Who Should Have Been Mormon of the Year, 1970-1989

January 14, 2009 | 26 comments
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This second of three posts, covers Times and Seasons reader Last Lemming’s suggestions for Mormon of the Year for the years 1970 through 1989. We already posted on Monday his picks for 1950 through 1969 and on Friday morning we will list his picks for 1990 through 2007. I suspect as these posts get into more familiar and more recent territory, more of you will have comments and suggestions about who Last Lemming suggested and who should have been suggested instead.

As I mentioned on Monday, I received this unexpected and fun email message from Times and Seasons reader Last Lemming after we began selecting the 2008 Mormon of the Year. He had made his own selections for Mormon of the Year for each year since 1950!

I found the list fascinating, an entertaining look at Mormons in history over nearly 60 years, and really quite an impressive bit of work to pull together so much information. Last Lemming describes his criteria as follows:

I have generally followed a no-General-Authorities rule, except for McConkie (who was not acting in his G.A. capacity) and, arguably, Barbara B. Smith.  Otherwise, I was very flexible.  [Those selected] could be classified into three categories: 1) those influencing Mormon culture, 2) those representing Mormonism to the world, and 3) those influencing the broader culture  in ways not necessarily linked to their Mormonism.  I tried to limit [those selected] to people who were active at the time of their cited accomplishment. (Some, like Frank Moss, I would stand by even if he wasn’t really active because his accomplishment was easy to identify with his Mormonism.)

I have used my 20:30 hindsight when [making selections] (I can’t claim 20:20 hindsight when I can’t even fill all of the years).  I have not attempted to guess who might have won had Times and Seasons been around to conduct a vote.  Also, there are a fair number of people who could have won in any number of years.  I generally picked them in a year in which they had some notable accomplishment and little competition.

I did not pick anybody twice, unless their contributions were in different areas.  Thus, I gave George Romney two mentions (one for his business activities and one for his political activities), but gave Mitt Romney only one (nothing he did at Bain qualifies, and I treat his Olympics adventure as the beginning of his political career, not the end of his business career).  With regards to businessmen, I generally cited them for giving away their money, not for earning it.  Marriott is an exception, but the Books-of-Mormon-in-the-rooms phenomenon makes him different.

By posting this list, it is not my intention (nor that of Last Lemming, according to his email message submitting this information) to actually select anyone for these years. Rather, I’m posting this in part as a way for those of us who remember a portion of these people to remember, and for those who don’t to learn, and, undoubtedly, a something to be discussed.

I welcome your comments and suggested alternatives. On this particular portion, mostly before my time, I have a few alternatives to suggest. I’ll make my suggestions in the first comment. I’m sure others of you will have many more suggestions.

Like many of you readers, I have mixed feelings about some of the individuals mentioned here. But I can’t deny that all of them had a significant impact, and therefore could have been, at least in retrospect, Mormon of the Year.

1970:    Frank Moss – for shepherding through Congress (in his capacity as chairman of the Consumer Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee) the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, which strengthened warning labels on cigarette packs and banned cigarette advertising on radio and television.

1971:    The Osmond Brothers – for reaching #1 on the Billboard singles charts with One Bad Apple, while Donny reached #1 as a solo artist for Go Away Little Girl.

1972:    Jack Anderson – for uncovering the ITT bribery scandal, thereby earning a place on Richard Nixon’s enemies list.

1973:    Lester Bush – for publishing “Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview” in Dialogue.

1974:    Douglas Wright & Lex de Azevedo – for getting Saturday’s Warrior staged at BYU, thereby putting it on the Mormon radar screen.
Runner-up: Wayne Owens – for voting for Richard Nixon’s impeachment as a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

1975:    Lowell Bennion – for his humanitarian efforts in Salt Lake County.  (Another lifetime achievement award that fits here because of a lack of competition.)

1976:    Leonard Arrington, James Allen & Glen Leonard – the former for presiding over the Camelot years at the Church Historian’s Office; the latter for publishing The Story of the Latter-day Saints under the auspices of that office, official (but unwarranted) displeasure with which eventually led to the demise of Camelot.

