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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are TIME’s Persons of the Year for 2020

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Time Magazine announced that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are their 2020 Persons of the Year.

The annual honor, which originated in 1927, singles out a person, group, idea or object that “affected the news or our lives the most, for better or worse.”

Time partnered with NBC for the first time this year, airing an hourlong broadcast that reviewed the most consequential moments of this unforgettable year. Prior to the primetime special, on Thursday morning, Time released the names of four finalists for the honor.

The shortlist included:

  • President Donald Trump (who received the honor in 2016)
  • Joe Biden (notably without Kamala Harris’s name attached)
  • Frontline Health Care Workers and Dr. Anthony Fauci
  • The Movement for Racial Justice

Ultimately, the editors of Time gave the following verdict:

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.


Person of the Year was not the only accolade that Time awarded on Thursday. Beginning in 2019, the magazine expanded the honor, with four additional “of-the-Year” categories.

Time named Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, its Businessperson of the Year. The video-chatting service became an indispensable tool for many during the pandemic, allowing remote workers, families, and friends to keep in touch.

The magazine bestowed the title of Guardians of the Year to multiple bodies that represented 2020’s most defining forces: the COVID-19 pandemic and the movement for racial justice. Time honored frontline health workers fighting the pandemic and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert as well as activists Assa Traoré, Porche Bennet-Bey and other racial-justice organizers.

Additionally, Time named LeBron James as Athlete of the Year, and Korean pop group BTS as Entertainer of the Year. These two honors were announced early Thursday morning during TODAY on NBC.

Though Person of the Year is a mostly symbolic title, it can tell you a lot about what is happening in the world in a given era. In 2019, climate activist Greta Thunberg was Person of the Year. In 2018, it was “The Guardians,” or journalists facing prosecution across the world. A year before that it was “The Silence Breakers” of the #MeToo movement, and in 2016 it was Donald Trump.


Reprinted with permission from

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