Time "Man of the Year", 1980,
Throughout his political career, Ronald Reagan was often underestimated, an impression he happily used to his advantage. The editors of Time magazine, surprised by his margin of victory over Jimmy Carter in 1980, named him "Man of the Year," but suggested that there was a "remarkably accidental air about Reagan's career." Time noted that he was "lucky" and that he prevailed because the nation was "deeply soured on the Carter Administration." The magazine's writers seemed perplexed that an "amateur politician"—a man too right-wing and too old—became president. His politics, they believed, amounted to little more than "invoking old values"; his success as the "Great Communicator" was due to his acting abilities. Reflecting on the shortcomings of recent presidents, Time feared that Reagan would encounter problems "more complex, more shadowy and more terrifying than he could manage with his hopeful and nostalgic view of America."
Aaron Shikler's likeness captured the low-key temperament and sense of humor that Reagan successfully used to persuade rather than frighten voters.