Every year, Time recognizes one person, group of people or an inanimate object that influenced the course of the year, for better or worse.
Someone has filled each slot since 1927. This year, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg joined a list that includes Bill Gates, the computer, Richard Nixon, Middle Americans, Martin Luther King Jr. and the #MeToo whistleblowers.
Here’s where the last 10 Persons of the Year have ended up.
2018: The Guardians
Time honored the persecuted journalists Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo and the staff of The Capital, who were arrested or killed for their efforts to reveal truth. Of the living honorees, Ressa remains on trial for cyberlibel in the Philippines, and Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone were released from jail in Myanmar. Fellow journalists continue to suffer persecution.
2017: The Silence Breakers
The women who catalyzed the #MeToo Movement have claimed control and they won’t turn it back. Stories of sexual harassment continue to break and lead to the toppling of once-revered public characters.
The movement has embedded itself in the culture and changed the protocol for corporate interactions and methods of parenting.
2016: Donald Trump
President Trump continues to control international headlines with extreme nationalist policies, aggressive diplomatic tactics and resistance to the ongoing impeachment inquiry related to his dealings with Ukraine.
2015: Angela Merkel
The German chancellor demonstrated her leadership during the European migrant crisis and Greek debt crisis. In 2017, she helped her party win its fourth victory, although it’s had increasing difficulty forming a coalition.
In recent times, the media has reported on concerns about Merkel's health.
2014: Ebola Fighters
The award was granted to the hazmat-suited physicians on the frontlines of the epidemic, which claimed 11,323 lives across West Africa. Those warriors have since passed the fight on to lab scientists, who created a vaccine known to be between 70% and 100% effective.
2013: Pope Francis
The head of the Roman Catholic Church has continued to fight the perils of capitalism and violence, speak out for refugees and social justice and pursue interreligious dialogue, all while addressing a global sex abuse scandal that threatens the papal authority.
2012: Barack Obama
Obama earned the honor just after his reelection. During his second term, he negotiated diplomatic relations with Cuba, struck a deal with Iran on nuclear developments and signed the Paris Climate Agreement.
After handing the reins to Trump, he continued informal engagement in foreign affairs, built up the Obama Foundation and won a Profiles in Courage award. The U.S. pulled out of the Paris agreement, and Republicans have tried to unwind other pieces of Obama's legacy, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Obamacare.
2011: The Protester
The year brought protests across the globe on civil, political and economic rights. The Arab Spring unseated dictators, the Indignados Movement in Spain catalyzed governance changes across the nation and a vestige of the Occupy Wall Street Movement continues to surge through populist politics in the U.S.
2010: Mark Zuckerberg
Since being named Person of the Year, the founder of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) has testified before Congress and settled with the Federal Trade Commission over the company’s insufficient privacy policies and truth scandals.
He has led Facebook to acquire 66 companies, including Instagram and WhatsApp, and drawn fire from politicians looking to break up the parent company.
2009: Ben Bernanke
The former chairman of the Federal Reserve navigated the U.S. through the 2008 financial crisis.
After handing the reins to successor Janet Yellen, Bernanke joined the Brookings Institution as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence and became a senior advisor to Pimco and Citadel.
Greta Thunberg photo by Lëa-Kim Châteauneuf via Wikimedia.