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Mark Zuckerberg is Time's 'Person of Year'

15 December 2010, 17:37

New York - Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2010.

At 26, Zuckerberg is the youngest "Person of the Year" since the first one chosen, Charles Lindbergh; he was 25 when he was named in 1927, Time said on Wednesday.

Zuckerberg beat out Britain's Queen Elizabeth II by just two weeks: She was 26 when she was named in 1952. Incidentally, Queen Elizabeth II has recently joined Zuckerberg's social networking behemoth.

Zuckerberg has put himself on the map not only as one of the world's youngest billionaires, but also as a prominent newcomer to the world of philanthropy.

Earlier this year, he pledged $100m over five years to the Newark, New Jersey, school system. Now, he's in the company of media titans Carl Icahn, 74, Barry Diller, 68, and others who have joined Giving Pledge, an effort led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett to commit the country's wealthiest people to step up their charitable donations.

Zuckerberg owns about a quarter of Facebook's shares.

Zuckerberg has built Facebook into an international phenomenon by stretching the lines of social convention and embracing a new and far more permeable definition of community. In this new world, users are able to construct a social network well beyond what would ever be possible face-to-face.

"I'm trying to make the world a more open place," Zuckerberg says in the "bio" line of his own Facebook page.

Born in Zuckerberg's Harvard dorm room, the site has grown in six years to more than 500 million users worldwide and worth billions of dollars.

Time's "Person of the Year" is the person or thing that has most influenced the culture and the news during the past year for good or for ill.

Federal reserve chairperson Ben Bernanke received the honour last year. The 2008 winner was then-president-elect Barack Obama. The 2007 winner was Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Other previous winners have included Bono, President George W Bush, and Amazon.com CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.

- AP


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