- The Computer
- / first
- Not Applicable ()
Breaking from tradition, "The Computer" became the first inanimate object to receive the annual "Person of the Year" (or in this case, "Machine of the Year") award presented by US news magazine Time, claiming the accolade for the year 1982. A representation of a personal computer (PC) appeared on the cover of the 3 January 1983 end-of-year edition of the publication. Although referencing the rise of the PC in general (PC sales went from 724,000 in 1980 to nearly 3 million in 1982), the accompanying article focused on the "Lisa" computer (Apple's first PC with a graphical user interface), which would be released a few weeks after the magazine on 19 January 1983.
The Person of the Year is a special annual issue of the US news magazine Time, in which they celebrate a person, group of people or even object that "for better or for worse... has done the most to influence the events of the year". The award was originally split into "Man of the Year" and "Woman of the Year", before being changed to the single "Person of the Year" in 1999.
The accolade began in 1927, with the first individual to receive the title being US aviator Charles Lindbergh, who became the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo on 20–21 May 1927. The first female individual to be named "Person of the Year" was socialite and future wife of King Edward VIII, Wallis Simpson (USA), taking the honour in 1936, as featured in the 4 January 1937 issue of Time.
The only other non-human recipient of the accolade to date is "Earth", which took the title in 1988.