TIME has dedicated one issue to the “Person of the Year. ” The award, which is “bestowed to those who have, for good or for ill, most influenced the news and our lives in the past year,” has gone to politicians, scientists, humanitarians and entrepreneurs. Click through to see the business icons who have graced the magazine’s famous cover over the years.
1928 – Walter Chrysler
Before starting what would become one of the largest automotive manufacturers in the United States, Walter Chrysler worked as a railroad mechanic and locomotive machinist in West Texas. After serving as the head of Buick for three years, Chrysler was tapped to turn around the failing Willys-Overland Motor Company in Flint, Michigan. The now defunct company would become the automaker known today as Chrysler. Two years after being awarded Person of the Year, Chrysler financed the construction of the Chrysler Building in New York City, all with his personal fortune. The building stood as the tallest in the world for 11 months, when the Empire State Building surpassed it. Upon his death in 1938, Chrysler’s estate was worth roughly $8.9 million dollars – almost $150 million by today’s standards.
1955 â€“ Harlow Curtis
In 1914, Harlow Curtis, the son of a fruit vendor in rural Michigan, responded to a newspaper ad for a bookkeeper position at the AC Spark Plug Company in Flint, Michigan. Following 15 years of service at AC, Curtis was named president of the spark plug company. According to GM’s online history portal. Curtis worked his way up the Detroit-ranks, landed a position at Buick and eventually became president of the highly profitable GM branch. In 1953, Curtis was named president of General Motors, and at his helm became the first American company to reach $1 billion in profits. A year later, TIME named Curtis “Man of the Year” in recognition of this achievement.
1991 â€“ Ted Turner
Now a household name and waiting room fixture nationwide, CNN had plenty of skeptics when Ted Turner launched the first 24-hour news network in 1980. Built on the foundations Turner had put into place as the head of his father’s advertising firm and as the owner of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, Turner changed news from a once-daily occurrence to a never-ending cycle. As of 2010, CNN was streaming to 100 million American households and another 98 million satellite subscribers throughout the world. Turner is worth $2.2 billion, according to Forbes . making him one of the wealthiest men in the country. The wealthy conglomerate extends beyond media, too. Ted’s Montana Grill serves up western-inspired food sourced from Turner’s bison located on ranches throughout the west and abroad.
1997 – Andrew Grove
As he proclaims in his book, “Only the paranoid survive.” This is the driving principle that has made Andrew Grove so insanely successful. Born in Hungary, Grove escaped communism to finish his education, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from City College of New York and a Ph. D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Grove was a pioneer the burgeoning semi-conductor industry. Once at the helm of Intel, Grove revolutionized the company into the highest valued computer chip maker in the world today. Under Groves leadership, Intel saw an increase in revenue from $1.9 million in 1987 to an astonishing $26.27 billion in 1998. Steve Jobs idolized Grove, seeking his advice when considering a return to Apple as CEO. In 1997, a year before Grove relinquished his title of CEO, Grove was awarded “Person of the Year ” on the 50th anniversary of the invention of the transistor.
1999 â€“ Jeff Bezos
The e-commerce pioneer is most well known for his establishment of Amazon as an Internet commerce icon. Originally a source for books, Amazon had expanded to almost everything by 1999 when Jeff Bezos was awarded “Person of the Year.” Born to a teenage mother, Bezos was technologically adept from a young age, tinkering in his parents’ garage. In 2013, Amazon reported net revenue of $74.5 billion and employed over 132,000. Alexa, the domain ranking service, credits Amazon as the seventh most-visited website in the world. Since his recognition, Bezos has been up to quite a bit. In addition to his continued innovations at Amazon (did someone say drones ?), he acquired The Washington Post from longtime owners, the Graham family. Bezos is betting on his knack for web innovation to bring the publication into the digital age.
2010 – Mark Zuckerberg
The same year as he was hailed as TIME’s “Person of the Year “, The Social Network film sealed Mark Zuckerberg ‘s place as an American demagogue, next to the likes of Steve Jobs and others. In a Harvard dorm room, Zuckerberg and friends created what would become Facebook. The website spawned an entire social networking industry. Facebook’s massive $5 billion IPO, the third largest in history, would increase Zuckerberg’s wealth to about $33.1 billion, according to Forbes . making him No. 16 on the list of wealthiest Americans. His wealth makes him part of an elite club – one of three people with more billions than they have years of age. As of September, Facebook boasted 864 million daily active users .