Pope Francis was named Person of the Year by ‘TIME’ after putting himself at the head of controversies facing the Catholic Church today such as inequality, economics and outdated traditions. The first non-European Pope in 1,200 years was one of the most searched and talked about figures on social media this year and rightfully so. With countless challenges facing the Catholic Church, he stands as a beckon of hope and change for an institution that prides itself in tradition. The title Man of the Year was first introduced in 1927 with Charles Lindbergh and did not go not to be changed to person of the year until 1999. In that time, ‘TIME’ has named a Woman of the Year, Machine of the Year and even, Planet of the Year. Take a look at some of ‘TIME’ magazines most noteworthy covers in its 86 year history:
Charles Lindbergh, 1927
Charles Lindbergh was named Man of the Year in 1927 after becoming the first person to fly a plane non-stop over the Atlantic from New York to Paris.
Walter Chrysler, 1928
Walter Chrysler took the title in 1928 after beginning work on New York’s Chrysler building.
Mahatma Gandhi, 1930
In 1930 Mahatma Gandhi was named Man of the Year after leading the Salt Satyagraha, a 240 mile march to protest the imposition of taxes on salt by the British Raj.
Wallis Simpson, 1936
Wallis Simpson was the first woman to be noted by ‘TIME,’ taking the title Woman of the Year in 1936 after her relationship with King Edward VIII led the king to abdicate his thrones in order to marry her. In doing so, Simpson was the first woman ever to be named by ‘TIME.’
Adolf Hitler, 1938
As German Chancellor, Hitler oversaw the unification of Germany with Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938. In just a few years time the public perception of the Chancellor would change drastically.
Queen Elizabeth II, 1952
Following the death of her father King George VI, Elizabeth II acceded the throne in 1952 at the age of 26.
Martin Luther King Jr., 1963
Martin Luther King Jr. was named Man of the Year in 1963 after delivering his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, marking the first African American to receive the honor.
American Women, 1975
American Women as a group were recognized in 1975 following a series of dramatic changes in women’s rights.
The Computer, 1982
In 1982 the computer took the world by storm and as a result, was named Machine of the Year.
The Endangered Earth, 1988
Environmental concerns caused the Earth to be named Planet of the Year in 1988.
Ted Turner, 1991
Ted Turner was named Man of the Year in 1991 after founding CNN.
Rudolph Giuliani, 2001
Rudolph Giuliani was named Person of the Year in 2001 following his swift response as Mayor of New York City to the September 11th terrorist attacks.
You, the individual content creator, was honored in 2006 for the daily contributions made to the World Wide Web.
Barack Obama, 2008
Photo: AP Images
In 2008, Barack Obama became the Person of the Year after becoming the first African-American U.S. President.