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

3 minute read
George W. Bush, John Mccain and Al Gore

TIME’s continuing series on the 100 most influential people of the 20th century will culminate in December, when we name a single figure as the Person of the Century. This week we have asked leading Democratic and Republican candidates for the U.S. presidency to name their selections. Here are their nominations:

WINSTON CHURCHILL was the century’s best example of how individuals can shape history rather than being shaped by it. The force of his will and his words gave courage to his country and saved the West. Yet it was also Churchill who, after World War II, discerned the dangers to come from communist tyranny. Just as he defined the moral issues of the 1930s and 1940s, he defined the great moral challenge that would shape America’s role in the world up to our own time. Totalitarianism was the greatest evil of the 20th century, and Churchill its most able adversary. –George W. Bush, Governor of Texas

Like all of us, Churchill had his flaws. But like few other men, he was a man discerning enough to recognize a cause bigger than himself and honorable enough to devote his life to it. He saved not just Britain but Western civilization itself. And in doing so, he earned for himself the tribute he paid to the fighters of the Royal Air Force in 1940: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” –John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona

1874 Born Nov. 30 in Oxfordshire, England 1911-15, 1939-40 First Lord of the Admiralty 1940-45, 1951-55 Prime Minister of Britain 1964 Retires 1965 Dies in London

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT My office sits right next door to the office once occupied by this former Assistant Secretary of the Navy, one of my true heroes and one of the greatest champions of hardworking families this nation has ever known. In electing Roosevelt President, Americans turned away from a government by the few and for the few. F.D.R. lifted America out of the depths of the Depression and gave working families the chance to be self-reliant by opening the doors to education, economic opportunity and home ownership wider than ever before. And while making an America that was strong at home, Roosevelt built a consensus for leadership and engagement in the world that still shapes the way the U.S. conducts itself among the family of nations. More than any other person, Roosevelt made this the American century. –Al Gore, Vice President of the U.S.

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

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