| contests | 1999 Time

Predict Time's Person of The Century

THE CONTEST: You predict who Time magazine editors will pick as their "Person of the Century." Not who you WANT it to be, who it WILL be.
Time--75 Years, 1923-1998


Contest launched: Dec. 21, 1999; 1630 EST
Deadline: Dec. 24, 1999; 1200 EST

[ Caution: Whimsical, year-end, pointless contest ahead. Please ignore, especially if you hate lists, contests or Time's "Man of the Year" ]

Disclaimer: This is an independent contest run by and has no affiliation to Time or Goat Cheese Marketers Monthly.

Entries: 73, from 36 cities & 7 countries
Contest open: 68 hours
Time's official pick: Albert Einstein
# of folks who got it right: 12
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1999 Winners:
: In a century defined by its technological and scientific advancements, he has done more than any other person to change the way we understand our selves and our universe.

2. KEVIN SINGER, Jersey City: This has been a "scientific" century, and his work has influenced everything from politics to popular culture.

3. SATHYAN PILLAI, Memphis: Albert Einstein was the greatest sage, science's poetic soul and the genius who changed the course of the universe.

A special prize also goes to TIM TOWNSEND, NYC, for his thesis on why Alan Thicke should be Person of The Century.

The contest returns each fall for the year's Time "Person of the Year."
2000 deadline: Dec. 01, 2000

Dec. 27, 1999
Person of the Century:
Albert Einstein
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Mohandas Gandhi

1932: FDR (1934, 1941)


1999 Entries

Kevin Rothstein, NYC: His invention, the telephone, did more to change the world than anything or anybody. Churchill is history, but the Internet will live.

Kristin Dizon, Seattle: It's too hard to choose any one person, but the American GI is tied to not only the major conflicts of the century such as WWII and Vietnam, which shaped us psychically, but also the post-war economic and baby boom.

Brandon Moglen, Redondo Beach, CA: No one has gone further in business, entertainment, or cryogenics.

Rachel Verghese, Dallas: The Pied Piper who drives millions around the world to stare at the antics of a rodent and his pals.

Harry Bruinius, NYC: In a century defined by its technological and scientific advancements, he has done more than any other person to change the way we understand our selves and our universe.

Ben Court, NYC: Because he profoundly influenced science.

Blair Craddock, NYC: The overriding issue of the century, outstripping everything else -- the thing that makes it absolutely different from all other centuries -- is that now we understand the atom, and are faced with the challenge of managing not to destroy ourselves even though we're quite easily able.

Tony Dela Cruz, Arlington Heights. IL: Because human history in the 20th century turned on Einstein's discovery of the power of atomic energy.

Jon Dube, Seattle: His role in the development of the bomb, which has had more world impact than anything else this century.

Deepti Hajela, NYC: He embodies the scientific advances that have made this century what it was.

Puneet Lamba, Toronto: Einstein's theories were crucial to the development of the nuclear technology, the world's preoccupation with which has perhaps consumed more global resources than any other single pursuit. The choice of Einstein will appease both Europeans and Americans.

Adam Marlin, Washington: His deeds would have been much harder to replicate by another human.

Joe Pascal, Islandia, NY: Gave rise to societal advancement and destruction simultaneously.

Sathyan Pillai, Memphis: Albert Einstein was the greatest sage, science's poetic soul and the genius who changed the course of the universe.

Kevin Singer, Jersey City: This has been a "scientific" century, and his work has influenced everything from politics to popular culture.

Famin Ahmed, Germantown, PA: The invention of the automobile has revolutionized our lives in this century. Its impact is felt today all over the globe, from the poorest to the richest. It has changed our lifestyles, our society, and the state of the environment. Nothing else--not even the space program--has had such a tremendous impact.

Ron Feemster, NYC: As the United States enters the promise and uncertainty of an entrepreneurial information age, Time looks back on one of the giants of the Industrial Age, a man whose vision and manufacturing ingenuity transformed every aspect daily life around the world. (Even shopping...)