1977:    Barbara B. Smith and Sonia Johnson – the former (who was the General Relief Society President) for instigating the Church’s opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, leading to this year’s IWY Conference fiasco; the latter for organizing support for the same, leading to her eventual excommunication.
Runner-up: Donna Hill – for publishing Joseph Smith: The First Mormon.

1978:    Joseph Freeman – for being the first person of African heritage to be ordained to the priesthood after the revelation announced in Official Declaration #2.
Runner-up: Glen Larsen – for introducing “Kobol” to the world through Battlestar Gallactica.

1979:    Jack Welch – for founding FARMS.
Runner-up: Sam Battistone – for moving the Jazz to Salt Lake.

1980:    Paula Hawkins – for being the first Mormon woman and the first Mormon of either sex from east of the Rockies (in her case, Florida) to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

1981:    Rex E. Lee – for becoming Solicitor General of the United States, in which capacity he would argue 30 cases before the Supreme Court, winning 23 of them.

1982:     William deVries and Barney Clark – the former for performing (at the University of Utah) the first artificial heart implantation; the latter for receiving said heart.
Runner-up: Jake Garn – for shepherding through Congress (in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee) the deregulation of the savings & loan industry, thereby facilitating the crisis of 1989 and subsequent federal bailout.

1983:    Dale Murphy – for winning his second of two National League MVP awards.

1984:    LaVell Edwards – for coaching BYU to a national championship in football.
Runners-up: Valeen Tippets Avery & Linda King Newell – for publishing Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith.
Peter Vidmar – for winning multiple medals (including an individual gold and a team gold) in gymnastics at the Summer Olympics.

1985:    Sharlene Wells – for winning the Miss America pageant immediately after the Vanessa Williams scandal.
Runners-up: Mark Hoffman – for achieving notoriety as a forger of historical documents and a murderer.
Jake Garn – for being the first Mormon and the first member of Congress to fly in space, where he established a new standard for motion sickness (which is now measured in fractions of a Garn).

1986:    Orson Scott Card – for winning the Hugo Award for Ender’s Game and the Nebula Award for Speaker for the Dead.

1987:    Carol Lynn Pearson – for publishing Goodbye, I Love You.  (This is more of a lifetime achievement thing, as this book alone probably doesn’t merit the award).

1988:    Evan Mecham – for being impeached as Governor of Arizona.

1989:    Steven R. Covey – for publishing The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. (He would be a plausible winner in any year between 1989 and 1996, when he was named one of the 25 Most Influential People by Time magazine, but 1989 seemed to offer the least competition.)

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26 Responses to Who Should Have Been Mormon of the Year, 1970-1989

  1. Kent Larsen on January 12, 2009 at 12:53 am

    I think that the following might also have been considered:
    * Morris K. “Mo” Udall — for being “too funny to be president” while competing with Jimmy Carter for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination.
    * James C. Fletcher — for serving as administrator of NASA from 1971 to 1979.
    * Paul A. Yost, Jr. — for serving as 18th commandant of the Coast Guard from 1986 to 1990.
    * Terrel Bell — for serving as United States Commissioner of Education from 1974 to 1976 and United States Secretary of Education from 1981 to 1985.

  2. Last Lemming on January 14, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I’m not sold on Mo Udall. Let’s look at my criteria.

    1. Did he influence Mormon culture? I don’t see how.
    2. Did he represent Mormonism to the world? He never went beyond acknowledging his Mormon heritage during the campaign. The Romneys, in contrast, affirmed their faith.
    3. Did he influence the broader culture in ways not necessarily linked to their Mormonism? Yes, but no more than many other LDS congressmen whom I don’t cite. A losing presidential campaign can affect the winner’s tenure (Ross Perot’s emphasis on deficit reduction, for example), but I don’t see how Udall’s campaign really had much impact on how Carter governed. (For those wondering, I also don’t cite Orrin Hatch for his losing campaign in 2000).

    I have similar questions about Yost. He represented Mormonism to a rather small segment of the world, and his tenure as commandant seems to have been unexceptional. I’ll be happy to listen to stronger arguments in his favor.

