Astronauts, dictators, and a computer: past Time's Persons of the Year_Lifestyle_Asia Pacific Daily

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Astronauts, dictators, and a computer: past Time's Persons of the Year

Lifestyle2017-12-07

Time Magazine has been selecting a Person of the Year annually since 1927. There have been heads of state and scientists, freedom fighters and dictators, generals, collective groups and even in one case… a planet. Some awards have been shared, other winners have been honored more than once. Every one of them however was deemed to have “had the most influence on the world during the previous 12 months.” Here is a look at some of the most memorable ones. Most controversial Those who thought only “good guys” were rewarded may be surprised to know that in 1938, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was named Time Person of the Year. This was before he invaded much of Europe, began World War Two and launched the Final Solution which would end up killing six million Jews. Even then, Time described him as “the greatest threatening force that the democratic, freedom-loving world faces today." British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in Bad Godesberg, Germany. A year later, Josef Stalin got the nod. During his three decades in power, the Soviet Union experienced famine, terror, deportations and executions. Still, Time went on to name him Person of the Year again in 1942. Repeat winners Only one person has ever been Person of the Year three times: former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Not only that, he achieved this feat in just one decade: in 1932, 1934 and 1941. In all, 14 world figures managed a double, most of them US presidents: Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. A man lays flowers in front of a giant picture of Deng Xiaoping in Shenzhen, China on February 19, 2007. On the international side, Deng Xiaoping – the architect of China’s Reform and Opening Up policy, Mikhail Gorbachev – whose “perestroika” and “glasnost” policies contributed to the end of the Cold War, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill joined Stalin in making the cut twice. Nixon is the only person to have done it two years in a row. Shared awards In some cases, two figures were too intricately linked for just one to be honored. This included China’s wartime leader Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Soong Meiling, who were recognized as “Man and Wife of the Year” in 1937; Richard Nixon and his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger in 1972; as well as Bill Clinton and the man who sought his impeachment, lawyer Ken Starr, in 1998. Other notables As might be expected, figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Charles de Gaulle, Pope John Paul II and Martin Luther King have all featured on Time’s covers. But in a departure from its usual political choices, the magazine also made the three US astronauts of Apollo 8 its “Persons of the Year” after they became the first humans to orbit the Moon in 1968. Apollo 8 crew members James Lovell (R) speaks as Frank Borman (L) looks on during a live taping of a NASA TV program at the Newseum November 13, 2008 in Washington, DC. Scientist David Ho, who pioneered AIDS research was recognized in 1996. And in a sign of how important technology and the Internet have become, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and “you” – internet users – have all received a nod in recent years. Perhaps more unusually, Time did away with humans entirely when it named the computer Machine of the Year in 1982 and “Endangered Earth” Planet of the Year in 1988. Major omissions Some major figures of the 20th century never made it onto the cover of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year issue. These include Mao Zedong, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Albert Einstein and Henry Ford – all of whom Time included in a 1999 list of “100 Most Important Figures of the 20th Century”, possibly to make up for its earlier omissions. While Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic, was Time’s first Person of the Year, no other figure has been recognized for a sporting feat or has come from the field of entertainment or the arts. German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for exploratory talks with members of potential coalition parties on November 14, 2017 in Berlin. Among individual honorees, only four have been women: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Elizabeth II, former Philippines president Corazon Aquino, and Wallis Simpson. American women were meanwhile recognized as a group in 1975. The great majority of Persons of the Year have been US citizens, with only about two dozen coming from abroad. Gerald Ford, Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge are the only US presidents not to be recognized since Time began its yearly award. (CGTN)

Time Magazine has been selecting a Person of the Year annually since 1927. There have been heads of state and scientists, freedom fighters and dictators, generals, collective groups and even in one case… a planet.

Some awards have been shared, other winners have been honored more than once. Every one of them however was deemed to have “had the most influence on the world during the previous 12 months.”

Here is a look at some of the most memorable ones.

Most controversial

Those who thought only “good guys” were rewarded may be surprised to know that in 1938, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was named Time Person of the Year. This was before he invaded much of Europe, began World War Two and launched the Final Solution which would end up killing six million Jews. Even then, Time described him as “the greatest threatening force that the democratic, freedom-loving world faces today."

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in Bad Godesberg, Germany.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in Bad Godesberg, Germany.

A year later, Josef Stalin got the nod. During his three decades in power, the Soviet Union experienced famine, terror, deportations and executions. Still, Time went on to name him Person of the Year again in 1942.

Repeat winners

Only one person has ever been Person of the Year three times: former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Not only that, he achieved this feat in just one decade: in 1932, 1934 and 1941.

In all, 14 world figures managed a double, most of them US presidents: Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

A man lays flowers in front of a giant picture of Deng Xiaoping in Shenzhen, China on February 19, 2007.

A man lays flowers in front of a giant picture of Deng Xiaoping in Shenzhen, China on February 19, 2007.

On the international side, Deng Xiaoping – the architect of China’s Reform and Opening Up policy, Mikhail Gorbachev – whose “perestroika” and “glasnost” policies contributed to the end of the Cold War, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill joined Stalin in making the cut twice.

Nixon is the only person to have done it two years in a row.

Shared awards

In some cases, two figures were too intricately linked for just one to be honored. This included China’s wartime leader Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Soong Meiling, who were recognized as “Man and Wife of the Year” in 1937; Richard Nixon and his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger in 1972; as well as Bill Clinton and the man who sought his impeachment, lawyer Ken Starr, in 1998.

Other notables

As might be expected, figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Charles de Gaulle, Pope John Paul II and Martin Luther King have all featured on Time’s covers.

But in a departure from its usual political choices, the magazine also made the three US astronauts of Apollo 8 its “Persons of the Year” after they became the first humans to orbit the Moon in 1968.

 Apollo 8 crew members James Lovell (R) speaks as Frank Borman (L) looks on during a live taping of a NASA TV program at the Newseum November 13, 2008 in Washington, DC.

Apollo 8 crew members James Lovell (R) speaks as Frank Borman (L) looks on during a live taping of a NASA TV program at the Newseum November 13, 2008 in Washington, DC.

Scientist David Ho, who pioneered AIDS research was recognized in 1996. And in a sign of how important technology and the Internet have become, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and “you” – internet users – have all received a nod in recent years.

Perhaps more unusually, Time did away with humans entirely when it named the computer Machine of the Year in 1982 and “Endangered Earth” Planet of the Year in 1988.

Major omissions

Some major figures of the 20th century never made it onto the cover of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year issue.

These include Mao Zedong, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Albert Einstein and Henry Ford – all of whom Time included in a 1999 list of “100 Most Important Figures of the 20th Century”, possibly to make up for its earlier omissions.

While Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic, was Time’s first Person of the Year, no other figure has been recognized for a sporting feat or has come from the field of entertainment or the arts.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for exploratory talks with members of potential coalition parties on November 14, 2017 in Berlin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for exploratory talks with members of potential coalition parties on November 14, 2017 in Berlin.

Among individual honorees, only four have been women: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Elizabeth II, former Philippines president Corazon Aquino, and Wallis Simpson. American women were meanwhile recognized as a group in 1975.

The great majority of Persons of the Year have been US citizens, with only about two dozen coming from abroad.

Gerald Ford, Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge are the only US presidents not to be recognized since Time began its yearly award.

(CGTN)

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