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Bill Gates named Time's 'Person of the Year'
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-19 05:20

NEW YORK: The richest man in the world, Bill Gates, and his wife, Melinda, were named Time magazine's "Persons of the Year" along with Irish rocker Bono for being "Good Samaritans" who made a difference in different ways.

Bill Gates named Time's 'Person of the Year'"For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are Time's Persons of the Year," the magazine said in its December 19 issue, made public yesterday.

Managing Editor James Kelly said the three had been chosen as the people most effective at finding ways to eradicate such calamities as malaria in Africa, HIV and AIDS and the grinding poverty that kills 8 million people a year.

Time also named former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton as "Partners of the Year" for their humanitarian efforts after the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, and the unlikely friendship that developed from that work.

"When you look at the number of people who die from the kind of diseases and poverty that the Gates' and Bono are fighting, the death tolls are far greater than what occurs in natural disasters or wars," Kelly said.

The founder of computer giant Microsoft Corp, whose personal fortune of US$46.5 billion topped Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest again this year, and his wife were named for their work in the Gates Foundation, the world's biggest charity with a US$29 billion endowment, while Bono was described as the "rocker who has made debt reduction sexy."

The Gates Foundation funds hundreds of projects around the world primarily focused on public health, from vaccinating children to developing new drugs, as well as educational programmes and scholarships in the United States and abroad.

Bono and fellow musician Bob Geldof spearheaded a popular campaign to tackle poverty in Africa through cancelling the debts of the poorest countries in the world, raising global awareness through the Live 8 concerts in July.

Partly due to popular pressure, the world's industrialized nations agreed in July to double aid to poor countries by 2010, adding US$50 billion a year, and to cancel poor countries' debt.

Time has been naming its person of the year since 1927 and the tradition has become the source of speculation every year, as well as controversy over unpopular choices such as Adolf Hitler in 1938.

Time's 2004 Person of the Year was US President George W. Bush while "The American Soldier" graced the 2003 cover in the year when US troops invaded Iraq.

(China Daily 12/19/2005 page1)

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