Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009

Cynthia Cooper, Coleen Rowley and Sherron Watkins

WorldCom accountant Cynthia Cooper, FBI agent Coleen Rowley and Enron executive Sherron Watkins exposed the year's biggest wrongdoings

Cynthia Cooper: "I believe that TIME's choice was symbolic in that it represented the hundreds of millions of average citizens who go to work every day to support their families and strive to do the right thing."

Coleen Rowley: "The credibility of the investigation I helped launch into pre-9/11 lapses at the FBI was undercut by suspicions that I was motivated by the fame that came along with being on the cover of TIME. Still, the publicity is what kept me from being fired from the FBI."

Sherron Watkins: "What I found amusing was that [the cover] said Persons of the Year, but TIME staffers still called it their Man of the Year issue. It sort of made you think, Wow, we've come a long way. It really was Man of the Year for a while, and now they're talking to three women."