2012 Bostonians of the Year: Aly Raisman and Kayla Harrison
For their shining achievements in this year of the female athlete, and their sustained ability to inspire, Aly Raisman and Kayla Harrison are the Globe Magazine’s Bostonians of the Year. In 2012, for the first time in Olympic history, there were more women than men on the US team, and every nation–even Saudi Arabia–had a coed squad. American female athletes snared not just more total medals than their male teammates, but nearly twice as many golds. In fact, the American women alone won more golds (29) than the complete squads from every other country besides China (38) and Great Britain (also 29).
Since 2004, the Boston Globe Magazine has named a Bostonian of the Year. Here’s a look back at previous winners.
2011 Bostonian of the Year: Carmen Ortiz
She brought former House speaker Salvatore DiMasi to justice, won a big terrorism conviction, and is preparing the long-awaited prosecution of James “Whitey’’ Bulger. And this idealistic US attorney is just getting started.
2010 Bostonian of the Year: Scott Brown
By winning “the Kennedy seat,’’ Republican Scott Brown shocked the political world and inspired a legion of long-shot challengers.
2009 Bostonian of the Year: Elizabeth Warren
It seemed as if the banks and other firms got a $700 billion bonanza and the American taxpayer got the shaft. But along came this straight-shooting Harvard professor to oversee the bailout, someone who pledged to look out for the middle class and brought a sense of sanity to the economic crisis.
2008 Bostonian of the Year: Paul Pierce
For meeting life head-on and leading the Celtics to a triumphant 17th NBA championship, we named Paul Pierce our Bostonian of the Year in 2008. Pierce took the intensity that had marked him as a winner from a young age and had sustained him through 10 long, lean years on a losing team and turned it into gold. Maturing off-court as well as on, the Celtics forward worked with a newly energized squad to take the team to basketball’s pinnacle, the capstone to a transformative year that saw him reach his full potential as a player and embrace fatherhood while also facing up to his own long-buried pain as a son.
2007 Bostonian of the Year: Bruce Marks
Bruce Marks earned his nickname — Junkyard Dog — and our highest honors in 2007 for his tenacious championing of the rights of the underprivileged to have a shot at the American Dream. For two decades, he worked tirelessly to get and keep home loans for an underserved population through his nonprofit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. Beholden to no one, Marks was both bomb-thrower and effective executive, using his hard-charging ways and hardheaded business practices to help the little guy succeed in the volatile world of homeownership.
2006 Bostonian of the Year: Deval Patrick
When Deval Patrick was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2006, he broke a color barrier as the Commonwealth’s first African-American governor, but it wasn’t only for that that we named him our Bostonian of the Year. It was because he refused to let his race define him, running instead on a hopeful, grass-roots platform that brought him not only the respect but also the support of a broad spectrum of the state’s electorate. By challenging its people to work together toward a better future, he brought a message of civic good to the state.
2005 Bostonian of the Year: Edward Ginsburg
A year before a ceiling collapsed in a connector tunnel, killing a Jamaica Plain woman, we chose Edward Ginsburg as the 2005 Bostonian of the Year for his efforts to expose the truth behind the Big Dig. A retired judge charged with investigating the $15 billion project, Ginsburg blew the lid on its leak problems, issuing a blistering report accusing project managers of shutting down the flow of data to his team and ripping state officials for an overly trusting attitude toward the design and construction management consultant for the grotesquely over-budget and behind-schedule project.
2004 Bostonian of the Year: Theo Epstein
He was the architect of the curse-smashing, World Series-winning Red Sox, which is why Theo Epstein was our 2004 Bostonian of the Year. In just his second year as general manager of the Sox, the hometown hero who grew up in the shadow of Fenway Park succeeded where his more seasoned predecessors over eight decades had failed. But to do that, he had to stop thinking like a fan and start acting like a businessman, starting with a bold and highly unpopular move — trading face-of-the-franchise player Nomar Garciaparra — and building a history-defying team that restored Boston’s place in baseball’s pantheon.