5 major politicians to have been named Time Person of the Year

Angela Merkel Looks To Side

US presidents have featured heavily in the past, but who else has had the most impact on the world?

The Time Person of the Year has been named as “The Silence Breakers” - the women and men who broke the silence this year about their experiences sexual harassment experiences.

In their article on the #MeToo movement, Time wrote that:

“The women and men who have broken their silence span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe. They might labor in California fields, or behind the front desk at New York City's regal Plaza Hotel, or in the European Parliament. They're part of a movement that has no formal name. But now they have a voice.”

This years runners-up included Xi Jinping, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. No modern British politician has made the list. Take a look at which politicians have been named Time Person of the Year.

Kim Jong-un Greets mIlitary

1. Donald Trump

The current US president, who incidentally has had several sexual misconduct allegations made against him according to the Guardian, was made Time Person of the Year in 2016. There is no denying the impact he had on the world that year. From his victories in the Republican primaries to his win against Hillary Clinton last November shocked America and the world.

That year, Nigel Farage was named as a runner-up due to his role in securing the EU referendum.

Donald Trump Rubs Hands

2. Angela Merkel

The German chancellor, who right now faces an uphill battle to form a new government, was named Time Person of the Year in 2015. She was given the title due to her strength on key issues affecting Europe such as the refugee influx and the Eurozone crisis, which peaked that year.

Vladimir Putin was a notable runner-up.

Emmanuel Macron & Merkel European Council meeting

3. Barack Obama

Obama has been named Time Person of the Year on two separate occasions. The first was the in 2008, following his initial presidential victory, and the second was, predictably in 2012.

His rival’s running-mate in 2008, Sarah Palin, was a runner-up that year, as was then French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Barack Obama Speech

4. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Almost every US president since the title was introduced has been given the top spot – including Dwight Eisenhower, who was named Time Person before entering into electoral politics – but only one has been given the title more than two times. Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four elections, but died shortly into his fourth term received the honour on four occasions: in 1932, 1934 and 1941.

Runners-up were not introduced until 2006 when “you” – that’s right, well done, you! – were named Time Person of the Year.

Franklin Roosevelt photograph, 1940s

5. Vladimir Putin

If things go Putin’s way, he is likely to lead Russia for many years to come, giving him plenty more chances to be made Time Person of the Year. His only year in the top spot was in 2007, just before the end of his first period in office. In 2008, he became prime minister, stayed there until 2012, before returning to the presidency.

According to the BBC, the president has announced his intentions to run to lead his country again next year.

Nothing in politics seems certain these days, but anything other than a Putin win is surely an impossibility.

Other notable politicians to have made the list:

  • Most US presidents including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. H. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.
  • Adolf Hitler (1938).
  • Joseph Stalin (1939 and 1942).
  • Winston Churchill (1940 and 1949).
  • Deng Xiaoping (1978 and 1985).

A full list of winners and runners up can be viewed here.