Time Magazine’s non-Presidential Persons of the Year

Time Cover Obama POYTime magazine recently named President Obama as their Person of the Year. This isn’t much of a surprise – any time you win the US presidential election, you have a pretty good chance of winning. In fact, five out of the last six President-elects have been bestowed with the honor.

What I find more interesting is all the instances in which the President-elect was not named the Person of the Year. Who were these people that were so outstanding that they managed to outshine the most obvious candidate? Here’s a list of election year winners going back to the award’s inception.

Year

Person of the Year

What’s so special?

 1928  Walter Chrysler  People really hated Herbert Hoover
 1932  Franklin D. Roosevelt  President-elect
 1936  Wallis Simpson  Caused crisis in English monarchy
 1940  Winston Churchill  FDR had already won twice before
 1944  Dwight D. Eisenhower  FDR had already won thrice before
 1948  Harry S. Truman  President-elect
 1952  Elizabeth II  Fresh young queen for a tired country
 1956  Hungarian freedom fighter  David v. Goliath
 1960  American Scientists  DNA, space and computing
 1964  Lyndon B. Johnson  President-elect
 1968  Apollo 8 astronauts  First human orbit of moon
 1972  Nixon and Kissinger  President-elect
 1976  Jimmy Carter  President-elect
 1980  Ronald Reagan  President-elect
 1984  Peter Ueberroth  Managed 1st privately financed Olympics
 1988  The Endangered Earth  officially the “planet of the year”
 1992  Bill Clinton  President-elect
 1996  David Ho  HIV-AIDS scientific research
 2000  George W. Bush  President-elect
 2004  George W. Bush  President-elect
 2008  Barack Obama  President-elect
 2012  Barack Obama  President-elect

It used to be that you didn’t have to win the US Presidential election to stand a chance. These days, it’s near impossible without it. Still, your best options would be to (1) make a breakthrough in the natural/physical sciences, (2) be a business hotshot, (3) go to war with a great power, or (4) shake up the English royal family. If none of that works, try being a planet.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s