Each year, the editors of Time magazine honor a person that “for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the [past] year.” In 2013, Pope Francis (formerly known as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio), a Jesuit from Argentina was selected as Person of the Year. Although readers of Time voted for Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India to receive the honor, the editors selected the Ebola fighters as Time’s 2014 Person of the Year. Editor Nancy Gibbs discusses why the Ebola fighters were chosen for this honor: “Ebola is a war, and a warning. The global health system is nowhere close to strong enough to keep us safe from infectious disease, and ‘us’ means everyone… The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight. For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are Time’s 2014 Person of the Year.” David Von Drehle’s in-depth article, “The Ones Who Answered the Call” profiles several of the courageous organizations (like Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres, Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse, WHO), virologists, geneticists, doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, and dead body removal and burial teams. As of December 8, 2014, there have been 17,834 reported cases of Ebola resulting in 6,346 deaths.
Below is the list of individuals in order of consideration by the Time’s editors:
2. The Ferguson [Missouri] Protestors: “their refusal to leet a life be forgotten turned into a local shooting into a national movement.”
3. Vladimir Putin: “Russia’s increasingly isolated president is on a mission to restore his country’s lost empire.”
4. Massoud Barzani: “When [the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria] threw the Middle East jigsaw puzzle into the air, the [Iraqi] Kurdish leader reached for a piece.”
5. Jack Ma: “The Alibaba founder combined an entrepreneur’s ambition with political savvy in China to pull off the biggest Wall Street debut in history.”
Other individuals considered: Taylor Swift (singer), Tim Cook (CEO of Apple), Roger Goodell (NFL Commissioner)
For further reading: Time magazine, December 22, 2014 issue