Merkel not only beat out Jenner and Trump, but Black Lives Matter activists, ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Russian president Vladimir Putin and president of Iran Hassan Rouhani were also considered for the coveted cover.
It's been 29 years since the magazine has named a woman their Person of the Year, and they're calling the 61-year-old politician the "world's most powerful woman."
"Merkel had already emerged as the indispensable player in managing Europe's serial debt crises; she also led the West's response to Vladimir Putin's creeping theft of Ukraine. But now the prospect of Greek bankruptcy threatened the very existence of the euro zone," Time's managing editor, Nancy Gibbs, said. "The migrant and refugee crisis challenged the principle of open borders. And finally, the carnage in Paris revived the reflex to slam doors, build walls and trust no one."
"At a moment when much of the world is once more engaged in a furious debate about the balance between safety and freedom, the Chancellor is asking a great deal of the German people, and by their example, the rest of us as well," Gibbs continued. "To be welcoming. To be unafraid. To believe that great civilizations build bridges, not walls, and that wars are won both on and off the battlefield."