This article is for quizzes on Wednesday May 4th...

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 Einstein as the Person of the Century.

It was debated whether Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, responsible for World War II, The Holocaust, and the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, should have been made Persons of the Century for their influence on the twentieth century.

 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?"

Muhammad Ali has been recognized to be the most important sportsman in history. Bill Gates was considered influential in the 20th century for his role in the computer revolution, and then later recognized in the 21st century for his philanthropic influence. Pope John Paul II was recognized in part for his role in ending communism in Eastern Europe, then leading the Roman Catholic Church into the modern age in the 21st century. Luciano Pavarotti was declared as one of the most successful tenors of all time. Nelson Mandela was recognized for his role in ending South African apartheid in the 20th century, and as a symbol of forgiveness in the 21st.

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