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'Time' Person of the Year

Aired December 24, 2005 - 15:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Who is "Time's" Person of the Year? Is it nature's wrath or the face of human compassion? Is it a leader of a nation or diplomat to the world? A terrorist who kills or a mother who grieves? A White House leak? Formal rivals now friends? A spiritual icon to millions? Could it be a rock star who cares? Or a billionaire with a cause? CNN presents "TIME: PERSON OF THE YEAR."
COOPER: Welcome to CNN's special presentation of "Time" magazine's" PERSON OF THE YEAR. I'm Anderson Cooper. It started back in 1927 with this man, Charles Lindbergh. His historic solo flight across the Atlantic made his "Time" magazine's first Person of the Year and a tradition was born. In 1963, Martin Luther king, Jr., a civil rights leader who would become a legend; 1979 the Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran's Islamic fanatic who shook America and the world; and 1994 Pope John Paul II wildly popular and aging but tireless advocate for peace. So, who will it be this year? Who's affected our lives, our world the most? Well we take you inside "Time's" closely guarded selection process to reveal the person for 2005. And what a year it was.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god, this is a tidal wave.

NANCY GIBBS, EDITOR-AT-LARGE: The first news story of the year was still the tsunami. Our attention was still completely riveted to this astonishing unfolding story of loss and shock and aid and rescue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tonight, more than 116,000 people are confirmed dead after the tsunami in southeast Asia.

STEPHEN KOEPP, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR: The tsunami brought out the largest, most sustained, most democratic campaign of charity that the world has ever seen.

One notable aspect of that was Bill Clinton and George Bush and their mission to the affected areas and rounding up relief and helping focus the world's attention on them haves of this.

BILL CLINTON, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: What we have to do now is not to forget these people and places when all the cameras are not there.

HOWARD CHUA-EOAN, NEWS DIRECTOR: And then, of course, the disasters came home to the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hurricane Katrina, winds upward and above 160-miles-an-hour.

GIBBS: I think what Katrina did was that it fed a kind of anxiety level that then just mounted week after week, because we spent the last four years living in the shadow of fear of another terrorist attack.

(CHANTING): We want help! We want help!

GIBBS: To have this test drive of our readiness go so badly wrong was very unnerving for people all over the country, quite apart from how upsetting it was to see these people in trouble who were not getting the help they needed.

If we go by the old criteria which would be the person who, for better or for worse, who have affected the year might be Mike Brown.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.

GIBBS: Mike Brown became the face of the failure. He certainly took the fall.

MIKE BROWN, FMR. FEMA DIRECTOR: Every person in that convention center, we just learned about that today.

GIBBS: Obviously, decisions he made and things that he said made him a very natural fall guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys sick of sitting around and watching TV and seeing all this destruction, so we had to do something.

PRISCILLA PAINTON, EXECUTIVE EDITOR: I think you can make the argument that the relief worker could be Person of the Year, but you'd have to define relief worker very broadly.

GIBBS: Little kids and their lemonade stands and unaccountable numbers of clothing drives and canned good drive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rescue boat! Anybody here?

PAINTON: It was the citizen rescuer who was also very much part of this year's extraordinary story.

ADI IGNATIUS, EXECUTIVE EDITOR: From time to time we'll do a non-person Person of the Year. We've done the personal computer, we did planet Earth.

Some people have said maybe Nature should be our Person of the Year, the hurricanes in the U.S., landslides, the earthquake in Pakistan. It really was a year where Mother Nature made it clear that she cannot be tamed by morals.

BUSH: Good morning, happy holidays to you all.

IGNATIUS: You can make the case every single year that the president of the United States should be the Person of the Year. JANICE C. SIMPSON, ASST. MANAGING EDITOR: A year ago we just come out of the election.

BUSH: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital and now I intend to spend it.

SIMPSON: In the past year, he's lost that mandate. He's seen his approval rating just crash.

GIBBS: The reason I wouldn't argue for him for Person of the Year is because unlike other years, I think the defining events of this year were not of his making. And that alone is extraordinary.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Did a top White House official intentionally reveal the identity of a CIA operative?

JAY CARNEY, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: It's an important story because it's not just a run of the mill scandal in an administration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Valerie Plame, whose cover was blown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joe Wilson, Robert Novak, Judith Miller from the "New York Times," Matthew Cooper of "Time" magazine, Patrick Fitzgerald...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a very serious matter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, obviously.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It opens the question about why we went to war and what was said and done to make the case for war.

