Announcing the 11-strong shortlist, the magazine said: “As head of the UK Independence Party, Farage was a face of the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, positioning the referendum as the start of a global populist wave against the political establishment.”
It is the 90th time the US publication has named a person of the year, which is describes as the person “who had the greatest influence, for better or worse”.
In an online article by the magazine’s Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs it stated: “The challenge for Donald Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer.
In defending its decision it added: “For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year.”
Hackers, such as the ones who allegedly broke into the Democratic National Committee’s database this summer, took the third spot, although the group did not appear on a list of 11 Person of the Year finalists Time published on Monday.