Sonji Jacobs, Miami: The invention of the car changed the world like nothing else this century: its bridges gepographic distances and transforms societies.

Reeta Sinha, Los Altos, CA: The automobile has impacted people, their lives, their world, in so many different ways--and it continues to do so.

Roopa Unnikrishnan, NYC: Though discredited, he influenced most of the western world's models of analysis, and helped make psychology a household pastime--from pop-psyche to ubiquitous psycho-therapy.

Geeta Citygirl, NY: Since the US is really hyped on anything from India -- fashion, philosophy, yoga...Gandhi?

Abhijit Dasgupta, New Delhi: See his influence on Mandela, King and end of colonialism everywhere.

Christine Dinsmore, Woodstock, NY: He shaped the philosophies of the most respected and influential nonviolent activists worldwide and offered alternatives to this century's violence.

Angela Dodson, NYC: Because his example of nonviolent, passive resistance influenced others on the list (King, Mandela, Rosa Parks, etc) and cumulatively led to more revolutionary change on more continents than other thinkers of our time.

Stephanie Hamilton, San Francisco: Because Time is USA-centric and would want to pick MLK, but they have to acknowledge that Gandhi made MLK possible.

Sameera Khan, Mumbai: His idea of non-violence as a potent weapon for suppressed people raising their voices has not been limited to India and influenced even others like Martin Luther King (America), Nelson Mandela (South Africa) and Aung Sang Sui ki (Burma).

Paritosh Mehta, Toronto: He was a true visionary-His leadership and actions inspired millions,and brought about social change.

Kishan Putta, Boston: Showed the oppressed of the world that they could fight back without violence; impetus for colonialism's/imperialism's global demise.

Aparna Surendran, NYC: It has to be Gandhi because his teachings not only inspired a nation but also inspired some of the world's most beloved, peace-loving figures who changed the status quo: Nelson Mandela and the late Martin Luther King.

Patricia Murray
, Valencia, Spain: Because he has opened the "gates" to the information highway of the next century.

Gregory Roth, NYC: He personifies the fusion of two key 20th century ideals: first, Gates personifies the triumph of corporate capitalism over all other forms of organizational design, including government. Second, Gates personifies the most important invention and trend of the century, the computer-based diffusion of information, which has tranformed how people interact both interpersonally and commercially. (An honorable second choice would be Bruce Lee.)

MICHAEL GORBACHEV (Time's Man of the Decade for the 1990s)
Tomas Kellner, NYC: Though he might be running in tandem with Ronald Regan, Gorbachev it is!

Ed Corey
, NYC: In a century of mass murder, he is the standard; he also made Time's cover as often as anyone.

Gaurang Desai, Fremont, CA: Because, a non white can't win the contest and it will be difficult to give it to an American as it would appear to be partisan; he after all did have tremendous impact (even though it was negative).

Ari Fishkind, NYC: He had the biggest impact on the century's global dynamics and caused history's most infamous crimes against humanity.

Abhijit Ghosh
, Baltimore: His ideals and visions has forever changed the face of hatred and will never be forgotten.

Tom Groppe, NYC: Indirectly or directly responsible for atomic and computer revolutions. Life spanned from end of empires to dawn of Superpowers.

David Hechler, Larchmont, NY: Adolph Hitler redefined evil and changed forever the way we view the world he left us and each other.

Kourosh Karimkhany, NYC: I can't think of any other non-religious figure in history who caused so much death, so much social upheaval, so much technological and economic change. Granted, he was an evil figure undeserving of lionizing, but Western civilization's defining moment was uniting to defeat the bastard.

Javed Khan, Coto de Caza, CA: Just stop and think for a moment what the world would be like today (scientific inventions & all the rest) if Hitler hadn't lived in this century.

Saeeda Rehman, Karachi: He changed the world with his ideas.