IGNATIUS: You know another person you have to consider is Bono.

BONO, MUSICIAN, ACTIVIST: I don't think what's happening in Africa with AIDS is a cause. I think it's an emergency.

IGNATIUS: He has singlehandedly increased awareness on issues that don't have great champions. He's not simply a rock star, he's the real thing.

BONO (signing): But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

BILL GATES, MICROSOFT FOUNDER: Vaccinate every child in the world.

ROMESH RAMESAR, WORLD EDITOR: Bill and Melinda Gates are doing more to save more people in the world than anyone else.

GATES: One of our earliest foundation grants was to establish the vaccine fund.

RAMESAR: He's already the biggest, most generous philanthropist who's ever lived and he's just getting started. That alone makes them candidates for Person of the Year this year or any other year. IGNATIUS: The other thing you've seen this year is you've seen a lot of invasion. Steve Jobs and Apple continue to come up with invasions.

STEVE JOBS, APPLE COMPUTERS: This is the new iPod Nano.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve Jobs, he keeps changing things and you don't mind buying the next new thing.

SIMPSON: Video iPod is going to change the way we watch television. We now will get things when we want it, where we want it.

IGNATIUS: Yeah, the other company that's been extremely creative and consistently so is Google.

SIMPSON: Google, of course, has become a verb.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are they the next Wal-Mart or Microsoft of technology? Are they so big that they're going to take over the world?

ANNOUNCER: When we return, "Time's" editors narrow down the field, but, first, a look at some of the other people who matter in 2005.

Pope Benedict is a very interesting character. He's following someone who, I think, most people would call one of the real giants of the 21st century.

CHUA-EOAN: Everyone expected the former Cardinal Ratzinger to be, to extreme, to be the next pope, and, yet, it was one of the more astonishing transformations, the grand inquisitor of the church is now the Holy Father himself.

Abortion, women in the priesthood, the role of gay citizens in the church. The pope, I think, has started to move church doctrine in a certain way that will have a very significant impact on the stand the church takes on these issues.

It will be an interesting story to see if he can play both roles being the enforcer of orthodoxy as well as the beloved father of a billion Catholics around the world.

Mukhtar Mai is a fascinating personality. This Pakistani woman who has no more than a fourth grade education who was raped in her village. Usually a woman who was raped in Pakistan or most Islamic society just kills herself because what else can you do? You're dishonored. Instead, she sued.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hope justice will be done in the Supreme Court.

CHUA-EOAN: She tried to change the system. She established schools for girls to try to change how Pakistan treats girls and women. What she's doing is really, really important for Muslim women, not only in Pakistan, but around the world that they can stand up for their own rights, that they are not the property in the chapel of their men.

MUKHTAR MAI, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST (through translator): There is a fire burning inside me that just made me do this.





JAMES KELLY, MANAGING EDITOR: Well, one of the big stories this year of 2005, in the business world at least, is Google.

SIMPSON: The Google guys matter a lot and they're great candidates, or people, I guess, of the year.

IGNATIUS: The founders of Google are these incredibly young, credibly bright guys, Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, we had a search engine that was better than the other search engines. If you can get to the stage where you have a product that's better than the other products, then you're in pretty good shape.

SIMPSON: The expansion of their empire and the way they do business rivals Microsoft. Microsoft is running in it tracks to keep up.

IGNATIUS: They have servers all over the world, they training centers all over the world and they're a company that's stock market values at over $100 billion.

SIMPSON: It is a way we find out about ourselves, about where we want to go, what we want to do.

PHILIP ELMER DEWITT, SCIENCE EDITOR: I use Google for almost everything. I mean, I Googled four or five times in the last 15 minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea evolved over a period of time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The beginning for Google, a pair of dorm rooms at Stanford.

SERGEY BRIN, GOOGLE FOUNDER: My dorm room was the office and Larry's dorm room was the center.

IGNATIUS: Well, the big idea behind Google was that they were going to be able to digitalized all the information in the world and made it easy for people to access.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was an incredibly smart search engine, it was so much smarter than anything else at them time..

IGNATIUS: The great break through is they realized without compromising the integrity of the search they also had figured out how to deliver advertising in a very, kind of, efficient, directive way and that's where their money comes from. If you search skies you'll get results and then on the right-hand side of the Google page you'll get some other results and these are clearly identified as, basically, advertisers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page stand to make billions.

