Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, is TIME’s Person of the Year

This year’s TIME's Person of the Year was announced on Wednesday morning in New York. Angela Merkel, the first woman to be named the title in 29 years, has been chosen as TIME's 2015 Person of the Year. Every year, the editors of the magazine award the title to an individual who has influenced the news for either positive or negative reasons. Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named runner-up, and third place went to US presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Nancy Gibbs, the editor of TIME, praised the German Chancellor for "asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply."

The magazine cites Merkel’s role in Europe's crises over migration and Greek debt, along with the recent Paris terror attacks: "Each time Merkel stepped in. Germany would bail Greece out, on her strict terms. It would welcome refugees as casualties of radical Islamist savagery, not carriers of it. And it would deploy troops abroad in the fight against ISIS [Islamic State].”

With this title, Angela Merkel joins an list of influential former winners, including Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill and Richard Nixon. Merkel marks her place on the list as the fourth woman since 1927 to be named an individual winner of the title.

While the magazine received mixed reactions after their announcement, one thing is certain; choosing Merkel as the Person of the Year among other candidates for the title clearly shows the magazine’s intent to draw attention to a world leader who stands out with her humanitarian and compassionate approach to controversial issues many of her Western counterparts are more cautious towards. This year’s TIME's Person of the Year award is a breath of fresh air in today’s mainstream media where tolerance has become obsolete and the theme of “us vs. them” has become the leading force in deciding what makes the news.       

Angela Merkel is TIME’s Person of the Year. “You can agree with her or not, but she is not taking the easy road. Leaders are tested only when people don't want to follow."


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