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13th Dec 2021

Elon Musk voted TIME’s 2021 Person of the Year

Charlie Herbert

Elon Musk buys 9.2 percent stake in twitter

Previous winners of the award include Greta Thunberg and Donald Trump

Elon Musk has been named TIME’s 2021 Person of the Year for his work in space travel and in the electric car industry.

TIME also noted his plans to take humans to Mars and his interest and power in the world of cryptocurrency.

The magazine wrote in its announcement: “For creating solutions to an existential crisis, for embodying the possibilities and the perils of the age of tech titans, for driving society’s most daring and disruptive transformations, Elon Musk is TIME’s 2021 Person of the Year.”

The magazine has been running the award since 1927 and recent winners include Greta Thunberg, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris but it has often been keen to point out that the award does not necessarily serve as an endorsement of the winner, instead simply serving as a recognition of their influence.

This is perhaps best demonstrated by former president Donald Trump winning the award in 2016.

In their profile of Musk, the magazine wrote that he “bends governments and industry to the force of his ambition,” pointing out that he now has seen his private rocket company awarded Nasa contracts and can control the fortunes of the stock market with a tweet, having previously been a figure who was often mocked.

But Musk didn’t completely avoid criticism from TIME. The magazine mentioned “allegations of sexual harassment and poor working conditions”, as well as noting that “associates have described Musk as petty, cruel and petulant”.

And TIME admitted that Musk receives the award before the full consequences of his ventures have made themselves clear. They drew comparisons to when Jeffrey Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg received the award in 1999 and 201o respectively, when the power and influence of Amazon and Facebook was also not yet apparent.

The magazine wrote that we “don’t yet know how fully Tesla, SpaceX and the ventures Musk has yet to think up will change our lives,” before concluding: “Like it or not, we are now in Musk’s world.”

It said that 2021 had been a year that “brought home the extent to which, at a time of rising protest over ever deepening inequality, our lives and many of the basic structures around them are now shaped by the pursuits, products and priorities of the world’s wealthiest people”.

Amongst other awards handed out by the magazine were ‘heroes of the year’ which went to the “miracle workers” who created the covid vaccine, “entertainer of the year” to Olivia Rodrigo and “athlete of the year” to Simone Biles.

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