    I initially passed over Fletcher and Bell because I thought that merely serving in those positions was old hat for Mormons by the 70s. Upon further research, however, I think specific accomplishments during their tenures would qualify them for at least a runner-up mention. For Fletcher, it could be either in 1972 for getting the Space Shuttle program approved, or 1988 for getting that program up and running again after the Challenger disaster. For Bell, the strongest candidate would be 1983 when the “A Nation At Risk: The Imperative For Educational Reform” was released, although he could also be cited for simply not dismantling the Department of Education, contrary to Ronald Reagan’s promise.

  3. Last Lemming on January 14, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Incidentally, a fascinating tribute to Terrel Bell can be found at this link:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0DXK/is_/ai_18680671

  4. Kent Larsen on January 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Last Lemming@2: I didn’t give the criteria as much thought as you have, but, if Mo is out, then I’d have to say that Stewart Udall is also out because of criteria #1 and possibly #2.

    If we were to make an exception, I’d choose Mo over Stewart — He was a character. Definitely my favorite “one-eyed Mormon Democrat.” But its your call, I think.

  5. bfwebster on January 14, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    1986: Orson Scott Card – for winning the Hugo Award for Ender’s Game and the Nebula Award for Speaker for the Dead.

    Actually that misstates (and understates) Card’s actual achievement: Ender’s Game won both the Hugo (fan-voted) and Nebula (writer-voted) awards in the same (effective) year, a not-uncommon achievement. However, the following year, its sequel Speaker for the Dead did exactly the same thing, viz., won both the Hugo and Nebula awards again. That still remains an unmatched achievement in SF (i.e., a novel and its sequel winning both the Hugo and Nebula in sequential years). ..bruce..

  6. Jonathan Green on January 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    What was the “IWY Conference fiasco”?

  7. Last Lemming on January 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Just to give a taste for the IWY Conference fiasco, here is an excerpt from a review (by Andrea Radke-Moss in BYU Studies) of Pedestals and Podiums by Martha Sonntag Bradley:

    This rhetorical, political, and religious battle of ideologies between feminists and traditional Mormon women came to a culmination at the 1977 International Women’s Year meeting in Salt Lake City. Bradley describes how thousands of Mormon women were mobilized by their local church leaders to oppose the ERA and address other women’s issues at the conference. She argues that because women were invited in church meetings to attend the IWY conference, many participants implicitly received direction from “‘the Brethren’ at church headquarters” (189). The church’s influence was apparent as 13,800 men and women entered the Salt Palace—more than the total attendance at similar IWY conferences in California or New York. The results were disruptive to the IWY agenda as well as to the civility of the conference itself, and Bradley places most of the blame on the behavior of Mormon attendees. Bradley describes legions of women who, in the words of one attendee, understood that they were “to vote no on practically everything” even though some had not received proper education on vital issues (190). In their attempts to defeat progressive feminism they even voted against less politicized issues like education and sexual assault defense for young women. Some attendees even resorted to boos, hisses, shouting, and interrupting speakers (198-201).

  8. Last Lemming on January 14, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    As for Stewart Udall, I probably did stretch the criteria a bit for him, but I will explain my reasoning on the other thread.

  9. larryco_ on January 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    As runners-up for 1980, I would submit Lee and Linda Wakefield. In that year the Wakefield’s – former national ballroom dance champions themselves – took over BYU’s ballroom dance program. Since then, they have led BYU to 25 latin and standard team formation U.S. national championships, and 17 total British formation championships. They have also toured the world as amazing ambassadors for the church.

  10. Brian Duffin on January 14, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Given the broad international impact and exposure for the Church provided by Vidmar winning the medals, I would tend to think he makes the better Mormon of the year for 1984. Sure, LaVell Edwards is to be lauded for leading BYU to a “national” football championship, but his reach and impact was confined to the US.

  11. CatherineWO on January 14, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    It’s great to see some literary figures on this list. I have to agree with all of them. And for anyone interested in the Church’s influence on the ERA, _Pedestals and Podiums_ is a must-read. Then you will understand why Barbara B. Smith and Sonia Johnson are good picks for 1977.

