17 Surprising Facts About Time Magazine’s People Of The Year

Since 1927, many surprising, controversial, awful, and awesome figures have graced the year-end covers of Time magazine.

1. Charles Lindbergh was the first Man of the Year in 1927. Today, this cover has an asking price of $499 on eBay.

2. The PotY is not an endorsement. Adolf Hitler, Stalin, King Faisal/OPEC, and Ayatollah Khomeini were all featured at some point. Hitler’s 1938 cover (left) depicted him in a desecrated cathedral playing an organ while his victims dangled from above.

3. After his 1931 PotY feature, French PM Pierre Laval headed the Vichy regime and helped deport foreign Jews to Nazi camps. He was later arrested under Charles de Gaulle (1958 PotY), found guilty of treason, and executed by firing squads.

4. Franklin D. Roosevelt has been featured as Person of the Year the most number of times (1932, 1934, and 1941).

5. Women have been chosen six times as Person of the Year. In 1975, feminism and U.S. women were collectively featured. The last Women of the Year were the whistleblowers in 2002.

6. American soldiers were PotY during the Korean War and Iraq War. During World War II, all PotY were generals and statesmen.

7. The 1956 PotY cover is awesome.

8. “Young People” were the People of the Year in 1966. Collective PotYs were the fashion in the ’60s and ’70s (e.g., “Middle Americans” in 1969). Note how the faces stagger on this cover, though.

9. This mask is unacceptable (1970 cover for West German chancellor Willy Brandt).

10. Them newfangled computer machines had a ball in 1982.

11. Endangered Earth narrowly beat out Pluto in 1988 as Planet of the Year. Good thing Earth is so totally safe now.

12. Einstein was Person of the Century in 2000. Scientists have been selected for four years, including U.S. Scientists, U.S. Astronauts, and AIDS researcher David Ho.

13. 1999 — Jeff Bezos’s head is still idling in a UPS center somewhere, waiting to be signed.

14. You are no longer Person of the Year.

15. The “Like” button was Person of the Year 2010.

16. The Apocalypse is the Person of the Year in 2012.

17. Just kidding, it’s…

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