Elon Musk Is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year


Billionaire businessman Elon Musk is Time magazine’s 2021 Person of the Year.

The rocket-building, “Saturday Night Live” hosting, hybrid car-making, stock market-bending 50-year-old South African-born eccentric was bestowed that distinction Monday.

“A few short years ago, Musk was roundly mocked as a crazy con artist on the verge of going broke,” Time wrote about Musk. “Now this shy South African with Asperger’s syndrome, who escaped a brutal childhood and overcame personal tragedy, bends governments and industry to the force of his ambition.”

Time first gave its annual recognition to aviator Charles Lindbergh in 1927. The publication says that its aim in choosing a Person of the Year is to recognize individuals who influenced the world for better or worse. Past recipients run the gamut, from Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler to Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

Billionaire businessman and fellow space traveler Jeff Bezos — who Forbes ranks second only to Musk on its list of the world’s richest individuals — was given Time’s distinction in 1999. Bezos and Musk take turns topping Forbes’ list.

There have been several instance of Time magazine’s editors naming multiple persons the most influential of the year including whistleblowers, protesters, all American soldiers and in 2006, it was “You,” the individual. In 1982, the recognition went to a machine rather than a person: the personal computer.

An online poll of Time magazine readers named Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro the 2021 Person of the Year.