  12. TMD on January 14, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    A quibble with 1980…

    “the first Mormon of either sex from east of the Rockies (in her case, Florida) to be elected to the U.S. Senate.”

    Orin Hatch, while elected from Utah, was born, raised, and went to law school in Pittsburgh, PA. He took his seat in the senate in ’77.

  13. queuno on January 15, 2009 at 12:00 am

    This is where you need to make a one-time exception to the no-prophet policy and name SWK for 1978. Seriously…

  14. Rob Perkins on January 15, 2009 at 12:08 am

    @queno (12) — Agreed, sort of. OD-2 was an act of unity between SWK, his counselors, and the Council of Twelve Apostles (at least I think it was called a “Council” at that time…). But it makes a kind of sense to capture that moment with his name.

  15. queuno on January 15, 2009 at 12:22 am

    It may have been an act of unity, but SWK initiated the process…

  16. Last Lemming on January 15, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I’m not going to break the “no GAs acting in their official capacity rule.” It would quickly lead to other nominations for official church actions that were “surely more important than some dumb award/book/federal law.” Well yeah, they were, but that’s not what this exercise is about.

    And besides, I think it is important that the 1978 Mormon of the Year have a black face for once. If you want to make a case for Ruffin Bridgeforth or some black member other than Joseph Freeman, I will listen.

  17. Paul S. on January 15, 2009 at 3:30 am

    As Mormon of the Year for 1986, I submit that Levi Peterson, whose indelible novel, “The Backslider” (arguably the most telling piece of Mormon fiction to date) was published that year, makes him a wiser choice than Orson Scott Card. “The Backslider” outshines both “Ender’s Game” and/or “Speaker for the Dead.” Card has his champions in the Sci-Fi community, but Peterson is the one (and probably only) writer in the Mormon literary galaxy to wittily and thoughtfully probe the essence of Mormon guilt in fiction, while gracefully managing to supply an incomparable novelistic “end game” that is, at once, hilarious, moving and deeply redemptive. All hail Peterson and “The Backslider,” now available in a new edition, thanks to Signature Books.

  18. Last Lemming on January 15, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Here’s my current thinking. I’ll post a revised list later this afternoon, but I’m still looking forward to more suggestions.

    1. Have Bell and Lee share the 1981 slot.
    2. Have Edwards and Vidmar share the 1984 slot.
    3. Add Levi Peterson as a runner-up in 1986. He was actually in earlier drafts of my list, but I removed him because I figured his audience was just too small. I’m still skeptical.
    4. Put Fletcher in the 1988 slot with Mecham as a runner-up. Fletcher’s role in the post-Challenger era seemed to be more public (or at least that’s how I remember it), and his original contribution toward starting the shuttle program might be viewed now as a huge mistake had he not gotten the program back on its feet. And I don’t want to bump Anderson.

  19. TMD on January 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Paul,

    I really think Enders’ Game is much more significant than Levi Peterson’s book (which I have actually never heard of until now). Enders’ Game is widely loved and respected far beyond the Sci-Fi community; friends from high school (in the east, who never met another mormon besides me) who probably never read another sci fi book consider it to be among their favorite books; an english professor from my episcopalian liberal arts college (specializing in rennaisance literature, admittedly) considered it to be among the best novels written in the past thirty years. There are precious few Mormons who I expect my peers (well-educated, late twenties) to know of, realize that they are LDS, and respect their work who are not politicians (and, well, they may not even them…). Orson Scott Card is one of them.

    As it is, the overall list is a bit too heavily concentrated on people who are, frankly, obscure mormon authors known to a very small part of the Wasatch front community, rather than the church as a whole, whose influence on the church, the community of mormons, and others’ perception thereof, seem rather small–including
    Lester Bush, Lowell Bennion, Leonard Arrington, James Allen & Glen Leonard, Donna Hill, Jack Welch, Valeen Tippets Avery & Linda King Newell, and Carol Lynn Pearson.

