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January 5, 1962


New York City (JFK+50) President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was named today the “Man of the Year” for 1961 by Time Magazine.

JFK is the 4th President of the United States to earn the honor since it began in 1927.

The cover of Time displays a “watercolor on paper” of the President with a serious expression.

The JFK portrait is the work of Italian painter Pietro Annigoni who is influenced by the Italian Renaissance.  

Annigoni became world famous after painting Queen Elizabeth II in 1956.*

*Annigoni’s “JFK” has been described as “one of his worst portraits” because the President would not sit still for the painting.

        Original Time Magazine Cover
                     January 5, 1962
                 JFK Library Image*
     *Original copies on sale at $29.95 

The article in this week’s Time includes this statement by JFK:

“This job is interesting…but the possibilities for trouble are unlimited.  It represents a chance to exercise your judgment on matters of importance.  It takes a lot of thought & effort.  It’s been a tough 1st year but then they’re all going to be tough.”

The writers of the magazine say that President Kennedy has done his job well in his first year.

They write:

“In his 1st year as President, John F. Kennedy showed qualities that have made him a promising leader.  Those same qualities, if developed further, may make him a great President.”*

*Time’s “Man of the Year” has been politically corrected to “Person of the Year” but also includes “a group, idea or object that,  for better or for worse, has done the most to influence the events of the year.”

Some of the honorees include:

Charles A. Lindbergh, USA (1927)
Mohandas Gandhi, British Raj (1930)
Franklin D. Roosevelt, USA  
           (1932, 1934, 1941)
Haile Selassie, Ethiopia (1935)
Wallis Simpson, USA (1936)

Adolf Hitler, Germany (1938)
Joseph Stalin, USSR (1939)
Winston Churchill, UK 
      (1940, 1942, 1949)
Dwight D. Eisenhower, USA (1944, 1959)
Harry S Truman, USA (1945, 1948)

Queen Elizabeth II, UK (1952)
Konrad Adenauer, W Germany (1953)
John Foster Dulles, USA (1954)
Nikita Khrushchev, USSR (1957)
Charles de Gaulle, France (1958).

The most recent US President to win the honor was Barack Obama (2008).

The winner of the 2011 award was “The Protester” representing many global protest movements during the year.

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