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TIME Person of the Year

THE CHOICES Time has made its people-of-the-year picks. Here are some of the magazine covers.

Together, President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris have been named TIME’s 2020 Person of the Year. The news was announced on December 10.

“TIME has always had a special connection to the presidency,” editor in chief Edward Felsenthal says. “This is the first time we’ve also named a vice president as Person of the Year.” Harris’s election is historic, as she will be the first woman vice president. “Person of the Year is not just about the year that was,” Felsenthal says, “but about where we’re headed.”

TIME also announced distinctions in four other categories. Guardian of the Year went to two groups. One was frontline health workers. They were recognized for their work protecting people against COVID-19 and caring for those affected by the disease. The other group was racial-justice organizers. Businessperson of the Year is Eric Yuan, the founder of Zoom; Entertainer of the Year is K-pop group BTS; and Athlete of the Year is LeBron James. Artwork for the TIME cover of James is by 14-year-old Tyler Gordon. He was a TIME Kid of the Year finalist.

Essential workers—“nurses, doctors, delivery people, grocery-store employees, and many others who continue to risk their lives on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to TIME—won TIME’s Person of the Year Reader Poll.

Stop and Think! Why does TIME pick a Person of the Year? Why does it also have a readers’ poll? Are you surprised that the results of the two are different? Explain.