KOEPP: I think the transformation of the Google guys this year from a kind of underdog renegade to this empire.

JOSH TYRANGIEL, STAFF WRITER: And the ambition for that company is just remarkable.

IGNATIUS: Let's just take books, for example, they like to scan every single book so all of that text is accessible. These are books that are out of print, pamphlets, even research papers, very controversial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whether it's maps or whether it's, you know, setting up wireless networks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The kind of competitions they've gotten into, you know, the bidding for AOL now against Microsoft.

And that's creating a change in terms like, from Google enthusiasm to a little bit of Google dread or Google fear in the sense of, what will they do next?

TYRANGIEL: It's a kind of, you know, it's new GM in a way. Like, let's control it all. What do you say? No aspect of business we can't dip our toe into, right?

IGNATIUS: They've had an extraordinary year and they (INAUDIBLE).

TYRANGIEL: When you become a verb you know you hit it big. Knowing that your stock prices are at 450 probably doesn't hurt.

SIMPSON: I think you can say that Google and the Google guys are taking over the world.

TYRANGIEL: They want everything. It's advertised in the name. It's Google, like we plan on being everywhere all the time, get used to it.

ANNOUNCER: Ahead, the tangled web of a White House secret.

KOEPP: It exposed the kind of serious defensiveness among the administration about the evidence for going to the war.

ANNOUNCER: Will the Person of the Year emerge from the scandal? First, other people that mattered in 2005.

CINDY SHEEHAN, ANTI-WAR ACTIVIST: My name is Cindy Sheehan. My son was killed -- my son, Casey, was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004.

KOEPP: Here's someone who had no power and by their own determination and by their own background, wielded an incredible influence by her attitude.

SHEEHAN: I want to ask the president, why did he kill my son? What did my son die for?

GIBBS: It was easy to report the story, easy to tell the story of an anti-war movement that had existed from the moment the war began. There had never been a face to it in the way that there was once Cindy Sheehan came along.

SHEEHAN: The Iraqi people run us out, a majority of Americans run us out. It's time to force our elected officials to do the will of the people.

GIBBS: I'm not sure she was an activist in the sense of altering opinion, but to the extent of the nature of the opinion and how it was being expressed was covered very differently as a result of her and there, I think she did have an impact.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lance Armstrong is a great story.

IGNATIUS: He just come off his seventh straight win in the Tour de France.

LANCE ARMSTRONG, CYCLIST: Viva la tour, forever.

IGNATIUS: To finish it is incredible, to win is incredible, and to win seven straight time is unprecedented.

LISA BEYER, ASST. MANAGING EDITOR: The guy survives cancer, completely remakes his body.

ARMSTRONG: I'm determined to fight this disease and I will win.

IGNATIUS: He is part of that other big story, which is the steroid scandal.

ARMSTRONG: We're sick and tired of these allegations that are untrue.

IGNATIUS: The French in particular have accused him, I can't judge the accusations. You know, there's nothing I have seen that they'll stand up.

ARMSTRONG: Enough is enough.

IGNATIUS: You know, It adds a little spice to his year.

ARMSTRONG: Yellow is the reason I am here. IGNATIUS: And then he has -- you know, he's taken his fame and taken his money and put it into causes that matter. Selling those wristbands has raised millions and millions and that will change how we look, but also how we raise money and how we show the causes we support.





BUSH: If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is.

KELLY: Well, one of the bigger stories this year, of course, is the investigation by Patrick Fitzgerald into who leaked Valerie Plame's name to the press.

GIBBS: The CIA leak story is very hot, political story because it has gone directly at the case for war.

KOEPP: It exposed the kind of really serious defensiveness among the administration about the evidence for going to war.

CARNEY: It is such a difficult story to explain in shorthand, but what happened is that in the run up to the war in Iraq, President Bush and some people in his administration made a lot of claims about the threat Saddam Hussein posed.

BUSH: The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

CARNEY: And admits that comes this guy Joe Wilson, former ambassador to Africa, somebody who had been sent, it turned out, by the CIA to investigate this claim of African countries trying to sell uranium to the Iraqis and had come back prior to the president's State of the Union by 10 months and said, I don't believe it. He ousts himself publicly in the newspaper and says this was baloney and the administration should have known it.

