Donald Trump may be the loudest person of the year, but Angela Merkel is officially the Person of the Year in the eyes of Time magazine. The German chancellor beat out Trump and others on this year's short list—including ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—for the honor, Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs announced on the Today show Wednesday morning. In an essay at Time, Gibbs lays out the reasoning, citing the 61-year-old Merkel's leadership in a series of crises befalling Europe this year—the threat of Greek bankruptcy, Russia's advance on Ukraine, the migrant and refugee crisis, and the attacks on Paris.
"Each time Merkel stepped in," writes Gibbs. "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. 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. By viewing the refugees as victims to be rescued rather than invaders to be repelled, the woman raised behind the Iron Curtain gambled on freedom. The pastor's daughter wielded mercy like a weapon." Merkel becomes the first individual woman to earn the magazine's honor. (Read more Angela Merkel stories.)