TIME magazine will unveil its choice for "Person of the Year" live on TODAY on Wednesday. Historically, the person (or sometimes group, or thing) is selected by the weekly newsmagazine’s editors for having had the single greatest impact during the past year, for better or for worse. The TIME "Person of the Year" has been selected since 1927 (American aviator Charles Lindbergh was the original "Man of the Year" for that issue), but the title is not necessarily an accolade. While several revered politicians, innovators and captains of industry have been cited, some notorious figures to have been christened with the title include Adolf Hitler in 1938, Joseph Stalin in 1943 and Iran's Ayatullah Kohmeini in 1979.
In certain years, the magazine made more conceptual choices. In 1950, for example, TIME named the American Fighting-Man as their "Man of the Year." In 1969, the title went to The Middle Americans. For 1982, the title eschewed a human face and was bestowed upon The Computer as "Machine of the Year."
Back in November, TIME conducted its own poll, featuring a list of 34 candidates that ranged from prominent political leaders to pop culture figures and virtually all points in between. Some contenders for 2011 include Casey Anthony, the center of one of the most hotly-contested murder trials in recent history; embattled presidential hopeful Herman Cain; ubiquitous pop culture socialite Kim Kardashian and the late Apple founder Steve Jobs. Movements and groups like the Fukushima 50, the 99% (and the 1%), and the international hacking collective Anonymous are also in the running.
With this in mind, who do you believe should be on the cover of this issue? Join the discussion and tune in on Wednesday when TIME’s managing editor Rick Stengel will reveal the magazine’s final decision.