- Mahatma Gandhi (runner-up)
- Franklin D. Roosevelt (runner-up)
Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century is a compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people, published in Time magazine in 1999.
The idea for such a list started on February 1, 1998, with a debate at a symposium in Hanoi, Vietnam. The panel participants were former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, former New York governor Mario Cuomo, then–Stanford Provost Condoleezza Rice, publisher Irving Kristol, and Time managing editor Walter Isaacson.
In a separate issue on December 31, 1999, Time recognized Albert Einstein as the Person of the Century.
Time's article cites twenty persons in each of five broad categories: Leaders and Revolutionaries, Scientists and Thinkers, Builders and Titans, Artists and Entertainers, and Heroes and Icons. 
Of the 100 chosen, Albert Einstein was chosen as the Person of the Century, on the grounds that he was the preeminent scientist in a century dominated by science. The editors of Time believed the 20th century "will be remembered foremost for its science and technology", and Einstein "serves as a symbol of all the scientists—such as Fermi, Heisenberg, Bohr, Richard Feynman, ...who built upon his work". 
The cover of the magazine featured the famous image of Einstein taken in 1947 by American portrait photographer Philippe Halsman.
The runners-up were Mahatma Gandhi and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It was debated whether Adolf Hitler, responsible for World War II and the Holocaust, and Benito Mussolini for the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, should have been made Persons of the Century for their influence in politics. 
The argument was based on Time's explicit criterion that the persons chosen should have the greatest impact on this century, for better or worse. In the same 31 December 1999 issue of Time, essayist Nancy Gibbs addressed the topic with the article The Necessary Evil? In the article, she argues that Hitler and Mussolini "were simply the latest in a long line of murderous figures, stretching back to before Genghis Khan. The only difference was technology: Both Hitler and Mussolini went about their cynical carnage with all the efficiency that modern industry had perfected" and present several rhetorical questions such as "Evil may be a powerful force, a seductive idea, but is it more powerful than genius, creativity, courage or generosity?" 
The list of the top 20 Artists and Entertainers, in particular, was criticized[ by whom? ] for not including Elvis Presley, a decision that Time magazine representative Bruce Handy initially defended in the following way:
One of the most important, innovative things about rock is the whole notion of songwriters singing their own works, of the immediacy of expression. Since Elvis didn't write his own material, unlike The Beatles or Bob Dylan or Robert Johnson, who's also someone who could have been included, maybe that cut against him… I think the Beatles pushed the envelope a lot further. Elvis' most original recordings were his first. The Beatles started out as imitators, then continued to grow throughout their years together. 
Handy was also asked[ by whom? ] to defend Time's decision to include the fictional character Bart Simpson from The Simpsons television series among the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, and he did so as follows:
I don't see how you can look at this century and not include cartoons. They're one of our great contributions, along with jazz and film. (I know, I know. The movies were a 19th-century invention. But we 20th century folks really put them to good use.)… To some extent, too, we wanted people who also represented important 20th century trends or developments. That would help account for the Barts and Oprahs  ... What Bart, or really the Simpsons, have done is merge social satire with popular animation in a way that hasn't really been done before. 
Early in the running, professional wrestler Ric Flair received over 300,000 votes in the online Man of the Century poll and nearly 900,000 votes were cast for Jesus, however they were removed from the poll as Time.com officials stated that the votes for Flair and Jesus violated the "spirit" of the title. 
The list also received criticism for its inclusion of Lucky Luciano, who was chosen in part because "he modernized the Mafia, shaping it into a smoothly run national crime syndicate focused on the bottom line". New York mayor Rudy Giuliani accused Time of "romanticizing" gangsters, and he stated: "The idea that he civilized the Mafia is absurd. He murdered in order to get the position that he had, and then he authorized hundreds and hundreds of murders." The selection was called an "outrage" by Philip Cannistraro, a Queens College professor of Italian-American studies, and Thomas Vitale, the New York State vice president of Fieri, an Italian-American charitable organization, criticized Time for "perpetuating myths" about Italian-Americans. However, Time business editor Bill Saporito defended the selection by describing Luciano as "kind of an evil genius" who had a deep impact on the underground economy. "We're not out there to heap glory on these people", he explained. "We're out to say these are people who influenced our lives." Saporito further noted that "every piece of merchandise that came out of the Garment District had a little extra cost in it because of organized crime." 
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of producer James L. Brooks's office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father, Homer Groening. After appearing for three seasons on The Tracey Ullman Show, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.
Bartholomew Jojo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional character in the American animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening created and designed Bart while waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip, Life in Hell, but instead decided to create a new set of characters. While the rest of the characters were named after Groening's family members, Bart's name is an anagram of the word brat. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for two years, the Simpson family received its own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989. Bart has appeared in every Simpsons episode except "Four Great Women and a Manicure".
Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofsky, better known by his stage name Krusty the Clown, is a recurring character on the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta. He is the long-time clown host of Bart and Lisa's favorite TV show, a combination of kiddie variety television hijinks and cartoons including The Itchy & Scratchy Show. Krusty is often portrayed as a cynical, burnt-out, addiction-riddled smoker who is made miserable by show business but continues on anyway. He has become one of the most frequently occurring characters outside the main Simpson family and has been the focus of several episodes, many of which also feature Sideshow Bob.
"Bart the Genius" is the second episode of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 14, 1990. It was the first episode written by Jon Vitti. It is the show's first normal episode as well as the first to use the signature title sequence, though this version is much different from the one used from the second season to the twentieth season. In the episode, Bart cheats on an intelligence test and is declared a genius, so he is sent to a school for gifted children. Though he initially enjoys being treated as a genius, he begins to see the downside of his new life.
