1. Headline
  1. Headline
TODAY
updated 12/10/2010 3:37:17 PM ET 2010-12-10T20:37:17

Tune in to TODAY on Wednesday to see TIME unveil its selection for "Person of the Year."

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. TODAY's Takeaway: Natalie celebrates Boston Marathon triumphs; Willie rings in Earth Day

      On TODAY on Tuesday, Boston Marathon participants reflect on the event's import, and eco-friendly tips abound for Earth Day.

    2. 'Incredible': Runners with dwarfism on return to Boston Marathon
    3. Girl power: Drew Barrymore welcomes her second daughter
    4. 'Utter freedom': Paralyzed woman surfs duct-taped to friend's back
    5. Snoop Dogg loves Brian Williams' rap of 'Gin and Juice'

TODAY viewers voted in an online poll that TIME magazine should deem the Chilean miners "Person of the Year."

TIME managing editor Rick Stengel revealed the short list on TODAY on Monday. The six finalists also included Julian Assange, the Chilean miners, Steve Jobs, Hamid Karzai and Mark Zuckerberg.

One of these six will be named the magazine's "Person of the Year" live on TODAY Wednesday.

When announcing the short list, Stengel said the miners were part of the "feel-good story of the year. It's a story of human courage and pluck," he added.

The TIME "Person of the Year" has been selected since 1927. The title is given to the person, group or thing that has most influenced the culture or the news during the past year, for better or for worse. See the short list below, listed with a breakdown of how TODAY viewers voted.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. TODAY's Takeaway: Natalie celebrates Boston Marathon triumphs; Willie rings in Earth Day

      On TODAY on Tuesday, Boston Marathon participants reflect on the event's import, and eco-friendly tips abound for Earth Day.

    2. 'Incredible': Runners with dwarfism on return to Boston Marathon
    3. Girl power: Drew Barrymore welcomes her second daughter
    4. 'Utter freedom': Paralyzed woman surfs duct-taped to friend's back
    5. Snoop Dogg loves Brian Williams' rap of 'Gin and Juice'

1. Chilean miners (with 44 percent of the vote)
Most mining accidents end in disaster, and not many people expected the story of 33 Chileans trapped half a mile underground this autumn to be any different. They'd been undetected for 17 days, facing the likelihood of starvation and death; once found, they were pushed to the limits of survival for another two months, relying on their leadership skills and rations sent by narrow tube from above. The world was watching — about a billion strong — when they emerged, and their humanity, courage and endurance marked them as instant heroes.

2. The Tea Party (with 20 percent of the vote)
The big player in American politics this year was a throwback to Revolutionary times: the Tea Party, a loose affiliation of citizens united by their dislike of big government, in particular as practiced by the current President. Leaderless by design, but propelled and invigorated by figureheads Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, the Tea Party routed conventional wisdom (and candidates) in elections across the country, sending many an incumbent home in favor of new blood that has vowed to shrink Washington down to size.

3. Mark Zuckerberg (with 19 percent of the vote)
More than half a billion people on the planet live in a world created by Mark Zuckerberg. The good news is, their friends all live there too. Zuckerberg founded the social networking site Facebook in his college dorm six years ago, but 2010 was the year that Facebook reached critical mass, both in sheer quantity of users and in its presence (through its "connect" features) all over the web. Zuckerberg spent much of the year fighting privacy concerns, and this fall he had to shake off a movie that depicted him as an alienated loner, hacking to get girls. But the world's youngest billionaire has no plans to slow Facebook's growth, nor does it show any sign of stopping.

Visit TIME.com | View an interactive map of previous winners

4. Julian Assange (with 10 percent of the vote)
He got our attention with his Afghan and Iraq war logs — vast document dumps made available by his organization WikiLeaks that gave a detailed look at the way our wars are progressing, or stagnating. But it's Assange's latest trove of diplomatic cables — not classified top-secret, but hardly meant for public consumption — that has the world's leaders on edge. As if cablegate weren't providing enough of a news storm, Assange, a native Australian, is also implicated in a Swedish sex-crimes investigation; he has turned himself in to British police, while WikiLeaks claims to be under cyberattacks by governmental forces that want to silence the site. But Assange has promised there are more documents to come, and if past is precedent, they're bound to be equal parts embarrassing and riveting.

  1. More TODAY News
    1. Dr. Phil, viewers weigh in on dad who shot laptop
    2. First lady greets surprised tourists at the White House
    3. Pedaling hope: War veterans plan 4,163-mile bike ride
    4. Sports Illustrated cover girl revives age of supermodel
    5. Lauren Scruggs takes first vacation, tweets photos

5. Steve Jobs (with 6 percent of the vote)
Nobody is better than Jobs at outdoing his past successes. In 2010, he launched the iPad, that "magical" tablet touchscreen computer — bigger than an iPhone, smaller and friendlier than a laptop — that quickly became the it gadget of the year, selling a million units in a month. This was also the year that Apple overtook Microsoft as the most highly valued tech company. You need only look around at the global proliferation of Apple phones, pods and pads to see how fully Jobs' creations have permeated the market, on the merits of their own design and as platforms for a seemingly infinite number of apps that have changed the way we interact through the web and, often, with each other.