Cindy Skalsky, West Hollywood, CA: World War II brought advanced weapons technology, shaping the geopolitical, social and moral questions for the remainder of the century.

Romy Verghese, NYC: His legacy affects views on genocide and relationships between nations, such as the Cold War and global politics and intervention.

Stephanya James
, Sydney: This family has had tremendous influence on politics, culture and the popular imagination of America and the world for more than 50 years.

Morrigan9999, NYC: They overcame a prejudice in america against irish catholics to become an extraordinarily influential presence in american and international politics. they represented hope and change in a world that was begging for an impact. while flawed and who isn't they represented and represent what i and others want to believe is the best of america and of humanity.

Cécile Daurat
, Paris: An American man for an American century, symbolizes fight for freedom, which is what the us are, supposedly, all about? (A non-white with an American dream, who, after Bezos and consumerism, would make Time's editors feel good about themselves--good pics available for cover.)

Michael Scully, Nashville: Of all the people to affect social evolution this century, he clearly stands out as the man most dedicated to improving this world; his message was very simple: love thy neighbor and grant him peace.

Gautam Sundaram
, Los Angeles: From Landsteiner in 1900 discovering human blood types making life-saving blood transfusions possible to Canadians Banting and Best discovering Insulin in 1921 to Waksman in 1942 discovering the first anitbiotic (used against tuberculosis) to Salk and the poliio vaccine to the inventions of the birth control pill, MRI's, various transplants, the medical discoveries of the 20th century have affected our lives more than anything. Any person who has even had a bad cold knows that very little else matters without decent health. We make most of our descisions based on our expected life span and health. During the 20th century our life span has doubled and our expectations of what is a healthy life completely changed due to efforts of the medicine men.

Neelam Mathews
, New Delhi: He has brought a new world order and erased a harsh history. This freedom, is the new mantra for millennium.

Dayna Simon
, Toronto: Why? Because he is the current leader with 13.93% of votes (622,920) on the internet poll. Think that is scary? Look who trails closely behind in third place -- Adolph Hitler.

Russell Miller
, NYC: He'll be called the American century's culminating figure, communism's conqueror, founder of the politics/economics of the next Am century.

Dan Ackman
, NYC: He won the war against Hitler, and started the welfare state that, Reagan and Gingrich nothwithstanding, remains a permanent part of the American scene.

Vanessa Arredondo, NYC: He was responsible for bringing the United States out of the Depression and the Allied forces to victory in World War II; although that victory came after his death, those events shaped the rest of the 20th Centruy--and he did it all from a wheelchair.

Warren Bass, NYC: He has it all: Western civ's great answer to authoritarianism, the savior of capitalism, reinventor of the American state, and godfather of what has to be Time's theme: the American century. (Of course, he's also a feel-good choice: the real person of this godawful century is Hitler, alas. But that's just too dark. And it can't be Churchill again, not least because he's a Brit, and Henry Luce's ghost wouldn't stand for it.)

Mickey Ciokaljo, NYC: It was the so-called American Century and was president during its two most defining moments: the Depression and World War II.

Arik Hesseldahl, NYC: Longest serving president who saw the country through two major national crises.

Saurabh Jang, Chicago: I think that he was one of the most influential American President's ever, and in all the self-congratualtion that will accompany the close of the "American Century", what better recognition from an institution of the American establishment such as TIME, than to award this "prize" to an American President?

Charles Keenan, NYC: Franklin Delano Roosevelt prevented financial collapse during the Great Depression and coordinated the Allies' effort to win World War II.

Autumn Miller, NYC: Because his foreign and domestic policies have affected both America and the world for most of this century.

Christopher Moore, Summit, NJ: FDR will be declared the person of the century for helping to win the century's most important war, developing social programs and embracing democratic and Democratic values. (He's also going to win because he's the anti-Hitler, the happier choice is to pick FDR over Hitler. The right answer would probably be Hitler, but the Time folk are in the business of selling ads and Nazis don't help do that.)

