President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President elect Kamala Harris were named Time’s Person of the Year for 2020, the magazine announced Thursday night.
The award was announced by singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen at the end of an hour-long NBC special.
Biden and Harris combined for a historic victory in the 2020 presidential election. Biden pulled in the most votes in U.S. history, while Harris became the first woman, Black woman and person of South Asian descent to rise to the No. 2 spot on the ticket.
The selection of Biden and Harris also marks the first time a President-elect and Vice President-elect have appeared together on a Person of the Year cover.
Annually since 1928, the weekly news magazine has recognized an individual or group the country believes has had “the greatest influence on the events of the year -- for better or worse.” The award was originally called Man or Woman of the Year but was changed to Person of the Year in 1999.
This year’s winning team came from a field of 80 nominees, which was pared to the finalists.
Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who inspired a global movement to fight climate change, was named Time’s Person of the Year in 2019.
Edward Felsenthal, Time’s editor-in-chief, appeared on the “Today” show Thursday morning to announce the 2020 finalists.
The other finalists:
President Donald Trump, who was Time’s Person of the Year in 2016, was named a finalist this year even though he was not reelected. He was considered because he maintains control of the Republican Party and captured the most votes by a losing candidate in a presidential election.
Movements for racial justice was chosen in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Daniel Prude. Felsenthal said the deaths inspired what he called some of the largest protests the country, with up to 10% of the population in some areas marching for justice.
Anthony Fauci and front line workers were chosen as finalists because the coronavirus pandemic was a once in a century story, Felsenthal said. Fauci and medical workers “stood up for science,” Felsenthal said. He also acknowledged the health care workers who slept in their cars and worked endlessly to save lives as COVID-19 continues to spread. Fauci is a physician and immunologist who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to win the honor, when he was named the 1932 Man of the Year. Since then, eight other men have been named Time’s Person of the Year after winning their first presidential election: Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Trump.