Has Donald Trump Ever Been Time's Person of the Year?

Time magazine named President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris 2020's Person of the Year on Thursday. The joint award saw them beat other finalists, including frontline healthcare workers and President Donald Trump.

"For changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are TIME's 2020 Person of the Year," wrote Time's editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal.

Their victory in the presidential election likely tipped the scales in their favor and Time has historically chosen its Person of the Year because of their importance, rather than just their merits or achievements.

Trump was named Person of the Year in 2016 following his upset victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in that year's presidential election.

Writing about the choice, Time's then editor-in-chief Nancy Gibbs acknowledged that it would be controversial but explained why the magazine had opted for the new president-elect.

"This is the 90th time we have named the person who had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year. So which is it this year: Better or worse? The challenge for Donald Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer," Gibbs wrote.

"For those who believe this is all for the better, Trump's victory represents a long-overdue rebuke to an entrenched and arrogant governing class; for those who see it as for the worse, the destruction extends to cherished norms of civility and discourse, a politics poisoned by vile streams of racism, sexism, nativism," she said.

"To his believers, he delivers change—broad, deep, historic change, not modest measures doled out in Dixie cups; to his detractors, he inspires fear both for what he may do and what may be done in his name."

"For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow's political culture by demolishing yesterday's, Donald Trump is TIME's 2016 Person of the Year," Gibbs said, in phrasing that was mirrored by Time's announcement on Thursday.

Time has been naming the year's most influential person since 1927, when the magazine chose aviator Charles Lindbergh. The special issue was called Man of Year or Woman of the Year until 1999.

Some highly controversial figures have been named over the years, including Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in 1938 and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in 1939 and 1942. Most U.S. presidents since 1927 have also won and last year's Person of the Year was teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

Trump Presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom
US President Donald Trump looks on during a ceremony presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to wrestler Dan Gable in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on December 7, 2020. Trump was named Time's Person of the Year in 2016. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images