Skip to main content

TIME Person of the Year

Elon Musk has been named TIME’s 2021 Person of the Year. The news was announced on December 13.

“Person of the Year is a marker of influence,” Edward Felsenthal says. He’s TIME’s editor in chief. “Few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too.”

Musk is the founder of the rocket company SpaceX. It’s building a spacecraft that will take astronauts to the moon. Musk is also the CEO of the electric-car company Tesla. Its success has pushed other automakers to build electric vehicles. This could be key to fighting climate change. Robots and solar power are among Musk’s other business interests. “Like it or not, we are now in Musk’s world,” Felsenthal says.

TIME also announced winners in three other categories. Heroes of the Year went to four scientists: Kizzmekia Corbett, Barney Graham, Katalin Karikó, and Drew Weissman. They helped formulate the COVID-19 vaccine. Their work has helped slow the pandemic.

Athlete of the Year went to Simone Biles, who brought attention to mental health. Entertainer of the Year was Olivia Rodrigo. Two of her songs debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Stop & Think! WHY does TIME pick a Person of the Year? Why are the other winners important too? Who would you have included on this list?