BEYER: And one of the ways that the Bush administration tried to discredit him was to tell reporters that his wife worked for the CIA. The first publication of the leak was in the column by Robert Novak where he published Joe Wilson's wife's name, Valerie Plame, and said that she was a CIA agent.

CARNEY: Suddenly we have an investigation into who broke the law by outing a covert CIA operative.

PATRICK FITZGERALD, U.S. STATES ATTORNEY, CHICAGO: Good afternoon. I'm pat Fitzgerald, I'm the United States attorney in Chicago and I'm appearing before you today as the Department of Justice Special Counsel and the CIA leak investigation. QUESTION: Mr. Libby, it's your day in court, how do you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only crime that anybody has been accused of, and that person is so far is only Scooter Libby, the former chief of staff of vice president Cheney is essentially lying to the grand jury. And basically attempting to cover up what he might have said to reporters.

BUSH: Today I accepted the resignation of Scooter Libby.

FITZGERALD: When a vice president's chief of staff is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, it does show the world that this is a country that takes its loss seriously. That all citizens are bound by the law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House is not going to comment on it.

KARL ROVE, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I didn't know her name and didn't leak her name.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Karl rove is important to this whole story because, like scooter Libby, he spoke to reporters and told them Joe Wilson's wife was a CIA agent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Patrick Fitzgerald indict Rove, the man that Bush has christened the "architect" of his election and re- election campaign, the man who runs large parts of his domestic agenda is now in serious legal jeopardy.

CARNEY: And a whole separate and important aspect of this investigation is how journalists had been essentially forced to testify. Judith Miller from the "New York Times," rather than testify and reveal her source, went to jail. Matthew Cooper of "Time" magazine came very close to going to jail until he got a waiver from Karl Rove, one of his sources.

KOEPP: The story goes on, clearly, Patrick Fitzgerald is not done. There are more chapters yet ahead on this one.

ANNOUNCER: Up next, Mother Nature creates an unlikely duo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here are two former political rivals who managed to forge a friendship trying to get all this stuff done.

ANNOUNCER: But, first, a look at some of the other people who mattered in 2005.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kanye West is a person who matters.

KOEPP: He's a real creator and, basically a self-made musical genius. He's got a lot to say on a lot of issues. Right after hurricane Katrina artists are doing a benefit, he appears and he goes off script. KANYE WEST, MUSICIAN: I hate the way they portray us in the media.

KOEPP: And just says really bluntly in the sound bite...

WEST: George Bush doesn't care about black people.

KOEPP: This went all over the place. It really added fuel to the flame of that discussion.

SIMPSON: He brought rap back to a place where it would be political again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, J.K. Rowling!

GIBBS: And J.K. Rowling is a person that mattered this year. It is because of her that an entire generation of children all around the world, in more languages that we can count, have fallen in love with books.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he has a magic wand...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he's in the best house.

GIBBS: You have children crowd under to book stores at midnight to get their hands on it and staggering bleary-eyed through the rest of the weekend because they sit down and read 500 pages at a go. That is an incredible thing. The mere fact that she has made reading something that this generation of children associates with great adventure and wonder and pleasure, I think is a tremendous gift and it will be years before we know the full impact of it.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Anderson Cooper will be back in a minute with this special hour of "Time Magazine Person of the Year." But, first, here are the headlines.

We're following a developing story as Vice President Dick Cheney has spent much of the day in Iraq. Cheney made this surprise visit as he begins a tour of the U.S. allies on the war on terror.

During his day-long tour, he reportedly discussed the recent elections and how Iraqis must take control of their country.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is predicting the U.S. will have a military presence in Iraq for years. But he also says a gradual withdrawal is likely to start next year. In an interview with the BBC to be broadcast today, Powell also said taking troops out too quickly would be, quote, "a tragic mistake."

Despite the arrest of some 900 people in violent clashes with police, protesters are unrelenting. Thousands marched down the streets of Hong Kong today near the site of the World Trade Organization talks. WTO ministers propose ending farm subsidies by 2013.

Now, back to more of Anderson Cooper and "Time Person of the Year."

COOPER: Welcome back to CNN's special presentation of "Time Magazine's Person of the Year." So who's it going to be? Well, we move now even closer to the answer. Sorting through the contenders on the way to revealing the final decision.

