TIME Magazine announces first kid of the year

Amelia Symons, Staff Writer

Beginning in 1927, TIME Magazine began selecting a “Man of the Year.” In 2006, “Man of the Year” became “Person of the Year.” Since the award began over a century ago, some of the most talented scientists, politicians, and world leaders have been named the person of the year. A magazine and website issue is given to the “person, group, idea, or object that ‘for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the year.’” Despite the award being called the “Person of the Year,” the recipient is not always a single person. Groups like political opponents, husband and wife, classes of people, and inanimate objects have been given the award. For example, the computer was named the “Machine of the Year” in 1982, the American Soldier received the award in 1950 and 2003, and Cold War rivals, Ronald Reagan and Yuri Andropov were named “People of the Year” in 1983. People would tend to think of this award as praising someone who has done the most good in the year, but there have been times where the recipients have caused quite the controversy. TIME Magazine honored Adolf Hitler in 1938, Josef Stalin in 1939 and 1942, and Nikita Krushchev in 1957, not because they did the most good but because of the impact they made. 

The first person to be named the “Person of the Year” was Charles Lindbergh in 1927 after he successfully completed the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Every President of the United States has been awarded “Person of the Year” for the year they were elected into office or for one of the years they served as President with the exception of Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Gerald Ford. 

In 1949, TIME Magazine published its first and only “Man of the Half-Century” as Winston Churchill and the only “Person of the Century” to Albert Einstein in 1999.

2020 was the first year that a “Kid of the Year” was named. The first ever recipient of this award is Gitanjali Rao for her invention of a device that detects lead in drinking water. TIME Magazine created the “Kid of the Year” award in hopes to motivate kids around the world to “take up their own causes.” TIME Magazine partnered with Nickelodeon for this debut award.  Being the first ever “Kid of the Year” is not the first time Gitanjali Rao has been praised. In 2019, she was mentioned in Forbes “30 Under 30.” Roa was chosen from over 5,000 candidates ranging from 8 to 16 years old. 

TIME Magazine will announce the 2020 “Person of the Year” next week on December 10. A few of the 80 candidates are Anthony Fauci, Kamala Harris, Black Lives Matter Activists, Mike Pence, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Patrick Mahomes, and LeBron James