Time magazine named Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of the social-networking website Facebook, Person of the Year for 2010 on Wednesday. Zuckerberg, 26, is the youngest recipient in the award’s history.
According to Time, Zuckerberg has dramatically altered the way we live our lives:
“For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is TIME’s 2010 Person of the Year.”
Zuckerberg created Facebook, previously called thefacebook.com, in 2004 while attending Harvard University. With a growing rate of 700,000 per day, the phenomenal website boasts 550 million registered users worldwide this year.
Earlier this year, The Social Network, a movie based on Zuckerberg’s rise to success with the creation of Facebook and the destruction of several close friendships, was released. The movie, directed by David Fincher, features a talented cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Armie Hammer. It has received tremendous success and praise and will most likely be a frontrunner for this year’s award season.
The magazine has given out the title of Person of the Year since 1927. Credentials for such recognition, according to Time, require that the person “for better or for worse, … has done the most to influence the events of the year.”
Previous winners have largely been powerful leaders or presidents such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama. This year’s runners up included Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange, and the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 70 days.
The cover of Time features an up-close portrait of Zuckerberg; his green eyes, piercingly bright, are almost reptilian, and the image comes with a tag-line that reads, “The Connector.