President Barack Obama was named Time magazine's "Person of the Year," the publication revealed Wednesday morning.
It is the president's second time winning the award; he won in 2008 after being elected to the White House for the first time.
Obama edged out Malala Yousafazi, an Afghan teenager who narrowly avoided death after being shot for defending women's rights, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Fabiola Gianotti, an Italian particle physicist who worked on the discovery of the Higgs Boson.
“We are in the midst of historic cultural and demographic changes, and Obama is both the symbol and in some ways the architect of this new America," Time managing editor Rick Stengel wrote in his letter explaining the choice.
In his essay, Stengel said Obama had won the award this year "for finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union."
The cover image, which typically features the magazine's signature red logo and frame, instead features a dark and brooding picture of the president, nearly depicted in black and white.
“When photographing such a high-profile individual, it’s a huge challenge to not let their high profile take over the process,” said photographer Nadav Kander. “I wanted to make a meaningful photograph that reflected pause in a person’s life and reflect his humanity.”