Anne Savage

Barack Obama

In one of the craziest elections in American history, Barack Obama overcame a lack of experience, a funny name, two candidates who are political institutions and the racial divide to become the 44th President of the United States

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Why We Chose Obama

Barack Obama, our choice for 2008, says his success comes from all of "you." So does this year's issue, drawn from the work of thousands

The Interview

The President-elect discusses his plans for the coming months, the improbability of his victory and how he's fighting to stay in touch with the real world from inside the presidential bubble

Runners-Up

Person of the Year 1927 - 2011

The Protester: TIME's 2011 Person of the Year

2011

No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square, it would incite protests that would topple dictators and start a global wave of dissent. In 2011, protesters didn't just voice their complaints; they changed the world.

Barack Obama: TIME's 2008 Person of the Year
Mark Zuckerberg: TIME's 2010 Person of the Year
Martin Luther King Jr.: TIME's 1964 Person of the Year

TIME's Person of the Year is bestowed by the editors on the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year. See who made the grade over TIME's first eight decades. See them all