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Globe Magazine

2020 Bostonians of the Year: The Front Line

They stood up to fight the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice. Meet the people leading us through a harrowing year.


Bostonians of the Year are selected by the editors of the Globe Magazine. Send comments to


Every year since 2004, the Globe Magazine has recognized an extraordinary person or group as our Bostonian of the Year, along with a number of honorable mentions. This year is different, because 2020 is so unlike any other year we’ve experienced. Each of the people and groups you’ll see in the pages ahead is engaged in the fight against COVID-19, or racial injustice, or — as is often the case — both of these deeply interconnected pandemics.

What this year has revealed is that cooperation and collective action are essential to pulling through. There are no honorable mentions in these battles, so there are none in these pages. Together, the people here, and the countless others they represent, are the Front Line — and, together, our 2020 Bostonians of the Year.



Galit Alter: Connecting scientists to speed up the COVID-19 fight

Lindsey Baden: Taking action on multiple fronts against COVID-19

Ashish Jha: Speaking out for science and for public health in the pandemic