JAMES KELLY, MANAGING EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE: Well, 2005 was the year in which we saw these tremendous disasters, and then the relief efforts that went into it. And two people who most typified those campaigns to raise those funds were former Presidents Bush and Clinton.


GEORGE H. W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The devastation on the ground is worse than I expected. It's leveled. Just flat. I've never seen anything like it, ever.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are orphans everywhere. Nobody's got a home; nobody's got a way to make a living. It's unbelievable.

You know, I just hope we can keep more people alive by doing this and help them get back to normal life.


NANCY GIBBS, EDITOR AT LARGE, TIME MAGAZINE: Former President Bush and President Clinton have been one of the more interesting acts to watch this year.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Clinton and Bush will ask citizens to donate directly to reliable charities.


MICHAEL DUFFY, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE: They represented a kind of response to problems in the world this year that was not governmental and it was private. And it was about volunteers and charitable giving and everyone sort of solving their own problems.


G. H. W. BUSH: People so desperately want to help that, if President Clinton and I can help mobilize that support and encourage and maybe build on that support, why we're doing the right thing.


LISA BEYER, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE: What's interesting about this friendship is that they've come together and they've raised $12 million for tsunami relief and $115 million in Katrina relief.


G.H.W. BUSH: It's going to take all of us working together, the public, the non-profits, the private sector.



G.H.W. BUSH: You feel like you're helping. You feel like you can make a difference. And it's very rewarding.


GIBBS: It is a very unlikely match.

DUFFY: Here are two former political rivals who managed to forge a Friendship and get all this stuff done.

GIBBS: The ultimate sort of New England preppy with the ultimate, you know, the guy who we called Bubba.

DUFFY: I think the important thing to know about former presidents is typically they don't do things together. What was unprecedented about the Clinton-Bush friendship this year is that it kind of broke those protocols.

CARNEY: It's a uniquely American appeal when you have a president, who was defeated in a very, very bitter campaign in 1992, and who took that loss very bitterly. And this many years later can work with Bill Clinton and visa versa.

DUFFY: The fall between President Clinton and President Bush probably began in the mid '90 when President Clinton unveiled President Bush's portrait.

It took another step, I think, about a year ago at the opening of the Clinton library in Little Rock. The two men began talking at that event in November, personally, together, just the two of them. And I'm sure, knowing them, they had plenty to talk about and hit it off.


G. H. W. BUSH: One of the great blessings is the way one-time political adversaries had the tendency to become friends. And I feel such is certainly the case between President Clinton and me.


DUFFY: Both men took a huge amount of criticism from people in their own party and their wife's party and son's political party about joining into this friendship.

BEYER: We're talking Bill Clinton here who, you know, Republicans just hate. But this was a team put together by George Bush II who Democrats just hate.

DUFFY: Both men really look past the politics that have kind of pulled the country down in the last decade to do this.

DUFFY: It's an unexpected tale and, if it hadn't worked on the tsunami, it wouldn't have come back together again on Katrina. But there is something to this relationship that is real and genuine and lasting.

In some ways, you can look at George Bush and Bill Clinton and say they led that effort, both at home and abroad.


G. H. W. BUSH: There's something bigger and that's helping others.


DUFFY: That makes them important figures for 2005.

COOPER: Up next, high-tech solutions for third world problems.

RATNESAR: He shows how you can move mountains with enough leverage.

COOPER: The techno geek whose new challenge is charity. After another look at people who mattered in 2005.


CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States believes that the Russian military presence was out of line.


ROMESH RATNESAR, WORLD EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE: The secretary of state has had a significant impact on the way in which American foreign policy changed direction over the last year. She has repaired some of our relationships with our allies.

And, in important areas both in Iran and North Korea to the major crises facing the world, she has really put the United States firmly in the camp working with our allies.

BEYER: We're starting to see a very interesting argument within the administration over how we treat detainees and Condoleezza Rice is right in the middle of that.


RICE: The United States does not condone torture. It is against U.S. law. It is also against U.S. international obligations.


CHUA-EAON: She has a certain charisma that few members of the Bush administration have now and, yet, I think there's a lot left for her to prove.


RICE: I know you're going to get it done. Thank you very much.


CHUA-EAON: Terrorism is still a constant source of anxiety. And the person who most clearly personifies terrorism is, of course, Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

RATNESAR: Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, is becoming a more pivotal figure. To some extent Zarqawi has helped to inspire the growth and the proliferation of these organizations all around the world, by basically making Iraq this kind of rallying point for Jihadists.

