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TIME 100: Who Should Be the Person of the Century?

3 minute read

TIME’s continuing series of special issues on the 100 most influential people of the 20th century will culminate in December, when we will name a single figure as the Person of the Century. To help the magazine’s editors make the choice, we are asking a select group of people to tell us whom they would pick. Here are the latest intriguing nominations:


A great enterprise encountered severe and prolonged difficulties. Employees were laid off, factories shuttered; morale and confidence were at an incredible low. A new CEO took over. He started working on a turnaround. He took dramatic steps. First, he included all workers in a program that allowed them to participate in the future success of the enterprise. This gave hope and started to lift morale. Then the CEO forged an alliance with a challenger, and together they beat their worst opponent. Meanwhile, he started a major proprietary development program that made his enterprise different from the other members of the alliance.

He pursued this high-risk, energetic strategy, which allowed the enterprise to emerge as the global trendsetter and leader, even as he suffered from a debilitating illness. The enterprise? The U.S. The CEO? Franklin Delano Roosevelt, my nominee for Person of the Century for dealing with the mega-challenges of our age–the Great Depression, Nazism and communism–and for setting the stage for lasting U.S. leadership of our world. –Andy Grove, chairman of Intel

BORN Jan. 30, 1882, in Hyde Park, N.Y. 1921 Contracts polio 1928-32 Serves as Governor of New York 1933-45 Becomes President; enacts New Deal; enters U.S. in World War II 1945 Dies April 12


Egypt’s assassinated President stands as a towering rebuke to anyone who questions whether a visionary leader can change history through the force of his own courage and character. Notwithstanding the huge risks involved, Sadat was dedicated to what he called the “sacred mission” of achieving peace in the Middle East. And by embracing his former enemies during his historic visit to Israel, this courageous Arab head of state transformed the course of events in the region and around the world. Like Gandhi, Sadat taught us that it is possible for human beings to put ideals above self-interest. Also, tragically, like the father of modern India, Sadat died for the cause that he ennobled. –Gerald R. Ford, former President of the U.S.

BORN Dec. 25, 1918, in an Egyptian village 1970 Becomes President of Egypt 1977 Makes historic trip to Jerusalem 1978 Awarded Nobel Peace Prize 1981 Assassinated by Muslim extremists

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