FORTUNE -- Having participated as a Time Magazine editor in my share of Person of the Year selections (I edited the David Ho cover and wrote at least one Steve Jobs "also ran" item), I knew how hard it was going to be for the magazine not to make Barack Obama -- winner of the Presidential election that dominated the news for most of the year -- Time's 2012 POY.
And I wasn't entirely surprised to learn Tuesday that the editors had put Apple's (AAPL) new CEO on its short list of eight finalists -- along with Yahoo's (YHOO) Marissa Mayer, Egypt's Mohamed Morsi, CERN's Fabiola Gianotti (of Higgs Boson fame) and four others. Variety of region, gender and the surprise factor weigh heavily in the editorial winnowing process.
But I didn't expect Tim Cook -- a bland fellow largely unknown outside the circle of Apple (AAPL) watchers -- to make it into the magazine as one of four runners up.
Yet there he is, accompanied by an 2,500-word Lev Grossman essay that begins:
"Tim Cook has the decidedly nontrivial distinction of being the first CEO of Apple since the very first to come to power without blood on his hands."
The three-part piece is titled Tim Cook: The Technologist, and it's available online.
No. 1 in a list that includes two tablets, a thermostat, a couple cameras and a $35 PC
FORTUNE -- Two Apple (AAPL) products made Time Magazine's list of the top 10 gadgets of 2012: The Retina MacBook Pro (No. 6) and the iPhone 5 (No. 1). Here's what Time's Harry McCracken had to say about the new iPhone:
Apple may be responsible for more than its share of the tech industry's great leaps MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 11, 2012 5:39 PM ET
Barbra Streisand has trained her body to wake up before the market opens in New York
FORTUNE -- For his humor column in the current issue of Time Magazine, Joel Stein channels Seth Rogen's character in The Guilt Trip and takes Barbra Streisand on a car ride in which she reveals a more-than-casual interest in Apple (AAPL):
Other than the temperature controlling and backseat driving, Barbra was a really fun, mellow driving buddy. She MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 8, 2012 11:49 AM ET
Apple's CEO shares the spotlight with Marc Andreessen, Sheryl Sandberg and Anonymous
Al Gore has nothing but kind words for Steve Jobs' successor. His 200-word write-up begins:
"It is difficult to imagine a harder challenge than following the legendary Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. Yet Tim Cook, a soft-spoken, genuinely humble and quietly intense son of an Alabama shipyard worker and a homemaker, hasn't missed a single beat."
The magazine identifies Gore as a former MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 18, 2012 10:20 AM ET
Apple's late CEO would be the first dead man -- or woman -- to win the honor
Steve Jobs' name came up Tuesday -- it has many times since 1982 -- in a panel discussion organized by Time Magazine to help promote the 2011 Person of the Year.
Jobs was nominated by NBC's Brian Williams (see video here) and the proposal was seconded -- sort of -- by anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 9, 2011 8:10 AM ET
He thought his face was going to be on the magazine's cover, not a computer
"As 1982 drew to a close," Walter Isaacson writes in Steve Jobs, the definitive biography published Monday, "Jobs came to believe that he was going to be Time's Man of the Year."
I read this passage of Isaacson's book with particular interest, since both he (as a junior editor) and I (on a writer's trial) were working MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 24, 2011 8:00 AM ET
In a special Time Magazine cover story, a preview of his forthcoming biography
For the seventh and perhaps the last time, Steve Jobs appears this week on the cover of Time Magazine, a special issue that includes a photo essay by Diana Walker, an Apple (AAPL) retrospective by Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman, and a six-page essay by Walter Isaccson, whose biography of Jobs -- the first written with his cooperation MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 6, 2011 10:39 AM ET
... he lied to me. Although to be fair, it was more a lie of omission than a barefaced lie
Pardon me if this feels like ancient history. But this is a story I've never put into print (or pixels) before, and I figured if not now, when?
It was December 1982 and a crowd of journalists had gathered in a meeting room at The Pierre, a luxury hotel one block north of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 28, 2011 10:41 AM ET
"iSteve: The Book of Jobs" was the publisher's idea. The author had second thoughts.
The first biography of Apple's (AAPL) CEO to get Steve Jobs' blessing -- and cooperation -- hasn't yet been published. Or even finished. But it's already made it (briefly) into the top 50 on Amazon's bestseller list. And it's already undergone its first revision.
It's got a new title.
The old one, iSteve: The Book of Jobs, was chosen MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 5, 2011 6:15 PM ET
The unpublished book is already climbing fast on Amazon's best-seller lists
Talk about stoking the fires of publicity.
Word that Steve Jobs had agreed to cooperate with Walter Isaacson, a former managing editor of Time Magazine (and my former boss), on an authorized biography first leaked out 16 months ago. (See The man who won Steve Jobs' trust.)
Two months ago, Simon & Schuster announced that the book, which Isaacson started working on MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 5, 2011 7:45 AM ET
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