U.S. News

TIME Magazine Names Bill and Melinda Gates, Bono "Persons of the Year"

December 19, 2005

TIME Magazine in its Jan. 2, 2006, issue named Microsoft founder Bill Gates, his wife Melinda and Irish musician Bono its "Persons of the Year" for their efforts to improve global health and eradicate poverty, Newsday reports (Newsday, 12/19). The magazine praised the trio's commitment to fighting such diseases as HIV/AIDS and malaria (Parsons, Reuters, 12/18). The three were recognized "for being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow," according to TIME (Gibbs, TIME, 1/2/06). The Gateses -- who started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has the world's largest endowment at $29 billion -- in 2005 were singled out for "giving more money away faster than anyone ever has" (Xinhuanet, 12/18). The magazine also credited the couple with saving at least 700,000 lives in developing countries by funding vaccination programs (Butler, AP/Boston Globe, 12/19). Bono also was lauded because in 2005 he "charmed and bullied and morally blackmailed the leaders of the world's richest countries into forgiving $40 billion in debt owed by the poorest," according to the magazine (McNally, Irish Times, 12/19). According to TIME's rules, the award is given to "the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or for ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse" (Wilson, London's Guardian, 12/19).

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