Which MIT Alumni Were Nominated for 2013 TIME Person of the Year?

by Jay London on December 6, 2013 · 3 comments

in Alumni Life, Events, In the News, Research

TPOYTIME magazine will announces its 2013 Person of the Year on Dec. 11 and three MIT alumni are on this year’s list of 44 nominees.

According to the magazine, the Person of the Year is a person, group, idea, or object that, positively or negatively, has done the most to influence the events of 2013. TIME‘s editors ultimately determine the recipient but an online reader’s choice poll, which was announced on Dec. 6, selected Egyptian Army Chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who received more than 26 percent of the nearly 2 million online votes.

Are the nominated alumni deserving of the title? And are there other alumni you believe are worthy of consideration?

David Koch. Image via TIME.

David Koch. Image via TIME.

Charles Koch ’57, SM ’58, SM ’60
David Koch ’62, SM ’63

The brothers Koch are co-owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the United States, whose products include asphalt, chemicals, commodities trading, fertilizers, finance, natural gas, plastics, and petroleum. The Kochs garnered only .2 percent of the online voting.

In addition to Koch Industries, the brothers are well-known for their philanthropy and their financial commitments to funding political causes.

Benjamin Netanyahu. Image via TIME.

Benjamin Netanyahu. Image via TIME.

Benjamin Netanyahu ’75, SM ’76

Israel’s incumbent prime minister, Netanyahu oversaw the formation of the thirty-third government of Israel, a coalition of political parties within the Knesset, Israel’s national legislature.

According to TIME, Netanyahu—who also garnered .2 percent in the online poll—was an outspoken critic of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and other countries’ rapprochement with the Iranian regime.

In 2012, four MIT-connected candidates were nominated for Person of the Year: Netanyahu, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi PhD ’77, the Mars Rover, whose journey to Mars was orchestrated by more than 20 MIT alumni, and the Higgs boson. (President Barack Obama ultimately took top honors.)

A 2013 MIT selection as Person of the Year would join a list of at least five previous alumni, including:

What’s your take? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Related: Which MIT alumni were named to the TIME 100 earlier this year?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

owen franken December 7, 2013 at 6:27 am



shannon maher December 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm

wow. Nothing to be proud of here, with these three regressive types.


owen franken December 10, 2013 at 5:37 am

Writing this while watching the Memorial for Nelson Mandela, it makes me thing that Mandela, seeing this choice, must be laughing right now.



So Bibi Netanyahu says Israel cannot afford to send him to the funeral, so he is not going. I guess he knows something about Apartheid. I guess they can afford building new settlements, though. More money for bulldozers. Maybe the Koch brothers could send him some money, or the Adelson guy in Las Vegas.

Frankly, these three embarrass me as an MIT Alum. And as a person of Jewish heritage.

To refer to the Koch brothers as “philanthropists” is rather a stretch. Buying elections for right wing nut cases and denying global warming with distortions and attack ads is “philanthropy”?

Let’s nominate Karl Rove, as well. and Rush Limbaugh. After all, Limbaugh was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 (maybe other years as well) by a right wing think tank (an oxymoron if ever I’ve heard one.)

Time Magazine can do better.


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