German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been crowned TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’ for 2015 – the first woman to win the award since 1986 and only the fourth to win since its conception in 1936.
TIME said Merkel was a deserved winner for her work in Europe, saving Greece from its debt burden, her humanitarian response to the Syrian refugee crisis and her handling of the ongoing Russian-Ukraine crisis.
Interestingly, the other finalists for the Award arguably didn’t come with Merkel’s pedigree. They included Donald Trump, ISIS’ leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Former winners of the title include Hitler, Stalin, Ghandi, Churchill and Nixon. Last year’s cover stars were medics fighting the Ebola outbreak in western Africa.
TIME’s editor Nancy Gibbs said of Merkel’s win: “Leaders are tested only when people don’t want to follow,” Time editor Nancy Gibbs said in a statement issued Wednesday. “For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply, Angela Merkel is Time’s Person of the Year.”