The pair has been chosen ahead of three other runners, which included frontline health care workers and Dr Anthony Fauci, the Black Lives Matter racial justice movement, and President Donald Trump – who Mr Biden defeated in November’s election.
The magazine revealed the cover picture of Mr Biden and Ms Harris with the subtitle: “Changing America’s story”.
“For changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are TIME’s 2020 Person of the Year,” Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote.
The editor’s note also highlights how Ms Harris’ selection is special, he says: “Every elected president since FDR has at some point during his term been a Person of the Year, nearly a dozen of those in a presidential election year. This is the first time we have included a Vice President.”
Ms Harris is going to be the first black and female vice-president of the country. The president-elect secured his victory in the 3 November elections with the highest number of popular votes in the history of the US and 306 electoral college votes while Mr Trump, who is yet to concede claiming widespread fraud in the election, has 232.
Time magazine has been naming a “person of the year” among those who have most impacted the news every year since 1927. Both Mr Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama have been among the previous winners.
Last year the magazine named Greta Thunberg, the young climate change activist, as the person of the year. In 2018 the honour went to the journalists who faced persecution, arrest or murder for their reporting. The magazine cover featured Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone-Kyaw Soe Oo and the staff of The Capital.