Greta Thunberg named TIME's youngest Person of the Year ever

Thunberg is a 16-year-old activist from Sweden

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg is TIME's 2019 Person of the Year, TIME magazine editor Edward Felsenthal announced Wednesday morning.

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"She was a solo protester with a hand-painted sign a few months ago. ... She's taken this issue from backstage to center," Felsenthal said of the Swedish 16-year-old.

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Thunberg is TIME's youngest Person of the Year ever.

"That Thunberg is the youngest individual ever named TIME’s Person of the Year says as much about the moment as it does about her," Felsenthal wrote on Wednesday. "But in this moment when so many traditional institutions seem to be failing us, amid staggering inequality and social upheaval and political paralysis, we are seeing new kinds of influence take hold. It is wielded by people like Thunberg, leaders with a cause and a phone who don't fit the old rubrics but who connect with us in ways that institutions can't and perhaps never could."

The honor from TIME is one of Thunberg's many accolades. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian lawmakers earlier this year.

Finalists included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the whistleblower, the Hong Kong protesters and President Trump, who was named Person of the Year in 2016.

Last year, TIME chose Jamal Khashoggi as part of a Person of the Year award honoring "The Guardians" of truth, the first time it chose someone posthumously. Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and the Capital Gazette appeared on four different versions of the prestigious cover.

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