We have seen some evidence over the last year that Zarqawi has taken over, in some ways, as the operational leader of al Qaeda, and that he's been sort of dispatched or anointed by Osama Bin Laden. And I think that's a very significant and worrisome trend.

Aerial Sharon, in the last year, has taken steps that have changed the whole dynamic in the Middle East. He made the decision to go against a lot of his longest-serving supporters, and go against some of the things that he has stood for throughout his career, and decided to give up parts of the occupied territory from the Gaza Strip and hand over control of those areas to the Palestinians.

I think Aerial Sharon has had a tremendous impact both in the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also probably throughout that region.

COOPER: Welcome back to "Time Person of the Year."


BILL GATES, CHAIRMAN, MICROSOFT CORPORATION: One out of 12 children die in the world at large before age 5. I think within the next decade we ought to be able to eliminate virtually all of those deaths.


RATNESAR: Bill and Melinda Gates have, more than anyone else, devoted their own personal fortune to the causes of global health.

PHILIP ELMER-DEWITT, SCIENCES EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE: Nobody has made a bigger difference in that field than Bill and Melinda Gates, both in terms of the money they put into it and in the discipline and rigor that they brought to the field.

AMANDA RIPLEY, STAFF WRITER, TIME MAGAZINE: Melinda is a much more comfortable than Bill when they're sitting on a cement floor in a hut talking to women about micro-finance projects. She just leans forward and listens really attentively. And she holds the babies and she touches the children and she answers the sort of softball questions that Bill hates.


MELINDA GATES: These women want the same thing for their children that I want as a mom.


RATNESAR: Melinda just gets it.


M. GATES: It's up to us and others around the world to bring them these medical life-saving advances.


RATNESAR: She's the organizational brains at the foundation. She's the one asking the questions about how it is going to be done, how the money is going to be spent.


B. GATES: We've got a lot of great new products this year.


STEPHEN KOEPP, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE: I think people think of him as, maybe, the ultimate billionaire nerd. In fact, you see a real warmth.

ELMER-DEWITT: You know, here you've got a guy who's amassed the greatest accumulation of wealth in history, and then decides to give it away.


B. GATES: I realized that waiting until I'm older and saying, "OK, that's the time for philanthropy." That didn't make sense.


ELMER-DEWITT: He spoke early on about giving his wealth away. His mother was a professional philanthropist and his father clearly has a feel for these things.

GIBBS: You get the sense that he gets genuinely angry and indignant at the inequity that exists between the life expectancy and prospects of a child born in a rich country verses as poor one. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

B. GATES: One of our earliest foundation grants was to establish the vaccine fund, whose goal is simply to vaccinate every child in the world, which would save the lives of 3 million children every year?


RATNESAR: Gates says, "Let's try to find something that will totally change the way in which millions of people approach their future.


B. GATES: The drugs that need to be invented to cure those diseases, the work wasn't being done.


RATNESAR: They've poured millions of dollars into treatment and research and drugs that could treat Malaria, and also into funding a vaccine that can ultimately provide a long-term solution to this problem.

ELMER-DEWITT: There has been criticism of the Gates Foundation that they tend to focus on technological solutions to things at the expense of a million people dying right now who need to be treated. Clearly you have to do both things. The foundation was stunned by the criticism and, "b," responded pretty quickly by changing the balance.


B. GATES: As we got more involved and we saw the depth of these problems we said, "OK, we're going to be very careful about how we spend our money."


RATNESAR: They're not the kinds of people who simply will write a check and hope for the best.

GIBBS: He's doing it like a software engineer. He's doing it in a way that's almost cold blooded in its calculation.

ELMER-DEWITT: To have someone focusing that way on choosing the right projects and then holding people accountable in a way that no one in the field had done. It's almost as if no one had ever taken that second step.

GIBBS: You hear more and more people, as they're deciding how to give their money away, demanding evidence that it works. That is the effect that Gates is having on charitable giving all around the world.

ELMER-DEWITT: Everybody is changing the way they do global health because of Bill and Melinda Gates.

COOPER: Up next.

ADI IGNATIUS, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE: He has single handedly increased awareness on issues that don't have great champions.

COOPER: One man's mission to wipe out poverty.

And later, we reveal the 2005 Person of the Year.