  20. Last Lemming on January 15, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Let’s look at some of these obscure authors:

    Lester Bush – His article was the first solid piece of work to lay out the case that there was no initiating revelation behind the priesthood ban. How influential it was leading up to the revelation is debatable. Personally, I think it lowered the bar for how spectacular a revelation was required to overturn it. But the article’s influence didn’t end in 1978. Virtually every attempt to understand the ban has to build off of that paper. It (and some solicited responses to it) is the only pre-revelation writing on the subject that FAIR sees fit to link to from its pages.

    Lowell Bennion – Bennion’s obscurity was his own choice and part of the point of his selection. If anybody goes out on the Web to find out who he was and why he deserved to be Mormon of the Year, his inclusion on this list will have served its purpose.

    Leonard Arrington – If you like what the Church history department is doing now, thank Leonard Arrington, who established the model back in the 70s. A huge amount good history was written under his direction, even if most of it was published privately. The Allen and Leonard book was just the most accessible of those. At the very least, the work he did or inspired has slowed down the spread of bad history, and with any luck will bring good history to the masses.

    Donna Hill – Her book was released by a national publisher and represented the first book about Joesph Smith written for a general audience that church members could comfortably point their friends to. How many people did it actually reach? Don’t know, but it filled a gaping hole for almost 30 years.

    Jack Welch – His selection was more about FARMS than himself. FARMS has changed the whole discussion about the Book of Mormon. Like Arrington’s influence of the writing of history, Welch’s progeny has slowed down the spread of unwarranted assumptions about the Book of Mormon, and may one day bring the masses to a greater understanding. At least I can mention the Limited Geography hypothesis now without being labeled a heretic.

    Avery & Newell – Less compelling than the others (from a guy’s perspective), but they did a great deal toward rehabilitating Emma Smith as a real person. A search on “Emma Smith” in the church magazines since 1971 turns up among the top 50 hits, 6 mentions before 1984 and 44 during or after 1984. Two of the pre-1984 mentions were by Avery & Newell themselves.

    Carol Lynn Pearson – You may have a point on this one. I haven’t actually read any of her stuff myself, but she did (and maybe still does) have her fan base. I needed somebody for 1987 and I figured somebody would complain if I didn’t mention her, so I stuck her in. Alternatives for 1987 are welcome.

  21. Alison Moore Smith on January 15, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    FWIW, Sharlene actually won Miss American in September 1984. I was her attendant in a preliminary pageant that year and was wildly cheering for her (I’d never seen the pageant before that year).

    I was pretty sure that THAT win plus BYU’s national championship would prove to be the opening phase of the millennium.

    Sharlene was a really friendly and poised gal. I still think very highly of her.

  22. Kent Larsen on January 15, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Last Lemming@20:

    I say leave in Carol Lynn Pearson. Her influence is unusual and fascinating. For a generation of Mormons (those purchasing LDS books in the 1970s) her work represents Mormon poetry, at a time when there was no LDS book market for literature, much less poetry. She is also a “popular” poet, the kind that academics recognize as fairly good, but not good enough for them to be very impressed with, but who was, nevertheless, quite popular (kind of like I understand that Pushkin is in Russia).

    “Goodbye, I Love You” actually came out at an important time, too. The AIDS crisis had hit and I think most Mormons were still very confused about how to think about it and recognize that the people hit by the disease were real people, instead of “loathsome homosexuals” to be demonized.

    I suppose someone else might be recognized as more important than Pearson, but I don’t know who. And I couldn’t judge whether they were more or less important than Pearson without knowing who.

    In the meantime, Pearson is a very good choice, IMO.

  23. Last Lemming on January 15, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, Kent.

    I’m going to postpone posting a revised list until tomorrow, in hopes of getting some more suggestions.

  24. Arkay on January 16, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Um, wasn’t Saturday’s Warrior created by Doug Stewart, not Doug Wright? Don’t give the KSL talk jock credit where it isn’t due.

  25. Last Lemming on January 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Another reason to wait a bit. Thanks.

  26. Last Lemming on January 16, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Well, it looks like that’s all I’m going to get, so here’s the revised list.

    1970: Frank Moss – for shepherding through Congress (in his capacity as chairman of the Consumer Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee) the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, which strengthened warning labels on cigarette packs and banned cigarette advertising on radio and television.

