Here’s what 25 recipients of the title in years past have been up to recently:
- How the Biden Administration Lost Its Way
- Hanya Yanagihara Is Never Going to Read Your Mean Tweets
- Inside Finland's Plan to End All Waste by 2050
- Chloe Kim Is Ready to Win Olympic Gold Again—On Her Own Terms
- Asia Has Kept COVID-19 at Bay for 2 Years. Omicron Could Change That
- Investors Are Sinking Real Money Into Virtual Real Estate, With No Guarantees
- The Man Putin Fears
1. Elizabeth II, Person of the Year for 1952
2-4. Apollo 8 astronauts William Anders, Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, People of the Year for 1968
They “transfixed their fellowmen and inscribed on the history books names to be remembered along with those of Marco Polo and Amundsen, Captain Cook and Colonel Lindbergh” as the first astronauts to leave Earth’s gravity. All three had long careers at NASA and in business and are still living.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: Men of the Year
5. Henry Kissinger, Person of the Year for 1972 (Shared)
Kissinger, along with President Nixon, had “labored at a new global design” with a more open relationship with Russia and China, despite continuing struggle in Vietnam. He is still a leading voice in international affairs. His most recent book, World Order, was released in 2014.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: Triumph and Trial
6. Jimmy Carter, Person of the Year for 1976
Back then, he was about to be inaugurated as President, having campaigned as “a rather different kind of politician.” This year, the 91-year-old former president has taken a smaller role at the Carter Center, his peace-promoting non-profit organization, as he battles cancer—a battle that is going well, as he recently announced that he has been declared cancer-free.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: I’m Jimmy Carter, and…
7. Lech Walesa, Person of the Year for 1981
The man who was “the heart and soul of Poland’s battle with a corrupt Communist regime” was active in the nation’s politics well into the 1990s. More recently, he’s stirred up controversy with his conservative views on the migrant and refugee crisis in Europe.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: He Dared to Hope
8. Mikhail Gorbachev, Person of the Year for 1987 and 1989
Gorbachev “reinvented the idea of a Soviet leader” and then “became the patron of change,” to the extent that he was named not just Man of the Year but Man of the Decade at the end of the 1980s. He started a humanitarian and research foundation shortly after leaving office, and since has also founded several Russian political parties.
9. George H.W. Bush, Person of the Year for 1990
The U.S. president was notable for “a foreign policy profile that was a study in resoluteness and mastery [and] a domestic visage just as strongly marked by wavering and confusion.” Bush’s health has faltered in recent years, but he remains in the public eye—especially as son Jeb campaigns for his father’s old office.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: A Tale of Two Bushes
10. Ted Turner, Person of the Year for 1991
Turner “[turned] viewers in 150 countries into instant witnesses of history” with CNN’s coverage of that year’s news. In more recent years, he has concentrated on philanthropy—including a billion-dollar pledge to the United Nations in 1997. He’s also opened Ted’s Montana Grill, a steakhouse chain. Most recently, his philanthropic focus has been on sustainable energy.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: The Taming of Ted Turner
11. Bill Clinton, Person of the Year for 1992 and 1998 (shared)
He was elected president with a campaign that TIME said was “conducted with dignity” and “served to rehabilitate and restore the legitimacy of American politics”—and six years later he shared the title with Ken Starr, the man who pursued him for what editors called Clinton’s “low-life behavior.” Though he continues to pursue glob-trotting philanthropy, his most recent place in the news is as a potential First Spouse.
12. Newt Gingrich, Person of the Year for 1995
After changing “the way Washington sees reality,” Gingrich served as Speaker of the House for a few years. For more than a decade now, he’s been a prominent conservative commentator but has not held public office. He ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2012 and has published more than two dozen books—including, in Oct. 2015, the thriller Duplicity.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: Master of the House
13. David Ho, Person of the Year for 1996
The “disease detective” had made impressive strides in combating HIV and AIDS—and in the decades since, he’s continued that work. The world is still without an AIDS vaccine, but the disease is no longer a death sentence, thanks in part to Ho’s efforts.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: AIDS Researcher
14. Andrew Grove, Person of the Year for 1997
The man made Intel, and Intel made the chips that powered “the year cell phones, Websites and E-mail became ubiquitous.” Since his own diagnosis with Parkinson’s in 2000, Grove has made disease research one of his philanthropic priorities.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: The Passion of Andrew Grove
15. Jeff Bezos, Person of the Year for 1999
Bezos had “peered into the maze of connected computers called the World Wide Web and realized that the future of retailing was glowing back at him.” He was right—that future was Amazon—and has since expanded his holdings to include the Washington Post and Blue Origin, a commercial spaceflight company.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: An Eye on the Future
16. George W. Bush, Person of the Year for 2000 and 2004
He was elected president with one of the most controversial results in American history, and had to “find a way to restore confidence in America’s political and judicial institutions”; four years later, he “sounded as though he is prepared to leave as his second-term legacy the Death of Compromise.” Since leaving office, he has made several trips to Africa to promote the health causes that he began championing as president.
17. Rudolph Giuliani, Person of the Year for 2001
After the Sept. 11 attacks, the mayor of New York City became “Mayor of the World.” His bid for the presidency in 2008 failed, but he has remained a prominent commentator on political issues, especially terrorism.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: Tower of Strength
18-20. Bono, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, People of the Year for 2005
The three had joined forces and were “being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow.” All three continue to be major global philanthropic voices—and U2 is working on a new album, Songs of Experience, to pair with 2014’s Songs of Innocence.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: The Good Samaritans
21. Vladimir Putin, Person of the Year for 2007
Putin “brought Russia back as a world power.” In recent years, as Russia has become involved in Ukraine and Syria, Putin has shown his desire to lead his world power in opposition to the United States.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: Tsar of the New Russia
22. Barack Obama, Person of the Year for 2008 and 2012
The current sitting president was elected by “the steady march of seemingly impossible accomplishments” and then “reasserted himself as a potent architect for a changing America.” As his presidency winds down, he confronts a Republican-controlled Congress and is working to secure his legacy.
23. Ben Bernanke, Person of the Year for 2009
As chairman of the Federal Reserve, he was “the most powerful nerd on the planet.” He served two terms at the Fed and this fall published a book about the financial crisis, The Courage to Act.
Read the full story here, on Time.com: Federal Reserve Chairman
24. Mark Zuckerberg, Person of the Year for 2010
The Facebook founder helped change the “way we connect with one another and with the institutions in our lives.” In the five years since, the number of Facebook users has ballooned to more than 1.5 billion monthly active visitors and Zuckerberg has also expanded into the virtual reality space. This month, Zuckerberg announced he has become a father and that he and his wife Priscilla Chan plan to give away 99% of his Facebook fortune to fight disease and poverty.
Read the full story here, on TIME.com: The Connector
25. Pope Francis, Person of the Year for 2013
The then-new Pope “placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, transparency, modernity, globalization, the role of women, the nature of marriage, the temptations of power.” By now he’s spread his message in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and South America.
Read the full story here, in the TIME Vault: The People’s Pope