Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

Since its inception in 1954, Sports Illustrated American magazine has annually presented the Sportsman of the Year award to "the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement." Both Americans and non-Americans are eligible, though in the past the vast majority of winners have been from the United States. Both men and women have won the award, originally called "Sportsman of the Year" and renamed "Sportswoman of the Year" or "Sportswomen of the Year" when applicable.

Tiger Woods and LeBron James are the only individuals who have received the award more than once. Woods received his first award in 1996 as an amateur golfer, and in 2000 as a professional golfer.[1] James received his first award in 2012 and his second in 2016.[2]

The trophy is a ceramic replica of an ancient Greek amphora (circa 510 BCE) which depicts nude male Hellenistic athletes engaged in a variety of athletic activities—running, discus, and javelin. It measures 8" in diameter and stands 18.5" high (20.32 x 47 cm). The original amphora was acquired by Sports Illustrated magazine in 1954 and was donated to the "Sports" collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in 1979.[3] Winners of the award are now presented with a copy of the amphora made in silver by Tiffany & Co.[4]


The award's trophy, a ceramic urn depicting great athletes, has been given to the following recipients:

  • Note: non-athlete individuals in Italics
Year Winner Nationality Sport Achievement
1954 Roger Bannister   Great Britain Track and field First sub-four-minute mile
1955 Johnny Podres   United States Baseball World Series MVP
1956 Bobby Morrow   United States Track and field Triple Olympic gold medalist
1957 Stan Musial   United States Baseball National League batting champion
1958 Rafer Johnson   United States Track and field Decathlon world record
1959 Ingemar Johansson   Sweden Boxing World heavyweight champion
1960 Arnold Palmer   United States Golf PGA Player of the Year
1961 Jerry Lucas   United States College basketball Final Four MVP
1962 Terry Baker   United States College football Heisman Trophy winner
1963 Pete Rozelle   United States Professional football NFL Commissioner; credited for expansion and the suspension of athletes for gambling
1964 Ken Venturi   United States Golf U.S. Open champion
1965 Sandy Koufax   United States Baseball Cy Young Award, strikeout record
1966 Jim Ryun   United States Track and field Mile world record
1967 Carl Yastrzemski   United States Baseball Triple Crown winner, AL MVP
1968 Bill Russell   United States Professional basketball NBA champion player-coach
1969 Tom Seaver   United States Baseball Cy Young Award, World Series champion
1970 Bobby Orr   Canada Hockey NHL MVP, Art Ross, Conn Smythe, Norris
1971 Lee Trevino   United States Golf PGA Player of the Year
1972 Billie Jean King   United States Tennis Three major titles
John Wooden   United States College basketball NCAA champion coach
1973 Jackie Stewart   Great Britain Auto racing Formula One World Champion
1974 Muhammad Ali   United States Boxing World heavyweight champion
1975 Pete Rose   United States Baseball World Series MVP
1976 Chris Evert   United States Tennis Two major titles
1977 Steve Cauthen   United States Horse racing Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey
1978 Jack Nicklaus   United States Golf British Open champion
1979 Terry Bradshaw   United States Professional football Super Bowl MVP
Willie Stargell   United States Baseball NL MVP, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team   United States Hockey Olympic gold medalists
1981 Sugar Ray Leonard   United States Boxing World welterweight champion
1982 Wayne Gretzky   Canada Hockey NHL MVP, Art Ross
1983 Mary Decker   United States Track and field Double world champion
1984 Edwin Moses   United States Track and field Olympic gold medalist
Mary Lou Retton   United States Gymnastics Olympic gold medalist
1985 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar   United States Professional basketball Playoff MVP
1986 Joe Paterno   United States College football NCAA champion coach
1987 Bob Bourne   Canada Hockey Helped handicapped children's school
Judi Brown King   United States Track and field Helped abused children
Kipchoge Keino   Kenya Track and field Cared for orphaned children
Dale Murphy   United States Baseball Charity spokesman
Chip Rives   United States College football Helped needy children
Patty Sheehan   United States Golf Helped abused girls
Rory Sparrow   United States Professional basketball Helped school children
Reggie Williams   United States Professional football Helped high school students