Person of the Year is an annual issue of the American news magazine and website Time featuring a person, a group, an idea, or an object that "for better or for worse ... has done the most to influence the events of the year". The editors of Time magazine select the featured subject, though the Time website also runs an annual reader's poll that has no effect on the selection.
"Bart of Darkness" is the first episode of the sixth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 4, 1994. In the episode, Bart breaks his leg and becomes increasingly isolated in his room. Spying on Ned Flanders from his room, Bart suspects that Ned has murdered his wife. The episode was produced during the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which delayed production by a month, and is largely a parody of the Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window.
"Like Father, Like Clown" is the sixth episode of the third season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 24, 1991. In the episode, Krusty the Clown reveals to the Simpsons that he is Jewish and that his father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky, kicked him out for pursuing a career in comedy and feeling unwanted. Bart and Lisa try to reunite a heartbroken Krusty with his estranged father.
"Bart vs. Australia" is the sixteenth episode of the sixth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 19, 1995. In the episode, Bart is indicted for fraud in Australia, and the family travels to the country so Bart can apologize.
"Treehouse of Horror VII" is the first episode of the eighth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 27, 1996. In the seventh annual Treehouse of Horror episode, Bart discovers his long-lost twin, Lisa grows a colony of small beings, and Kang and Kodos impersonate Bill Clinton and Bob Dole in order to win the 1996 presidential election. It was written by Ken Keeler, Dan Greaney, and David X. Cohen, and directed by Mike B. Anderson. Phil Hartman provided the voice of Bill Clinton. This is the first Treehouse of Horror episode to be a season premiere.
"Whacking Day" is the twentieth episode of the fourth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 29, 1993. The episode revolves around the fictional holiday "Whacking Day", celebrated annually, in which the citizens of Springfield drive snakes into the town square, then fatally club them. After Bart is expelled from school when he injures Superintendent Chalmers, he applies the knowledge he gains from Marge's homeschooling to help Lisa expose the fraudulent and cruel nature of the holiday.
The Simpson family are the fictional characters featured in the animated television series The Simpsons. The Simpsons are a nuclear family consisting of married couple Homer and Marge and their three children, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. They live at 742 Evergreen Terrace in the fictional town of Springfield, United States, and they were created by cartoonist Matt Groening, who conceived the characters after his own family members, substituting "Bart" for his own name. The family debuted on Fox on April 19, 1987, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" and were later spun off into their own series, which debuted on Fox in the U.S. on December 17, 1989.
"Homer's Barbershop Quartet" is the first episode of the fifth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 30, 1993. It features the Be Sharps, a barbershop quartet founded by Homer Simpson. The band's story roughly parallels that of the Beatles. George Harrison and David Crosby guest star as themselves, and the Dapper Dans partly provide the singing voices of the Be Sharps.
"Wild Barts Can't Be Broken" is the eleventh episode of the tenth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 17, 1999. When Homer, Barney, Lenny, and Carl drunkenly vandalize Springfield Elementary School, it is blamed on the children of Springfield, prompting Chief Wiggum to impose a curfew. The children respond by setting up a pirate radio show in which they reveal the embarrassing secrets of Springfield's adults. The episode was written by Larry Doyle and directed by Mark Ervin. The concept behind the episode originates from show producer Mike Scully always wanting to do an episode where the children would be subject to a curfew.
"The Old Man and the 'C' Student" is the twentieth episode of the tenth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 25, 1999. In the episode, after offending the Olympic committee during their visit to Springfield Elementary, the school's students are committed to 20 hours of community service. Bart, along with his sister Lisa, is put in charge of Springfield's retirement home, where Bart notices the doldrums that the old people go through every day. Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa's father Homer tries to sell springs.
"Marge Gets a Job" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 5, 1992. In this episode, Marge gets a job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to pay for foundation repair at the Simpsons house. Mr. Burns develops a crush on Marge after seeing her at work and sexually harasses her. A subplot with Bart also takes place, paralleling the fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
"Bart Carny" is the twelfth episode of the ninth season of the American animated television series, The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 11, 1998. Homer and Bart start working at a carnival and befriend a father and son duo named Cooder and Spud. It was written by John Swartzwelder, directed by Mark Kirkland and guest stars Jim Varney as Cooder the carny. The episode contains several cultural references and received a generally mixed critical reception.
Fame in the 20th Century is a 1993 BBC documentary television series and book by Clive James. The book and series examined the phenomenon of fame and how it expanded to international mass media proportions throughout the 20th century. The series first aired starting in January 1993, with 8 episodes divided in roughly 8 decades, from the 1900s to the 1980s. Each episode highlighted world-famous people during that part of the century. James delivered interesting and amusing comments about the portrayed celebrities and the various ways they became famous.
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian dictator and journalist who founded and led the National Fascist Party (PNF). He was Prime Minister of Italy from the March on Rome in 1922 until his deposition in 1943, as well as "Duce" of Italian fascism from the establishment of the Italian Fasces of Combat in 1919 until his summary execution in 1945 by Italian partisans. As dictator of Italy and principal founder of fascism, Mussolini inspired and supported the international spread of fascist movements during the inter-war period.
The Top 100 Historical Persons, aired on Nippon Television on May 7, 2006. The program featured the results of a survey that asked Japanese people to choose their favorite great person from history. The show featured several re-enactments of scenes from the lives of the people on the list.