Dorothy Guellec, Croton-Hudson, NY: His impact on the following was monumental 1) depression of the 1930's 2)involvement in World War II 3) major institutions that he helped inspire whose philosophies still exist - combination of moderate capitalism and government programs acting together.

J.J. Hornblass, NYC: Heard Walter Issacson interview Clinton on Charlie Rose the other night. Issacson kept on harping on FDR. I'm basing my guess on what I saw.

Dan Rothman, NYC: His policies still have an effect today on the US and beyond.

Jyoti Thottam, NYC: The leader who defined "American" in this, the American century: international interventionist, defender of freedom, patron to the poor.

Elizabeth Yuan, Atlanta: He led America through 12 years of the Depression and the Second Great War -- and led it to a superpower.

Peter Morello, Kansas City: For better or for worse, this has been the American Century; the US has exported its culture and values all over the world.

Donna Knipp
, NYC: She forever changed the lives of billions of men and women by allowing them to decide WHEN to reproduce.

Balu Menon
, Cincinnati: She gave uncondional love to the poorest of the poor for the better part of her life.

Tim Townsend,NYC: He has entertained us all in so many ways for the last few decades (Tim's full thesis on Thicke is below).

Abdalla Hassan
, Cairo: This Nobel Prize winner's discoveries, which make it possible to watch atoms in slow motion during extraordinarily fast chemical reactions, have far-reaching effects on science and medicine in the next century.


Tim Townsend, New York City: Alan Thicke has entertained us all in so many ways for the last few decades. He began his career writing t.v. specials for such luminous stars as Flip Wilson, Olivia Newton John and Barry Manilow. But Alan didn't stop with writing - he went on to produce the ground-breaking game shows, "Celebrity Sweepstakes" and "Wizard of Odds." Music - a love of Alan's since boyhood - came to bear on his career when he realized he had an ear for The Pleasant Ditty - and went on to write over 45 television theme songs including "Diff'rent Strokes," "The Wheel of Fortune" and, of course the instantly hummable, "Facts of Life." In the early 80s Alan tried to take on Johnny Carson when he hosted "Thicke of the Night" opposite "The Tonight Show." Maybe he lost to the master, but Alan wasn't done amazing the world. He soon picked himself up and, in 1985, assumed the role of Jason Seaver on ABC-TV's hit show, "Growing Pains" opposite everyone's favorite curly-haired mop-top, Kirk Cameron. When "Growing Pains" was cancelled after seven years, Alan took on the much tougher role of an early 90s arrogant tv talk show host for NBC's "Hope and Gloria." Through years of dramatic roles, Alan has been featured opposite leading ladies such as the fabulous Kelly LeBrock ("Betrayal of the Dove"), the indomitable Michelle Phillips ("Rubdown")and sex-pot Sharon Stone ("Calendar Girl Murders"). One of the most sought-after hosts in the hosting business, Thicke emceed ABC's Disney Christmas and Easter Parades, ABC's Animal Crack-Ups, an Olympics Kick-Off Gala, TV's Funniest Families, NBC's Worlds Greatest Magic and the Emmy-nominated "Pictionary." After years away from writing, Alan's finally sat down at the keyboard again. This year, he published "How Men Have Babies-The Pregnant Father's Survival Guide." In August of 1994, Alan married Gina Tolleson a television reporter and not incidentally, Miss World '91. Asked how he made it out of the rough town Kirkland Lake, Ontario, in the far north of Canada as a kid, Alan said, "There were two ways a guy could get out of town: play hockey or get a girl pregnant. I wasn't good enough at either". For defining what it is to be a true renaissance celebrity, and for doing so in the last few decades of a 100-year period fraught with dangers for celebrities, (and even though he's a Canadian), Alan Thicke deserves to be Time Magazine's Man of the Century.