Rudolph Giuliani, the outgoing Mayor of New York who rallied his city after the calamitous events of 11 September, was named Time magazine's Person of the Year yesterday.
He won the accolade – which has attracted much media attention in recent years – over Osama bin Laden, who was rejected for fear that it gave him too much credit, and President Bush, who won last year.
In its end-of-year edition today, Time said it had honoured Mr Giuliani "for having more faith in us than we had in ourselves, for being brave when required and rude where appropriate and tender without being trite, for not sleeping and not quitting and not shrinking from the pain all around him".
Mr Giuliani's response to the destruction of the World Trade Centre also won him an honorary knighthood from the Queen in October, and he is likely to seek another high-profile office when he ceases to be Mayor on New Year's Eve.
But the situation has not allowed much room for self-congratulation. Mr Giuliani told BBC television this weekend: "I anticipate another attack and try as much as I can to figure out what it will be, where it will be, are we prepared for it, are we doing all the things that we can do to prepare for it.''
Time editors said they spent long hours debating whether to name Mr bin Laden Person of the Year – a title bestowed according to the influence someone has had over Americans' lives, for good or ill.
But the managing editor, Jim Kelly, said: "He is not a larger-than-life figure with broad historical sweep .... He is smaller than life, a garden-variety terrorist whose evil plan succeeded beyond his highest hopes."Reuse content