6. Hamid Karzai (with 1 percent of the vote)
As the U.S. prepares for its planned drawdown in 2011, Karzai, the elected leader of Afghanistan, faces the prospect of governing his fragile nation without a powerful military to back him up. So far he's chosen a course of pragmatism, allowing for negotiations with the Taliban and enlisting support from NATO, and he has spoken out about his dissatisfaction with the U.S. war effort. With the country's parliamentary elections this year beset by allegations of fraud, Karzai has some work to do to establish legitimacy, but as the head of a volatile state, one of great strategic importance in the war on terror, both his words and his actions command the world's attention.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Video: Who will be TIME’s person of the year?

  1. Transcript of: Who will be TIME’s person of the year?

    MATT LAUER, co-host: Since 1927 , Time magazine has selected a man or a woman, a group, even an idea as its Person of the Year and the field is wide open in 2010 . We're going to reveal this year's pick Wednesday right here on TODAY. And this morning we have a look at the short list of finalists. Rick Stengel is Time 's managing editor. Rick, good to have you back. Welcome.

    Mr. RICK STENGEL: Good to be here.

    LAUER: Go through the process, for those who don't remember.

    Mr. STENGEL: OK.

    LAUER: How do you come up with even the final list?

    Mr. STENGEL: Well, it's the person or thing that has most influenced the culture and the news during the past year for good or for ill.

    LAUER: For ill. That's important.

    Mr. STENGEL: Yes.

    LAUER: It doesn't always have to be someone that's a great guy or a great woman.

    Mr. STENGEL: Exactly. It's not an honor, it's a recognition of somebody whose influence is overpowering.

    LAUER: We're going to -- we're going to talk about six finalists right now, and from this group will come the winner. The Chilean miners, OK? I mean, these guys trapped underground for 70 days. Why do they make the list?

    Mr. STENGEL: The feel-good story of the year . It's a story of human courage and pluck. In fact, human leadership because the Chilean president actually said, 'Look, we're going to do this,' and he did it.

    LAUER: Yeah. Some people could argue the rescuers could be the people of the year as well.

    Mr. STENGEL: Absolutely.

    LAUER: Let's move on to Steve Jobs . Massive year in 2010 . Introduced a little thing called the iPad . Is that why he makes the final list?

    Mr. STENGEL: Yes. IPad could be a transformational device. It's changing the way we create and consume information. Apple this year passed Microsoft in terms of size. Big, big year for Steve Jobs .

    LAUER: Let's go to that criteria again. The person or persons who most affected the news, our lives for good or for ill.

    Ms. STENGEL: Yes.

    LAUER: Question mark about this next guy, he's Julian Assange . He is the founder of Wikileaks Why does he make the final list?

    Mr. STENGEL: Again, he is changing the way we look at diplomacy, changing the way countries deal with each other, changing the perception of secrecy. He's had an enormous year in terms of the leaks at the beginning of the year and the latest round. I mean...

    LAUER: And embroiled in some personal scandal, as well, we should mention.

    Mr. STENGEL: Indeed.

    LAUER: And so is he someone who has a shot, do you think?

    Mr. STENGEL: Absolutely.

    LAUER: Yeah, they all have a shot. OK?

    Mr. STENGEL: OK.

    LAUER: The current president of Afghanistan , Hamid Karzai , is also on the list. Why this year?

    Mr. STENGEL: Well, because he is at the nexus of the most important and vital and dangerous issues in the world. In Afghanistan , in Iraq , in Pakistan . And he in many ways is a symbol of the things that we're reckoning with. Terrorism, Taliban , you know, the future of our own safety.

    LAUER: Another guy who had a huge year is the -- is the CEO of Facebook , and this is Mark Zuckerberg . Over 500 million subscribers. If not this year, when, I guess you could say.

    Mr. STENGEL: Well, they're approaching 600 million now. And, in fact, one out of 10 people on the planet subscribing to Facebook . It's not only a new technology it's changing the way human beings relate to each other. That's something new under the sun.

    LAUER: And the last one we want to talk about a group of people, not a person or individual. And this is the tea party.

    Mr. STENGEL: Mm-hmm.

    LAUER: Why do you think they belong on this list?

    Mr. STENGEL: Well, it was a huge change election. Two years after it had original change election. It's another thing that taps into this feeling of frustration that people have of distrust for authority, of distrust for centralized leadership. That's almost a theme of the whole year.

    LAUER: And Wednesday morning here on TODAY we will take the question mark off of that graphic and reveal Time magazine 's...

    Mr. STENGEL: Yeah.

    LAUER: ... person of the year . Rick Stengel , it's always fun for us to be a part of the process . Thanks very much.

