Person of the Year 2011: It’s ‘The Protester’, not ‘Steve Jobs’

Person of the Year 2011: It’s ‘The Protester’

Person of the Year 2011

Person of the Year 2011

The leaders of the Occupy movement will be building an organization and recruiting new protesters for the next phase of their operation this winter. The protesters also have captured the attention of the entire country, and shifted the national conversation to economic inequality.

And now they have gotten the attention of Time magazine, who named generic “The Protester” as its Person of the Year 2011.

Many people predicted late Apple CEO Steve Jobs would be the 2011 winner. But Jobs was not a contender, according to the Washington Post. He doesn’t have the best history with the magazine. Back in 1982 Jobs believed he was being profiled for Man of the Year honors, but learned that Time had selected the personal computer as “Machine of the Year.” And Jobs considered the article on him “awful.”

The Protester

The Protester

Time has acknowledged the protests taking place in Egypt, Tunisia and Russia affected their decision. According to, Time credits the rise in protests to technology and social media in spreading their cause’s message.Time said the U.S. Occupy movement was started by a couple of magazine editors, a 69-year-old Canadian, a 29-year-old African American, and a 50-year-old anthropologist.

The magazine did pay tribute, however, to Jobs in its “Fond Farewells” section.

John Lassiter of Pixar Animation Studios said Jobs wanted to leave Pixar, which he had purchased in 1986, to return to Apple because the world would be better with the company in it.

“That was incredibly touching to me, and it showed that Steve cared about people,” said Lassiter. “ He knew that his products and technology could improve people’s lives.”

About the decision of “The Protester,” Time managing editor Rick Stengel commented that the award isn’t a “lifetime achievement award.”


Why Steve Jobs isn’t Time’s Person of the Year 2011

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Time unveiled the magazine’s perennial Person of the Year on Wednesday, opting to go with “The Protester” as the influential synecdoche of the past 12 months instead of a single individual who made big news this year.

In a run-up to its big reveal, the magazine took a reader poll asking who the general public thought should be the person of the year and — perhaps unsurprising, given the outpouring of grief over his death — Steve Jobs was on the public’s short list.

Jobs, however, was not even a contender for the magazine’s cover.

Time managing editor Rick Stengel told the anchors of the “Today” show Wednesday that the award isn’t a “lifetime achievement award.”

Jobs had a somewhat rocky history with the magazine, as detailed in the authorized biography of the Apple co-founder released shortly after his death. Jobs believed that he was being profiled to be the Man of the Year in 1982, only to find when the magazine published that Time had run a harsh portrait of the then 27-year-old executive and chosen to honor the personal computer as “Machine of the Year” instead.

“They FedExed me the magazine, and I remember opening the package, thoroughly expecting to see my mug on the cover, and it was this computer sculpture thing.” Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson, who used to be a Time magazine journalist. “I thought, ‘Huh?’ And then I read the article, and it was so awful that I actually cried.”

Jobs is not overlooked in the latest issue, however, getting a (very touching) write-up in the magazine’s “Fond Farewells” section, penned by Pixar head John Lasseter.

“I thought of Steve almost as a brother, and he never ceased to amaze me,” Lasseter wrote. “He knew that his products and technology could improve people’s lives.”


The People’s Choice for Person of the Year 2011

Person of the Year 2011
 As always, TIME’s editors will choose the Person of the Year 2011 (in the Dec. 26, 2011, issue of TIME, on sale Dec. 16), but that doesn’t mean readers shouldn’t have their say. The tallies of our annual poll, below, show which notable people from the past year have received the most yes votes and which have generated the most no’s.



Total Yes Votes for Person of the Year 2011

1 Recep Tayyip Erdogan 122944
2 Lionel Messi 74415
3 The 99% 61388
4 Anonymous 34895
5 Steve Jobs 30047
6 Arab Youth Protesters 23262
7 Fukushima 50 15627
8 SEAL Team 6 12097
9 Ai Weiwei 12084
10 Gabrielle Giffords 11544
11 Barack Obama 11165
12 Warren Buffett 8854
13 Hillary Clinton 6221
14 The 1% 5288
15 Kate Middleton 5135
16 Elizabeth Warren 5008
17 Angela Merkel 4910
18 Casey Anthony 4268
19 Charlie Sheen 3893
20 Herman Cain 2988
21 Admiral Mike Mullen 2446
22 Kim Kardashian 1903
23 Silvio Berlusconi 1786
24 Nicolas Sarkozy 1643
25 Dominique Strauss-Kahn 1155
26 Mitt Romney 1064
27 Paul Ryan 918
28 Michele Bachmann 872
29 Eric Cantor 839
30 Rupert Murdoch 684
31 Reed Hastings 442
TOTAL 469785



Total No Votes for Person of the Year 2011

1 Recep Tayyip Erdogan 180578
2 The 1% 34493
3 Casey Anthony 28368
4 Kim Kardashian 24432
5 Michele Bachmann 22478
6 The 99% 20023
7 Herman Cain 17515
8 Silvio Berlusconi 16845
9 Anonymous 15890
10 Barack Obama 15462
11 Kate Middleton 15053
12 Steve Jobs 14739
13 Eric Cantor 14418
14 Hillary Clinton 13978
15 Lionel Messi 13348
16 Rupert Murdoch 12671
17 Mitt Romney 12399
18 Charlie Sheen 12209
19 Nicolas Sarkozy 11409
20 Angela Merkel 11309
21 Paul Ryan 10437
22 Reed Hastings 10391
23 Dominique Strauss-Kahn 9621
24 Warren Buffett 9238
25 Gabrielle Giffords 8309
26 Arab Youth Protesters 8120
27 Admiral Mike Mullen 7895
28 SEAL Team 6 7586
29 Fukushima 50 7302
30 Ai Weiwei 6912
31 Elizabeth Warren 5633
TOTAL 599061
Time’s ‘Person of the Year 2011‘ is the person or thing that has most influenced the culture and the news during the year 2011 for good, for humanity, for homeland or for ill. So, ‘The Protester’ deserves it. Congratulations!

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