1988 Orel Hershiser   United States Baseball Cy Young Award, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
1989 Greg LeMond   United States Cycling Tour de France and World champion
1990 Joe Montana   United States Professional football Three-time Super Bowl MVP
1991 Michael Jordan   United States Professional basketball NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP, NBA Champion
1992 Arthur Ashe   United States Tennis Supported humanitarian causes
1993 Don Shula   United States Professional football Winningest NFL coach
1994 Bonnie Blair   United States Speed skating Double Olympic gold medalist
Johann Olav Koss   Norway Speed skating Triple Olympic gold medalist
1995 Cal Ripken, Jr.   United States Baseball Consecutive games record
1996 Tiger Woods   United States Golf U.S. Amateur, NCAA champion
1997 Dean Smith   United States College basketball Winningest college coach at the time of publication
1998 Mark McGwire   United States Baseball Single-season home run record holder at the time of publication
Sammy Sosa   Dominican Republic Baseball National League MVP
1999 U.S. women's soccer team   United States Soccer World Cup champions
2000 Tiger Woods   United States Golf Three major championships
2001 Curt Schilling   United States Baseball World Series Co-MVP
Randy Johnson   United States Baseball World Series Co-MVP, Cy Young Award
2002 Lance Armstrong   United States Cycling Four-time Tour de France winner (wins later disqualified in 2012)
2003 David Robinson   United States Professional basketball Two-time NBA champion
Tim Duncan   United States Professional basketball NBA MVP, NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP
2004 Boston Red Sox   United States Baseball 2004 World Series champions
2005 Tom Brady   United States Professional football Two-time Super Bowl MVP, Three-time Super Bowl champion
2006 Dwyane Wade   United States Professional basketball NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP
2007 Brett Favre   United States Professional football "For his perseverance and his passion"
2008 Michael Phelps   United States Swimming Eight gold medals in 2008 Summer Olympics
2009 Derek Jeter   United States Baseball Five-time World Series Champion
2010 Drew Brees   United States Professional football Super Bowl MVP and charitable work toward the reconstruction of New Orleans
2011 Mike Krzyzewski   United States College basketball Most wins as coach in NCAA men's Division I history
Pat Summitt   United States College basketball All-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball
2012 LeBron James   United States Professional basketball NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP, NBA Champion, Olympic gold medalist
2013 Peyton Manning   United States Professional football Five-Time NFL MVP, single-season touchdown record, AFC Champion
2014 Madison Bumgarner   United States Baseball Three-time World Series Champion, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
2015 Serena Williams   United States Tennis Won three majors, oldest player to be ranked no. 1 during the Open Era
2016 LeBron James   United States Professional basketball NBA Finals MVP, led Cleveland Cavaliers to first title in franchise history
2017 José Altuve   Venezuela Baseball American League MVP, World Series Champion, Helped lead the Houston Astros to their first title to the city since Hurricane Harvey.
J. J. Watt   United States Professional football Raised more than $37 million in relief aid for the city of Houston, Texas less than a month after the impact of Hurricane Harvey.
2018 Golden State Warriors   United States Professional basketball 2018 NBA champions, third title in last four years
2019 Megan Rapinoe[5]   United States Soccer FIFA Women's World Cup champion, won Golden Ball and Golden Boot.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sens, Josh (December 12, 2015). "Tiger Woods 40 Biggest Moments: No. 19 - 1996 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of Year". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  2. ^ Neuharth-Keusch, AJ (December 1, 2016). "LeBron James named SI's Sportsperson of the Year for second time". USA Today. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  3. ^ "Sports Legends Donate To Smithsonian". Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. Associated Press. June 19, 1979. p. 7C. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  4. ^ Hoffarth, Tom (November 3, 2009). "How much is that trophy in the window?". Farther Off The Wall. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  5. ^ Soccer legend Megan Rapinoe has been named Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year Alaa Elassar, CNN, Dec 10, 2019