For the past 90 years, American weekly news magazine Time has featured and profiled a person, a group, an idea, or an object that had influenced the events of the year, for better or for worse.
A special year-end issue shows the selected Person of the Year on the magazine cover and details in a feature story why the person was a major newsmaker of the year. While there have been controversial choices such as Adolf Hitler in 1938 and Joseph Stalin in 1939 and 1942, there were certainly memorable ones, as the honor given was well-deserved and iconic through and through.
Here are 5 of the most memorable people who were Time Magazine’s Person of the Year:
1. Corazon Aquino (1986)
Apart from being one of the very few women who became Person of the Year, Aquino was the most prominent figure of the 1986 People Power Revolution which toppled the 21- year authoritarian rule of President Ferdinand Marcos. She was at the helm of restoring democracy in the Philippines as the 11th president of the country. She was also the only Filipino to receive this honor so far.
2. Barack Obama (2008)
Obama was the first African-American to assume the presidency of the United States of America, a remarkable feat considering that throughout the country’s long history, only white men have held the highest position in the White House. It was also a victory for the minority group, including African-Americans, Latinos, Natives, among others. More importantly, he was proof that no matter the skin color, ethnicity, educational attainment or place of birth, anyone can reach great heights and become who they have dreamed to be.
3. You (2006)
“You” represents the millions of people who ruled the Age of Information, creating and contributing content on the World Wide Web, including sites like Wikipedia, Youtube, MySpace, Facebook, and others. While it drew criticism for being “gimmicky” and for allegedly ignoring the existence of the prominent individuals that had shaped the events of the past year, Time experienced generally successful magazine sales.
4. David Ho (1996)
Ho is a Taiwanese-American medical doctor and pioneered much of HIV/AIDS research. He may not be the most famous among those on this list, but he has made many innovative scientific contributions to the understanding and technological treatment of HIV infection. In a span of three decades, he has published 400 papers explaining the mechanism of HIV replication. By championing the combination of earlier developed anti-retroviral therapy, the HIV replication in patients was controlled. His research team is currently working on developing vaccines for AIDS.
5. The Silence Breakers (2017)
What started as a hashtag (#MeToo) became a movement and then a reckoning on a long-standing culture of silence among sexual abuse victims. Figuratively, a glass ceiling was broken. Over the year, multiple stories of sexual abuse came out, calling out men in powerful positions preying on men or women often inferior in rank. When actress Ashley Judd went on record in the New York Times revealing how Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein attempted to coerce her into bed back in 1997, many women, including A-list celebrities, followed and revealed their horrible experience with the movie mogul. Soon, other victims stood up for themselves, told their stories and bravely dropped names. The bearers of those names have since been fired from their positions.
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