Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time's Person of the Year, the magazine announced Wednesday.
Time editor Richard Stengel announced the news on the Today show, saying Zuckerberg was chosen for "connecting more than half a billion people" and "changing how we all live our lives."
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"More than half a billion people on the planet live in a world created by Mark Zuckerberg. The good news is, their friends all live there too," Stengel wrote in a profile of the young billionaire. "Zuckerberg founded the social networking site Facebook in his college dorm six years ago, but 2010 was the year that Facebook reached critical mass, both in sheer quantity of users and in its presence (through its 'connect' features) all over the Web."
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At 26, Zuckerberg is the second youngest recipient of the honor, behind the first winner, Charles Lindbergh, who was 25 when he was awarded in 1927. Zuckerberg joins President Barack Obama, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as recent Person of the Year recipients.
Stengel also noted Zuckerberg's charitable contributions — he donated $100 million to Newark, N.J., schools in September — and how he had to "shake off a movie that depicted him as an alienated loner, hacking to get girls."
NY film critics' best picture: The Social Network
That movie — The Social Network — isn't doing too bad itself, having been named best film of the year by a number of critics groups. Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Zuckerberg, has picked up best actor mentions as well. The film received six Golden Globe nominations Tuesday.
"But the world's youngest billionaire has no plans to slow Facebook's growth, nor does it show any sign of stopping," Stengel wrote.
Others who made this year's list include the Tea Party, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Chilean Miners, Apple's Steve Jobs and Afghanistan leader Hamid Karzai.
What do you think of the choice?