City mayor, Rudolph Giuliani was also selected Person of the Year in 2001, remembering his and his colleagues part to play in the rescue and restoration works during and after the 9/11 attacks, rather than Osama Bin Laden, as the obvious choice, who organized the terror attacks against the World Trade Center towers in the first place.