    Mr. STENGEL: Excellent. Great to be here.

    LAUER: We'll see you Wednesday. And again, we're going to have much more ahead in just a moment. The person of the year issue comes Wednesday. We're back in a moment. This is TODAY on NBC .

Photos: Time Persons of the Year 1999-2013

loading photos...
  1. 2013: Pope Francis

    A look at the Time magazine Person of the Year covers from the past decade reveals an eclectic mix: choices have ranged from presidents to whistleblowers, even "You." This year Pope Francis took the title.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. 2012: Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama was TIME magazine’s iconic Person of the Year in 2012. “He’s basically the beneficiary and the author of a kind of a New America, a new demographic," TIME managing editor Rick Stengel said.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. 2011: The Protester

    Symbolizing a worldwide wave of dissent that swept from the Arab Spring to Athens, the Occupy Wall Street movement to anti-autocracy demonstrators in the streets of Moscow, The Protester summarized a year of turmoil.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. 2010: Mark Zuckerberg

    More than half a billion people on the planet live in a world created by Mark Zuckerberg. The good news is, their friends all live there too. Zuckerberg founded the social networking site Facebook in his college dorm in 2004, but 2010 was the year that Facebook reached critical mass, both in sheer quantity of users and in its presence all over the web.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. 2009: Ben Bernanke

    After weathering one of the worst financial storms in U.S. history, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, won 2009's title because of his influence on the world's most important economy.

    “He was the great scholar of the Depression who saw another depression coming, and did everything he could to stop it,” said Time's managing editor, Richard Stengel.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. 2008: Barack Obama

    A look at Time magazine's Person of the Year covers over the past decade reveals an eclectic mix reflecting the temper of the times: Choices have ranged from presidents to whistleblowers to "You."

    In 2008, Time's editors chose the man who had just won a historic election: Barack Obama.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. 2007: Vladimir Putin

    In 2007, Time editors chose "the man who tamed Russia," President Vladimir Putin. The issue included an interview with Putin about corruption, religion and the war in Iraq.
    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. 2006: "You"

    Time's 2006 Person of the Year was one of its most controversial choices: "You." The computer-screen cover was meant to stress the increasing importance of the World Wide Web and its users, "citizens of the new digital democracy."

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. 2005: Bill Gates, Bono, Melinda Gates

    Three faces made it onto the 2005 Persons of the Year cover: Good Samaritans Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates were cited for their global efforts "to end poverty, disease and indifference."

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. 2004: George W. Bush

    In 2004, American voters returned George W. Bush to the White House for a second term. Time magazine acknowledged the event by returning Bush to Person of the Year status, which he had previously attained in 2000.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. 2003: The American Soldier

    2003 was the year the U.S. invaded Iraq, and that December, Saddam Hussein was captured. Those events were key in Time's decision to honor the American soldier as the Person of the Year.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. 2002: The Whistleblowers

    In a year when corporate scandals dominated the headlines, three women made it to the Persons of the Year cover: Cynthia Cooper, who exposed phony bookkeeping at WorldCom; Coleen Rowley, whose office tried to call the FBI's attention to Zacarias Moussaoui, lated indicted as a Sept. 11 co-conspirator; and Sherron Watkins, who warned of improper accounting at Enron.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. 2001: Rudy Giuliani

    As the mayor of New York City during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack that changed America forever, Rudy Guiliani stood tall as an inspirational leader. Time called him “America’s homeland security boss” and a “gutsy decision-maker.”

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. 2000: George W. Bush

    The election that made “pregnant chads” and “recount” part of Americans’ household conversations ended bitterly, with George W. Bush winning the presidency without the popular vote. With his promise to unite the country as the 43rd president, Bush also won the title of Time's Person of the Year.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. 1999: Jeff Bezos

    It’s easy to forget that there was life before online shopping. At the end of the millennium, it was Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, who ushered in the future of retail. Time selected him Person of the Year in 1999, and at 35, he was the fourth-youngest to ever receive the honor.

    Read more from Time (TIME) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Discuss: Who do you think should be named TIME's "Person of the Year?"

Watch TODAY on Wednesday to find out the magazine's pick.

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

TODAY's Takeaway
  1. Getty Images; TODAY

    Natalie celebrates Boston Marathon triumphs; Willie rings in Earth Day

    4/22/2014 8:39:34 PM +00:00 2014-04-22T20:39:34
  1. Danh Tang via Facebook; David Ab

    'Incredible': Runners with dwarfism on return to Boston Marathon

    4/22/2014 8:52:13 PM +00:00 2014-04-22T20:52:13
  1. Jason Merritt / Getty Images

    Girl power: Drew Barrymore welcomes her second daughter

    4/22/2014 9:35:41 PM +00:00 2014-04-22T21:35:41
  1. Mat Hayward / Getty Images Contributor

    Snoop Dogg loves Brian Williams' rap of 'Gin and Juice'

    4/22/2014 8:15:04 PM +00:00 2014-04-22T20:15:04