The tradition started with a hero, Charles Lindbergh, who conquered the Atlantic by air to become the most inspiring newsmaker of 1927. In seven decades, TIME's Men and Women of the Year have included the despicable (Adolf Hitler in 1938), the majestic (Queen Elizabeth II in 1952), the visionary (Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963) and the revolutionary (Lech Walesa in 1981). There has been the man in uniform (G.I. Joe in 1950), the younger generation (1966) and an entire gender (American women, 1975). The computer beat out flesh and blood in 1982. And the earth itself became the biggest newsmaker...

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