This Day in History
December 26, 1982
TIME Names a Non-Human “Man of the Year”
TIME magazine's editors selected the Personal Computer for “Machine of the Year,” in lieu of their well-known “Man of the Year” award. The computer beat out U.S. President Ronald Reagan, U.K. prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin. The planet Earth became the second non-human recipient for the award in 1988. The awards have been given since 1927. The magazine's essay reported that in 1982, 80% of Americans expected that "in the fairly near future, home computers will be as commonplace as television sets or dishwashers.” In 1980, 724,000 personal computers were sold in the United States, according to Time. The following year, that number doubled to 1.4 million.