Cooper, Watkins and Rowley were crowned 2002's People of the Year by Time Magazine for their whistleblowing acts, "reminding us of what American courage and American values are all about."
In unrelated cases, Cooper acting as Vice President of Internal Audit along with her team exposed $3.8 billion worth of fraudulent activity at telecom giant Worldcom. At the time it was the largest accounting fraud scandal in US history.
Watkins was Vice President of Corporate Development at Enron, the notorious energy company. She blew the whistle on the multi-billion dollar firm's accounting errors. Meanwhile Rowley is a former FBI agent who exposed the agency's slow action and mishandling of information prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks.