To help us make this year's selection, TIME asked prominent individuals, including previous Persons of the Year, whom they would choose
The Gateses run a multibillion-dollar foundation benefiting health and education
Thirty years ago, Jimmy Carter was Person of the Year. In the decades since, he has focused on big issues: waging peace, fighting disease and building hope. President Carter has inspired us and countless others across the political spectrum by tirelessly living his own advice: "The worst thing that you can do is not to try."
BILL AND MELINDA GATES 2005: JIMMY CARTER
Solidarity leader Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize and became President of Poland
I choose Alexander Milinkevich, the Belarussian opposition leader who was defeated in his run for the presidency this year allegedly because of government fraud. He fights for democracy even though he is being harassed. We should thank him for his dedication and encourage him further.
LECH WALESA 1981: ALEXANDER MILINKEVICH
Huffington, recognized as one of the TIME 100 this year, is editor of the Huffington Post
I nominate Representative John Murtha. A lifelong hawk, he was willing to tell the truth to the American people about the Iraq war and helped make it the central issue in the 2006 campaign. When he spoke out against the war, he followed his gut and his conscience. In the process, he moved the people--and the polls.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: JOHN MURTHA
Lovell was one of three astronauts on Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the moon
I would like to suggest Kim Jong Il, the controversial leader of the rogue state of North Korea. His continued defiance of the global community in the area of nuclear testing and his utter disregard for world opinion definitely put him in the category of Person of the Year.
CAPTAIN JAMES LOVELL 1968: KIM JONG IL