Every TIME Person of the Year for the past 25+ years
Since 1927, Time magazine has named a Person of the Year, a living symbol of the year that was.
The title is not necessarily considered an honor or award; instead, Time describes its picks in terms of influence and importance.
Here's every Person of the Year for the past quarter of a century ... and counting.
Bill Clinton (1992)
"History may eventually decide that the key to Clinton's accomplishment lay in his temperament ... in his enthusiasm for people and curiosity about their lives," Time said of the then-president-elect.
The Peacemakers (1993)
Two pairs of men shared the title in 1993 under the label "The Peacemakers."
F. W. de Klerk, as the president of South Africa, worked to secure Nelson Mandela's release from prison. The two worked together to end the system of racial apartheid in South Africa.
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo Accord, the first face-to-face agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Pope John Paul II (1994)
The first non-Italian pope in nearly 500 years, John Paul II was known for his modernization of the papacy and his extensive foreign reach.
"His power rests in the word, not the sword," Time said in 1994.
Newt Gingrich (1995)
Citing his role in ending 40 years of Democratic Party domination in the House, Time named Newt Gingrich Man of the Year in 1995.
"Gingrich has changed the center of gravity," Time said.
David Ho (1996)
AIDS researcher David Ho made huge contributions to understanding and treating HIV.
"He's kind of a genius, you know," his mother told Time. "I'm not supposed to say that, but it's true."
Andrew Grove (1997)
Intel co-founder Andrew Grove changed the way tech affects everyday Americans through his extensive work with semiconductors.
Time called Grove "the person most responsible for the amazing growth in the power and innovative potential of microchips."
Bill Clinton and Ken Starr (1998)
Bill Clinton was once again named Time's Person of the Year in 1998, but this time, he shared the billing with Ken Starr, the special counsel investigating him for perjury during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Starr's investigation led to impeachment proceedings against Clinton.
"For rewriting the book on crime and punishment, for putting prices on values we didn't want to rank, for fighting past all reason a battle whose casualties will be counted for years to come, Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr are Time's 1998 Men of the Year," Time said.
Jeff Bezos (1999)
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos "is a person who not only changed the way we do things but helped pave the way for the future," Time said.
George W. Bush (2000)
George W. Bush was named Time's Person of the Year after the closest presidential election in the nation's history.
"Bush campaigned for a year against partisan politics and that was before partisanship became so poisonous that it polluted every institution of government. The man who talked less about what he would do than how he would do it finds that his bet has been called," Time said.
Rudy Giuliani (2001)
Rudy Giuliani was the mayor of New York during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"When the day of infamy came, Giuliani seized it as if he had been waiting for it all his life, taking on half a dozen critical roles and performing each masterfully," Time said.
The Whistleblowers (2002)
Coleen Rowley, Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins were singled out by Time "for believing — really believing — that the truth is one thing that must not be moved off the books, and for stepping in to make sure that it wasn't."
Rowley called out the FBI for ignoring early signs of a plan to attack the United States on 9/11. Auditor Cooper dug up $3.8 billion in accounting irregularities at Worldcom, forcing the company into bankruptcy. And Watkins warned her bosses at Enron that the company was in danger of collapse, which it did.
The American Soldier (2003)
Time's decision came nine months into the Iraq War in 2003.
"For uncommon skills and service, for the choices each one of them has made and the ones still ahead, for the challenge of defending not only our freedoms but those barely stirring half a world away, the American soldier is Time's Person of the Year," the article said.
George W. Bush (2004)
George W. Bush was named Time's Person of the Year for a second time in 2004, after winning reelection during the Iraq War.
Bush was chosen "for sticking to his guns (literally and figuratively)," Time wrote, "for reshaping the rules of politics to fit his ten-gallon-hat leadership style and for persuading a majority of voters that he deserved to be in the White House for another four years."
The Good Samaritans (2005)
The good works of Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Bono earned the trio acclaim in 2005.
Bono, U2's frontman and a philanthropist, organized concerts to benefit impoverished nations.
Bill and Melinda Gates founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and pledged a huge portion of their wealth.
Time called the them "three people on a global mission to end poverty, disease -- and indifference."
An explosion of individual content creators on the internet spurred Time's unusual 2006 decision.
"It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes," Time said.
