Time magazine has revealed its Person of the Year 2011, and the winner is: The protester.
The magazine unveiled its annually-anticipated selection Wednesday morning on NBC's The Today Show, as managing editor Richard Stengel announced the protester to the honor.
Some thought that perhaps the late Steve Jobs might win, or Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot but is on a path to miraculous recovery. They weren't on Time's short list since they were recognized in other sections of the magazine. It's not a lifetime achievement award, Stengel said.
The protester made a big mark on America this year via Occupy Wall Street. It began on a hot summer day in Lower Manhattan and months later had become recognized as a movement springing up throughout the nation.
It's not always an individual that wins the distinction, though last year's choice was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Time has chosen its Person of the Year every year since 1927, and sometimes it has involved a group, like the protester, or a concept.
Moments after the protester received the distinction on the Today show Wednesday, social media was buzzing and trending with the news, with some Occupy Wall Street participants reveling in the choice.