‘TIME’ magazine has named Greta Thunberg as the most influential person of 2019, officially making him/her the mag’s Person of the Year. The announcement was made on Wednesday, Dec. 11.
Every year, TIME magazine picks one person or group who has been more influential than anyone else in the previous 12 months, whether that influence be good or bad. The 2019 Person of the Year was announced on the Dec. 11 episode of the Today Show, and the hosts revealed that the annual magazine cover has gone to — Greta Thunberg. Greta is the youngest person to ever be named Person of the Year, and was given the honor for her work as a teen activist, who has stepped up to speak out against climate change. After starting out as a single protester in Sweden, the teenager spoke at the United Nations in September, and made headlines for her passionate speech in front of world leaders.
Ahead of the reveal, TIME announced the shortlist of finalists on Dec. 9. The other candidates who made the top ten were: Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House), Donald Trump (President), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO), Xi Jinping (Chinese leader), ‘The Whistleblower‘ (anonymous CIA officer at the center of Trump’s impeachment hearing), Megan Rapinoe (US soccer star), Rudy Giuliani (Trump’s lawyer), Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand prime minister), and The Hong Kong Protestors (group demonstrating against the government in China). This year, TIME also named the U.S. Women’s Soccer team as Athletes of the Year, and Lizzo as Entertainer of the Year.
Last year, the TIME Person of the Year honor went to a group of journalists referred to as ‘The Guardians.’ These four different individual/groups of journalists were recognized for going above and beyond, even risking their lives, for their stories. In 2017, ‘The Silence Breakers’ held the title. This was a group of people, including Taylor Swift, who were instrumental in speaking out during the #MeToo movement.
TIME has been naming a Person of the Year since way back in 1927. The inaugural honor went to Charles Lindbergh. In addition to the Person of the Year, the magazine also has a ‘reader’s poll’ for a fan-voted POTY, as well.