From Samantha Bee and Bernie Sanders to Simone Biles and Beyonc, some figures made a big mark in the worlds of politics, sport and entertainment
For some people in the US, 2016 wasnt all bad. While the news cycle around them projected prominent incidents of death and despair, they managed to do their best work in spite of 2016s worst fortune, and in many cases, because of it.
Here are some of Americas winners of 2016.
Samantha Bee, the only female host on late-night TV, revealed herself as one of the sharpest and funniest tongues criticizing Donald Trump.
After years as a Daily Show correspondent, Bee launched Full Frontal With Samantha Bee in February this year. Her show is known for having one of the most diverse writing teams in television, and instantly began telling stories not just from a white dudes perspective.
Her monologues and stories on the election dominated Facebook and Twitter feeds, from questioning whether Trump can read, to interviewing his pearl-wearing young supporters and calling out white people for voting for him.
A furious Bee called bullshit on white male TV executives and hosts who tacitly supported Trump with TV appearances. Theyre not gonna live under a president who thinks of them as a collection of sex toys, she declared.
The first lady is the most popular person on the American political stage, according to a WSJ/NBC poll in October, which found 59% of people had a favourable opinion of her. She was the Hillary Clinton campaigns go-to surrogate in 2016, giving speech after speech in key swing states in an effort to shore up the vote and offering a warm, open contrast to Clintons more reserved personality.
Before she took to the trail, Obamas speech at the Democratic national convention was every bit as soaring and memorable as her husbands breakthrough address in 2004. Many in the crowd wept as Obama recapped the strides made as a result of her husbands election and looked ahead to what Clintons election would do for the country.