NATIONAL NEWS

Time Person Of The Year: Climate Crisis Activist Greta Thunberg

Dec 11, 2019, 9:29 AM
Time magazine has chosen Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate crisis activist, as person of the year. ...
Time magazine has chosen Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate crisis activist, as person of the year. (TIME)
(TIME)

(CNN) –– Time magazine has chosen Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate crisis activist, as person of the year.

Thunberg, 16, is the youngest individual to be recognized. She gained international attention for excoriating world leaders for their inaction in the climate crisis in a viral speech she made at the UN Climate Action Summit in September. She criticized world leaders again at the COP25 conference last week.

“Thunberg has become the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet—and the avatar of a broader generational shift in our culture that is playing out everywhere from the campuses of Hong Kong to the halls of Congress in Washington,” Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote.

Each year, the magazine features the most influential person, group, movement or idea of the previous 12 months. Last year, it was “The Guardians,” a group of journalists who have been targeted or assaulted for their work. In 2017, it was “The Silence Breakers,” the group of people who came forward to report sexual misconduct. This marks the third year in a row in which Time has named a person who was not a world leader. President Donald Trump was Person of the Year in 2016 and Germany chancellor Angela Merkel was recognized the year before that. Past Persons of the Year include Adolf Hitler, Ayatollah Khomeini and Joseph Stalin.

“We describe it as the person who influenced the years’ events most, for better or for worse. But I really think of it as Time is about the people and ideas that shape the world and Person of the Year is about the people who shaped the year,” Felsenthal told CNN Business in an interview this week.

On Wednesday, Felsenthal unveiled the Person of the Year on the “Today” show, where he shared more about Thunberg’s rise from seemingly nowhere.

“She was a solo protestor with a hand-painted sign 14 months ago. She’s now led millions of people around the world, 150 countries, to act on behalf of the planet,” Felsenthal said.

The shortlist this year included Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, The Whistleblower and the Hong Kong protestors.

Time also announced winners of four new categories. Athlete of the year is the US women’s soccer team, entertainer of the year is Lizzo and business person of the year is Disney CEO Bob Iger. After recognizing “The Guardians” last year, Time created a new category to recognize a different group of “Guardians” — those who took to the stand and risked their careers in the defense of the rule of law. The public servants in this category include the whistleblower, Marie Yovanovitch, Ambassador William Taylor, Fiona Hill, Lieut. Colonel Alexander Vindman and Mark Sandy.

Time chose to select category winners instead of recognizing runner-ups in part because the magazine is now independently owned and no longer a part of a conglomerate, Felsenthal told CNN Business. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne Benioff bought Time Magazine from Meredith Corp last year.

“All the titles at Time Inc. began out of Time and then we were part of a company. That was great, but now being on our own, in this moment, where we can reclaim that heritage. These are all areas we cover, always have covered, but within Time Inc., there were some restrictions on what we could do so we’re excited about it,” Felsenthal said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints volunteers help clean up and repair the aftermath of Hurricane Ia...
Mike Anderson

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members help clean up the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

"As horrible as natural disasters are, you see the best of humanity," Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members gather in Florida to help clean up the mess Hurricane Ian left behind.
2 days ago
(Getty Images)...
Claire Colbert and Amanda Musa, CNN

Texas girl who shot her father and then herself has died, authorities say

A 12-year-old Texas girl accused of shooting her father and then herself as a part of a murder plot with another child died two days following the incident.
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO - (Deseret News)...
Associated Press

Hundreds of cars pack Nevada streets for illegal stunts

Police in northern Nevada say thousands of people in hundreds of cars took over parking lots and intersections Friday night.
2 days ago
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC...
FARNOUSH AMIRI, Associated Press

Archives: Records from Trump WH staffers remain missing

The National Archives has informed congressional lawmakers that a number of electronic communications from Trump White House staffers remain missing.
2 days ago
Jimmy Carter, the oldest living former US president, pictured here, in Plains, Georgia, on April 28...
CNN

Former President Jimmy Carter celebrates his 98th birthday

Jimmy Carter, the oldest living former US president, turns 98 on Saturday.
2 days ago
President Joe Biden announced the return of seven Americans he said were wrongfully detained in Ven...
Betsy Klein, Arlette Saenz and Jennifer Hansler, CNN

Biden announces return of seven American detainees from Venezuela

President Joe Biden on Saturday announced the return of seven Americans he said were wrongfully detained in Venezuela for "years."
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
Time Person Of The Year: Climate Crisis Activist Greta Thunberg