Time’s Person of the Year


Neely Burns, Editor-In-Chief

With 2021’s end, Times announced its annual Person of the Year. This person is featured in an annual version of the Times magazine due to their influence or importance to the year. According to Times’ former Managing Editor Walter Isaacson, they choose,  “the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse.”

This title has  been around every year since 1927, with Charles Lindbergh, the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean to be the first to receive the title. Since then, many prominent historical figures have won the title, such as Adolf Hitler (1938), Joseph Stalin (1939, 1942), Martin Luther King Jr. (1963), and, most recently, Greta Thunberg (2019) as well as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (2020). Clearly, this title is bestowed upon figures in society who truly influenced society a great deal during the year.

2021 was certainly a year of many unique events, with the year starting with the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol Building and ending with the death of beloved actress, Betty White. With such interesting events came a great deal of debate as to who the rightful owner of this title should be. The Guardian, a prominent news source, led some discussion over who people believed should earn the title this year, and the list was, including but not limited to: Eugene Goodman, Vanessa Nakate, Marcus Rashford, JK Rowling, Simone Biles, and Ranboo. However only one figure could land on top for the year of 2021, and that person was Elon Musk.

Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla Incorporated, the founder of SpaceX, and the current richest person in the world. He has been in the public eye for a number of years, but this past year he has certainly been extra successful by this measure. As time.com states, “In April, SpaceX won NASA’s exclusive contract to put U.S. astronauts on the moon for the first time since 1972. In May, Musk hosted Saturday Night Live. In October, car-rental giant Hertz announced it planned to add 100,000 Teslas to its fleet.” He also gained a great deal of attention after splitting with his girlfriend of three years, music artist Grimes. The two had a child together nearly two years ago,  X Æ A-12 (pronounced X), which also certainly made a great deal of news in lieu of their split. Thus, Elon Musk has clearly greatly influenced the past year of our lives both in the business world and in his personal life.

Whether you agree with Elon Musk as the Times Person of the Year or not, there is no denying his influence, whether good or bad. Let’s see who will earn this title for 2022!