Time Magazine Names Biden, Harris 2020 Person of the Year

December 11, 2020 by Dan McCue

NEW YORK – Time magazine has named Joe Biden and Kamala Harris 2020’s Person of the Year.

The two made history on November 7 when they beat Donald Trump after an election marked by a surging public health crisis and an incumbent president who questioned the validity of the outcome long before the votes had been counted.

When the dust settled, Biden received the most votes ever for a presidential candidate — nearly 81.3 million — far surpassing the previous holder of the record, former President Barack Obama, who received 69,498,516 votes in 2008.

At the same time, Harris on Election Day became the country’s first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president-elect.

“For changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are TIME’s 2020 Person of the Year,” Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal said in a written statement.

Time magazine’s tradition of singling out an especially influential person started in 1927, launching as Man of the Year.

The name was later changed to Person of the Year, which is bestowed on an individual, a group, a movement or an idea that had the most influence in the preceding year.

A shortlist of contenders for this year’s honor was unveiled Thursday. It included Biden, Trump, Frontline Health Care Workers and Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the Movement for Racial Justice.

Time expanded its Person of the Year franchise last year by introducing four additional categories including Businessperson of the Year.

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan was named Businessperson of the Year. The video chat service spiked in popularity amid a health crisis that forced people to work and shelter at home.

In the category of Guardians of the Year, Time named activists Assa Traoré, Porche Bennett-Bey and racial-justice organizers; frontline health workers fighting the pandemic; and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

NBA star LeBron James was named Athlete of the Year and Korean pop group BTS was Entertainer of the Year.

Last year’s Person of the Year was Greta Thunberg, the climate activist. 

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