Not only does he have more Facebook friends than, well, pretty much everyone and a Golden Globe-nominated film based on his life’s work (at the ripe old age of 26), but Mark Zucerkberg has just been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
He beat out a host of other newsmakers for the honor, including Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, Sarah Palin, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, the Chilean miners, Hamid Karzai, Lady Gaga and LeBron James.
“For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is Time‘s 2010 Person of the Year,” the magazine wrote on its website this morning.
Zuckerberg reserved his comments on being named the second-youngest Person of the Year ever for his Facebook page, posting on his wall for his 2.1 million friends: “Being named as Time Person of the Year is a real honor and recognition of how our little team is building something that hundreds of millions of people want to use to make the world more open and connected. I’m happy to be a part of that.”
Seven years ago Facebook didn’t exist, and in that time since, Zuckerberg has “wired together a twelfth of humanity into a single network, thereby creating a social entity almost twice as large as the U.S. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest, behind only China and India,” said Time’s Lev Grossman.
Despite the accolades today, it’s been a roller coaster year for Zuckerberg nonetheless, with the most public downturn coming as a result of the release of the film “Social Network,” in which he’s portrayed as an introverted, supercilious, not-so-friendly guy.
But Zuckerberg ultimately managed to spin his real or perceived arrogance into some good. Earlier this year he added role model to his resume, pledging on Oprah Winfrey’s show $100 million to help schools in Newark, and just this month it was revealed he would give away half of his nearly $7 billion fortune to charity.
With friends like him, he’s earned the right to defriend his enemies.
Do you agree that Mark Zuckerberg is the Person of the Year?
Image: Jean-Frédéric/Wikimedia Commons