How Many Women Have Been Time's Person of the Year?


Ahead, a look back at the women the magazine has featured through the years.

Wallis Simpson (1936)

For capturing the heart of Edward VIII and for being the cause of Britain’s abdication crisis, Wallis Simpson was named the “Woman of the Year.” The American socialite also certainly helped modernized the monarchy while living out one of the greatest love stories of the century. Along with being the first to earn the title, Simpson is also the first of only four to be given the title solo.

Madame Chiang Kai-shek (1937)

The following year, First Lady of the Republic of China Soong Mei-ling appeared with her husband Chiang Kai-shek as “Man and Wife of the Year.” “No woman in the West holds so great a position as Mme Chiang Kai-shek holds in China,” said Time.

Queen Elizabeth (1952)

In 1952, Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne after the death of her father. Thrust into the spotlight at such a young age, the Queen became the face of the modern monarchy. Time’s choice was a no-brainer due to the royal’s influence and prominence.

“American Women” (1975)

To celebrate barriers that American women broke in 1975, Time named them the “Women of the Year.” The magazine profiled numerous women from various backgrounds as they made giant leaps through different industries, and highlighting their accomplishments.

Corazon Aquino (1986)

The third woman to be featured solo was Philippine President Corazon Aquino, who was given the feature after she was elected. Aquino was recognized for restoring democracy after the 20-year dictatorship the South East Asian country endured.


“The Whistleblowers” (2002)

A group of women were recognized in 2002 as “The Whistleblowers.” Cynthia Cooper revealed the cover-up of WorldCom's $3.8 billion losses, Coleen Rowley, an FBI attorney, spoke about being brushed off after reporting Zacarias Moussaoui (who went on to be indicted for his involvement in 9/11), and Sherron Watkins who exposed Enron’s unethical accounting.

Angela Merkel (2015)

The Chancellor of Germany was given the title due to her successful steering through two of Europe’s crises. In the feature, Time also named Merkel as the most powerful woman in the world.

“The Silence Breakers” (2017)

Opening the floodgates of Hollywood's sordid history of abuse, Time magazine declared the #MeToo movement this year's Person of the Year. On the cover are Isabel Pascual, Adama Iwu, Ashley Judd, Susan Fowler, and Taylor Swift, some of the movement's most notable personalities.

“The Guardians” (2018)

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A group of journalists were named as Person of the Year for “taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths, for the imperfect but essential quest for facts, for speaking up and for speaking out.” Out of the four covers, two featured women: Maria Ressa and the staff of the Capital Gazette.

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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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