“For changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are TIME’s 2020 Person of the Year,” TIME Editor in Chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal writes.
“Joe Biden was elected president of the United States in the midst of an existential debate over what reality we inhabit. Perhaps the only thing Americans agree on right now is that the future of the country is at stake, even as they fiercely disagree about why.
“The task before the new administration is immense: a pandemic to confront, an economy to fix, a climate crisis to tackle, alliances to rebuild, deep skepticism to overcome with many Americans dubious about unity with Trump voters, and an opposition party still very much under Trump’s sway.
“This will be the test of the next four years: Americans who haven’t been this divided in more than a century elected two leaders who have bet their success on finding common ground.
“TIME from its beginnings has had a special connection to the presidency, as a reflection of America and its role in the world. Every elected president since FDR has at some point during his term been a Person of the Year, nearly a dozen of those in a presidential election year. This is the first time we have included a vice president. In a year that saw an epic struggle for racial justice, and one of the most consequential elections in history, the Biden-Harris partnership sends a powerful message.”
TIME also named the following in the respective categories:
Athlete of the Year
Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James
Businessperson of the Year
Eric Yuan and the Zoom Revolution
Entertainer of the Year
Guardians of the Year
Dr. Anthony Fauci
Frontline Health Workers
The Person of the Year issue of TIME goes on sale on Wednesday, Dec.16.