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Mark Zuckerberg is TIME's 2010 POTY

Today TIME Magazine said that it had chosen Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg as its "2010 Person of the Year." At 26, he's the youngest influential person to be chosen by TIME since the magazine picked 25-year-old Charles Lindbergh back in 1927.

"Being named as TIME Person of the Year is a real honor and recognition of how our little team is building something that hundreds of millions of people want to use to make the world more open and connected," Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page. "I'm happy to be a part of that."

Typically TIME chooses its "Person of the Year" based on a person or thing that has heavily influenced the news and our culture during the past year, whether it's a positive affect or a negative one. In 2010 Zuckerberg remained in the spotlight in regards to Facebook's overall maturity. However he also pledged $100 million over five years to the Newark, N.J. School system while also becoming a member of Giving Pledge, a group led my Microsoft founder Bill Gates that pushes America's wealthiest to "step up" their charitable donations.

According to TIME, Zuckerberg was chosen because he is connecting more than half a billion people and mapping social relations among them. He has also created a new system of exchanging information. However, ultimately, he changed how we all live our lives. TIME's 10-page spread explains this in great detail, spanning seven years of the Facebook founder's life.

"Only someone like Zuckerberg, someone as brilliant and blinkered and self-confident and single-minded and social as he is, could have built [Facebook]," TIME said. "The Zuckerberg who built Facebook won't be the same person as the Zuckerberg who runs it. He'll be getting older, traveling, maybe getting married, having kids, and as his life outside Facebook gets more complicated, maybe Facebook, the world he built in his own image, will get more complicated too."

TIME's runners-up for "Person of the Year" includes The Tea Party, Hamid Karzai, Julian Assange and the Chilean Miners. TIME's "2010 People Who Mattered" includes Lady Gaga, Steve Jobs, Justin Bieber, The Glee Cast, Pope Benedict, The Unemployed American and many, many more. Larry "Pants on the Ground" Platt even earned a place on TIME's "2010 15 Minutes of Fame" list.

To read the full story, head here.