Once again, Uncle John came in at #2.
• Entertainment Weekly publishes a list of the year’s top movie’s each December. Rolling Stone prints a list of the year’s best albums. The year-end superlatives started in 1927, with Time’s “Man of the Year.” It came about as an idea to fill space during a slow news week (as December often is), and also as a way for Time editors to make good on a mistake from earlier in the year. When Charles Lindbergh made his solo transatlantic flight…Time failed to put him on the cover. To make up for it, editors made Lindbergh Time’s “Man of the Year,” recognizing him as the year’s most dynamic newsmaker.
• It’s not necessarily an honor to be named Person of the Year—Time says it simply singles out who made the biggest impact on the world, for better or for worse. Examples of this include past “winners” such as Adolf Hitler during World War II and Nikita Khrushchev at the height of the Cold War.
• Just a few weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, Time named New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani its Person of the Year. It’s rumored that the magazine almost went with 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, but went with Giuliani for a more positive spin, citing his representation of the American spirit and response to the tragedy.
• “Man of the Year” was officially changed to “Person of the Year” in 1999, although the first woman to receive the distinction was Philippines president Corazon Aquino in 1986.
• The 2013 Person of the Year is Pope Francis. He’s only the third pontiff to receive the distinction. He follows Pope John Paul II in 1994 and Pope John XXIII in 1962.
• Since 1927, every American president has been given the honor at least once…except for Herbert Hoover and Gerald Ford.
• Dwight Eisenhower was named Man of the Year as a World War II general in 1944, and again as president in 1959.