Time 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.
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|
|1984||Peter Ueberroth||Managed 1st privately financed Olympics|
|1988||The Endangered Earth||officially the “planet of the year”|
|1996||David Ho||HIV-AIDS scientific research|
|2000||George W. Bush||President-elect|
|2004||George W. Bush||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.