BONO, ROCK STAR: It's an unhappy juxtaposition hearing rock stars talking about people starving to death. But here I am.


IGNATIUS: He has single-handedly increased awareness on issues that don't have great champions.


BONO: Three thousand, mostly children, African children die everyday with Malaria and mosquito bites. We can fix that and we're going to.


He is relentless on this topic. Charming, respectful, but relentless.


BONO: I want to be part of the generation that says no to extreme poverty.


GIBBS: He is going to take the big fat spotlight that follows someone like him everywhere, and shine it on the darkest most ignored corners of sorrow and need and pain and poverty.


BONO: This is not about charity. This is about justice.


TYRANGIEL: Bono interest in Africa extends back to the first Live Aid, which U2 played.

After that was over, he and his wife said, "We're not done. What else can we do? We want to find out more about this."

And so they went to Africa and they spent several weeks tending to people as they died and watching them die.


BONO: It's an everyday holocaust. We must always remind ourselves in Africa because, I think, history and, indeed, God will judge us very harshly if we continue to ignore it.


TYRANGIEL: The deep psychological effect of that has struck with him the entire time.


BONO: When I'm on these trips, you know, I don't feel I'm an entertainer. I'm an activist. And I may appear friendly and I may, you know, try to turn on what little charm I have. But deep down I'm very, very serious about these things, and I'm very angry.


TYRANGIEL: What he's really good at is relating to the people on the ground and knowing the problems and studying it and understanding it and listening to people about what works. And then finding the song in that and taking it to a politician and then hitting them with that song.

RATNESAR: He was able to secure, almost single handedly in some ways, from the G-8 countries in July to relieve $50 billion in debt among African nations.


BONO: I wouldn't say this is the end of extreme poverty, but it is the beginning of the end.


TYRANGIEL: For years there has always been a message when you go to a U2 concert. And right now it's Africa.


BONO: The dream for everyone is created equal under the eyes of God. Everyone.


TYRANGIEL: So he knows that when he's on the stage and he's got 20,000 people who spent a lot of money to come and see him, that he has their attention and you might as well use that attention to do something good.


BONO: Our audience will change the world. I believe in kingdom come than all the colors will bleed into one. Bleed into one.


TYRANGIEL: He knows the power of words. The longest in pop songs is maybe 150 words. You know, a good one can say everything.


BONO (singing): I have run. I have crawled. I have scaled these city walls. These city walls.


TYRANGIEL: In some ways he's world poverty's lead singer.


BONO (singing): But I still haven't found what I'm looking for. But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

The band has always believed that the job of rock 'n' roll is to change the world.


KELLY: 2005 was the year about fighting poverty and disease, and no one put more money into that effort than Bill and Melinda Gates. They're committed to fighting Malaria and creating a vaccine for Malaria. They committed a lot more money this year to fighting aids than they did before.

One other person we considered Bono. An unlikely choice, perhaps, but his efforts to raise money and fight poverty are well known and have been going on for years.

Bono popularizes the cause, the crusade. Who would think that you could death really sexy? And Bono has done that. So for being smart about doing good and for helping to show us that you can make a difference in helping to make poverty disappear, "Time's Persons of the Year" for 2005 are Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates.


M. GATES: It's an honor, obviously. And I think the important thing is the recognizing the issue of inequity across the globe, and I think it's great and it's a nice chance to get to honor also our partners that do so much on the work who are anonymous on the ground.

BONO: I'd agree with that. It's experiencing an unusual feeling. I think its called being humble. What's really key is, you know, all of us are in an agreement that this can be a generation that can end extreme poverty. And by that, we mean kind of stupid daff poverty.

B. GATES: Well, it has been a great year for global health to get more visibility. And I think it is part of a upswelling of interest in seeing more equity. It's sort of the greatest inequity left and the more people know about it, the more they want to act.


KELLY: What I liked about combining all three of them is, aside from the fact that they've actually become pretty good friends and they work together in their campaigns to fight poverty and disease, but they complement each other very nicely.


BONO: The work I do with data and the one campaign has been helped by what Bill and Melinda are doing. They've been our patrons early on. A lot of people don't know that. And though we're coming from very different places, we're in agreement that this can be a generation that can, you know, eradicate extreme poverty.


KELLY: So, the combination of the three of them, Bill and Melinda and Bono, struck us as the best way to tell the story of fighting poverty and disease in the world today.


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