    1971: The Osmond Brothers – for reaching #1 on the Billboard singles charts with One Bad Apple, while Donny reached #1 as a solo artist for Go Away Little Girl.

    1972: Jack Anderson – for uncovering the ITT bribery scandal, thereby earning a place on Richard Nixon’s enemies list.

    1973: Lester Bush – for publishing “Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview” in Dialogue.

    1974: Douglas Stewart & Lex de Azevedo – for getting Saturday’s Warrior staged at BYU, thereby putting it on the Mormon radar screen.
    Runner-up: Wayne Owens – for voting for Richard Nixon’s impeachment as a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

    1975: Lowell Bennion – for his humanitarian efforts in Salt Lake County. (Another lifetime achievement award that fits here because of a lack of competition.)

    1976: Leonard Arrington, James Allen & Glen Leonard – the former for presiding over the Camelot years at the Church Historian’s Office; the latter for publishing The Story of the Latter-day Saints under the auspices of that office, official (but unwarranted) displeasure with which eventually led to the demise of Camelot.

    1977: Barbara B. Smith and Sonia Johnson – the former (who was the General Relief Society President) for instigating the Church’s opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, leading to this year’s IWY Conference fiasco; the latter for organizing support for the same, leading to her eventual excommunication.
    Runner-up: Donna Hill – for publishing Joseph Smith: The First Mormon.

    1978: Joseph Freeman – for being the first person of African heritage to be ordained to the priesthood after the revelation announced in Official Declaration #2.
    Runner-up: Glen Larsen – for introducing “Kobol” to the world through Battlestar Gallactica.

    1979: Jack Welch – for founding FARMS.
    Runner-up: Sam Battistone – for moving the Jazz to Salt Lake.

    1980: Paula Hawkins – for being the first Mormon woman and the first Mormon of either sex running in a state east of the Rockies (in her case, Florida) to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

    1981: Rex E. Lee and Terrel Bell – the former for becoming Solicitor General of the United States, in which capacity he would argue 30 cases before the Supreme Court, winning 23 of them; the latter for becoming Secretary of Education and convincing Ronald Reagan not to dismantle the department despite his campaign promise.

    1982: William deVries and Barney Clark – the former for performing (at the University of Utah) the first artificial heart implantation; the latter for receiving said heart.
    Runner-up: Jake Garn – for shepherding through Congress (in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee) the deregulation of the savings & loan industry, thereby facilitating the crisis of 1989 and subsequent federal bailout.

    1983: Dale Murphy – for winning his second of two National League MVP awards.

    1984: LaVell Edwards and Peter Vidmar – the former for coaching BYU to a national championship in football; the latter for winning multiple medals (including an individual gold and a team gold) in gymnastics at the Summer Olympics.
    Runners-up: Valeen Tippets Avery & Linda King Newell – for publishing Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith.

    1985: Sharlene Wells – for serving honorably as Miss America immediately after the Vanessa Williams scandal.
    Runners-up: Mark Hoffman – for achieving notoriety as a forger of historical documents and murderer.
    Jake Garn – for being the first Mormon and the first member of Congress to fly in space, where he established a new standard for motion sickness (which is now measured in fractions of a Garn).

    1986: Orson Scott Card – for winning the Hugo Award for Ender’s Game (which won the Nebula award the previous year) and the Nebula Award for Speaker for the Dead (which would win the Hugo award the following year).
    Runner-up: Levi Peterson — for publishing The Backslider.

    1987: Carol Lynn Pearson – for publishing Goodbye, I Love You. (This is more of a lifetime achievement thing, as this book alone probably doesn’t merit the award).

    1988: James Fletcher — for getting the space shuttle program (which he got started during his first stint as NASA administrator) back on track during his second stint as NASA administrator after the Challenger disaster.
    Runner-up: Evan Mecham – for being impeached as Governor of Arizona.

    1989: Steven R. Covey – for publishing The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. (He would be a plausible winner in any year between 1989 and 1996, when he was named one of the 25 Most Influential People by Time magazine, but 1989 seemed to offer the least competition.)

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