Time's 'Person of the Year' List

President-Elect Joe Biden And Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris Address The Nation After Election Win
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Since 1927, Time magazine has chosen a man, woman, or idea that "for better or worse, has most influenced events in the preceding year." Although Time's list is not an academic or objective study of the past, the list gives a contemporary view of what was important during each year.

In 2020, Time featured two "Person's of the Year" winners: Joe Biden, who had been elected the 46th president of the United States; and Kamala Harris, who had been elected vice president, the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be elected to the post.

TIME's 'Person of the Year' Winners

1927 Charles Augustus Lindbergh
1928 Walter P. Chrysler
1929 Owen D. Young
1930 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
1931 Pierre Laval
1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt
1933 Hugh Samuel Johnson
1934 Franklin Delano Roosevelt
1935 Haile Selassie
1936 Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson
1937 Generalissimo & Mme Chiang Kai-Shek
1938 Adolf Hitler
1939 Joseph Stalin
1940 Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
1941 Franklin Delano Roosevelt
1942 Joseph Stalin
1943 George Catlett Marshall
1944 Dwight David Eisenhower
1945 Harry Truman
1946 James F. Byrnes
1947 George Catlett Marshall
1948 Harry Truman
1949 Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
1950 American Fighting Man
1951 Mohammed Mossadegh
1952 Elizabeth II
1953 Konrad Adenauer
1954 John Foster Dulles
1955 Harlow Herbert Curtice
1956 Hungarian Freedom Fighter
1957 Nikita Krushchev
1958 Charles De Gaulle
1959 Dwight David Eisenhower
1960 U.S. Scientists
1961 John Fitzgerald Kennedy
1962 Pope John XXIII
1963 Martin Luther King Jr.
1964 Lyndon B. Johnson
1965 General William Childs Westmoreland
1966 Twenty-Five and Under
1967 Lyndon B. Johnson
1968 Astronauts Anders, Borman and Lovell
1969 The Middle Americans
1970 Willy Brandt
1971 Richard Milhous Nixon
1972 Nixon and Henry Kissinger
1973 John J. Sirica
1974 King Faisal
1975 American Women
1976 Jimmy Carter
1977 Anwar Sadat
1978 Teng Hsiao-P'ing
1979 Ayatullah Khomeini
1980 Ronald Reagan
1981 Lech Walesa
1982 The Computer
1983 Ronald Reagan & Yuri Andropov
1984 Peter Ueberroth
1985 Deng Xiaoping
1986 Corazon Aquino
1987 Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
1988 Endangered Earth
1989 Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
1990 The Two George Bushes
1991 Ted Turner
1992 Bill Clinton
1993 The Peacemakers
1994 Pope John Paul II
1995 Newt Gingrich
1996 Dr. David Ho
1997 Andy Grove
1998 Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr
1999 Jeff Bezos
2000 George W. Bush
2001 Rudolph Giuliani
2002 The Whistleblowers
2003 The American Soldier
2004 George W. Bush
2005 Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, & Bono
2006 You
2007 Vladimir Putin
2008 Barack Obama
2009 Ben Bernanke
2010 Mark Zuckerberg
2011 The Protester
2012 Barack Obama
2013 Pope Francis
2014 Ebola Fighters
2015 Angela Merkel
2016 Donald Trump
2017 The Silence Breakers
2018 The Guardians and the War on Truth
2019 Greta Thunberg
2020 Joe Biden, Kamala Harris

Person of the Year Fast Facts

  • Charles Lindbergh (1927) was the first and youngest person to receive the distinction at 25 years old.
  • Wallis Warfield Simpson, the woman whom English King Edward VIII abdicated in order to marry, was the first woman to receive the honor (1936).
  • Although a number of people have received the honor twice, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is the only person to have been named three times: 1932, 1934, and 1941.
  • Adolf Hitler, the murderous leader of Nazi Germany, received the honor in 1938—before he started World War II. Hitler's Time cover, however, shows him with dead bodies hanging above him.
  • Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who was a U.S. ally during World War II but who was ultimately responsible for the deaths of approximately 20 to 60 million of his own people, was awarded the honor twice.
  • A whole generation was named in 1966: "Twenty-five and Under."
  • In 1982, the computer became the first object ever to receive the distinction.
  • There are several years where large groups of people were nominated: the American Fighting-Man (1950), the Hungarian Freedom Fighter (1956), U.S. Scientists (1960), Twenty-Five and Under (1966), the Middle Americans (1968), and American Women (1975).
  • The winner in 2006 was even more unusual. The winner was "you." This choice was meant to draw attention to the impact of the World Wide Web, which had made each of our contributions both relevant and important.
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Your Citation
Rosenberg, Jennifer. "Time's 'Person of the Year' List." ThoughtCo, Sep. 9, 2021, thoughtco.com/times-man-of-the-year-list-1779824. Rosenberg, Jennifer. (2021, September 9). Time's 'Person of the Year' List. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/times-man-of-the-year-list-1779824 Rosenberg, Jennifer. "Time's 'Person of the Year' List." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/times-man-of-the-year-list-1779824 (accessed March 24, 2023).