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Donald Trump named TIME Person of the Year for 2016

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Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Donald Trump has been named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year. Trump sees off former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the Flint whistleblowers and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Each year, the magazine selects the person who has most influenced the news and the world over the previous 12 months.

Donald Trump went from reality TV star and businessman to president-elect of the United States. The controversial billionaire tapped into the frustrations of ordinary Americans and claimed victory in a close election that was both brutal and shocking.

Despite coming out with countless controversial statements, Trump succeeded in beating rival Hillary Clinton, a career politician with decades of experience to take the role of commander-in-chief. Love him or hate him, 2016 was the year of Trump.

Editors of the magazine revealed a shortlist of 11 contenders on Monday, which also included Trump’s election rival Hillary Clinton, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Russia’s CRISPR scientists, Beyoncé Knowles, and US gymnast Simone Biles.

“To be on the cover of Time as Person of the Year is a tremendous honor,” Trump told Today’s Matt Lauer after the news broke.

Time editor Nancy Gibbs explained: “For all of Trump’s public life, tastemakers and intellectuals have dismissed him as a vulgarian and carnival barker, a showman with big flash and little substance.

“But what those critics never understood was that their disdain gave him strength.”

Trump was described by the magazine as having “upended the leadership of both major political parties and effectively shifted the political direction of the international order.”

“He will soon command history’s most lethal military, along with economic levers that can change the lives of billions,” Gibbs said. “And the people he has to thank are those he calls ‘the forgotten,’ millions of American voters who get paid by the hour in shoes that will never touch these carpets – working folk, regular Janes and Joes, the dots in the distance.”

“Whatever you think of the man, this much is undeniable: he uncovered an opportunity others didn’t believe existed, the last, greatest deal for a 21st century.”

Indian PM Modi was awarded the reader’s poll for Time’s person of the year, beating US President Barack Obama and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The 2015 accolade was awarded to Chancellor Angela Merkel, which made her the first woman to receive the title since 1986. Merkel, was praised her “humanity, generosity, and tolerance” in her handling of the EU in times of crisis.

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