Vladimir Putin (2007)
Putin landed on Time's cover in the final year of his first term as Russia's president.
"If Russia fails, all bets are off for the 21st century. And if Russia succeeds as a nation-state in the family of nations, it will owe much of that success to one man, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin," the Time article said.
Barack Obama (2008)
"He hit the American scene like a thunderclap, upended our politics, shattered decades of conventional wisdom and overcame centuries of the social pecking order," the article said of the then-president-elect.
Ben Bernanke (2009)
"He didn't just reshape U.S. monetary policy," Time said of the Federal Reserve chair in 2009, a year after the devastating worldwide financial crisis. "He led an effort to save the world economy. No wonder his eyes look tired."
Mark Zuckerberg (2010)
"In less than seven years," Time said of the Facebook founder, "Zuckerberg wired together a twelfth of humanity into a single network, thereby creating a social entity almost twice as large as the U.S.
"We have entered the Facebook age, and Mark Zuckerberg is the man who brought us here."
The Protester (2011)
The Arab Spring and the Occupy movement jointly inspired Time's decision in 2011.
"In 2011, protesters didn't just voice their complaints; they changed the world," said the Time article.
Barack Obama (2012)
After defeating Mitt Romney to win his second term as president, Obama once again found himself named Person of the Year.
"He will take the oath on Jan. 20 as the first Democrat in more than 75 years to get a majority of the popular vote twice. Only five other Presidents have done that in all of U.S. history," Time noted.
Pope Francis (2013)
Time's 2013 choice had just been elevated to lead the Roman Catholic Church.
"John Paul II and Benedict XVI were professors of theology," Time noted. "Francis is a former janitor, nightclub bouncer, chemical technician and literature teacher."
The Ebola Fighters (2014)
Health care workers, scientists, nurses, ambulance attendees and others who fought the devastating Ebola virus outbreak shared the title in 2014.
Five Time covers featured Dr. Jerry Brown, a medical director in Monrovia, Liberia; Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American to be infected in the 2014 Ebola outbreak; Ella Watson-Stryker, a health promoter for Doctors Without Borders; Foday Gallah, an ambulance supervisor and Ebola survivor from Monrovia; and Salome Karwah, a trainee nurse from Liberia whose parents died of Ebola.
Angela Merkel (2015)
The German chancellor got the nod from Time after playing a huge role in managing the Greek debt emergency and the European migrant crisis.
Donald Trump (2016)
As president-elect, Donald Trump was named Time's Person of the Year in 2016.
The magazine explained: "For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow's political culture by demolishing yesterday's, Donald Trump is Time 2016 Person of the Year."
The Silence Breakers (2017)
The "silence breakers" who ignited the anti-harassment #MeToo movement were named Time's Person of the Year in 2017.
In the wake of sexual harassment and assault allegations made against Harvey Weinstein and other prominent men, millions of people shared stories of abuse as Hollywood, Congress, American businesses and universities reckoned with their responsibilities.
The cover featured farm worker Isabel Pascual, lobbyist Adama Iwu, actress Ashley Judd, software engineer Susan Fowler, musician Taylor Swift and a hospital worker who chose to remain anonymous.
The Guardians (2018)
In 2018, the magazine named "the guardians" as Time's Person of the Year. All are journalists who were violently attacked or slapped with criminal charges in an apparent effort to silence the free press worldwide.
The magazine produced different cover images. One features Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. An alternate cover features the wives of Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo holding their pictures; the journalists have been imprisoned since December 2017 in Myanmar after reporting on a massacre of Rohingya Muslims.
Others singled out by the magazine are Maria Ressa — a journalist and CEO of a news site in the Philippines — and the staff of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland, where five journalists were killed in a mass shooting in June.
Greta Thunberg (2019)
In 2019, Time chose 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg as the Person of the Year. Thunberg made a splash in 2019 leading protests around the world, speaking at the U.N., meeting with the Pope, and sparring with the president of the United States on Twitter.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (2020)
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala became the first running mates to be chosen together as Time's Person of the Year.
Time editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal writes that they were selected for their roles in "changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world."
Elon Musk (2021)
For 2021, Time chose Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla — and lately the richest person in the world.
"Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too," editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal wrote, explaining the choice.
Time also honored vaccine scientists as 2021's "Heroes of the Year."