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America's most admired men and women

  • America's most admired men and women

    Despite leaving the White House nearly two years ago, Barack and Michelle Obama are still adored around the country. In fact, the Obamas were named America’s most admired man and woman in Gallup’s 2018 “Most Admired” survey.  

    The annual poll was first conducted in 1946, and asks participants to name the man and woman “living today in any part of the world” that they admire most. Respondents are also asked to provide their second choice.

    The survey was conducted in the first two weeks of December 2018, with a random sample of more than 1,000 Americans across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The winners are ranked by the percentage of respondents who named them as either their first or second choice.

    With the latest results now in, former President Obama has been the most admired man for 11 straight years. He’s just one first-place finish away from tying Dwight Eisenhower’s record of 12 wins. The poll also unseats Hillary Clinton, who has been America’s most admired woman for the past 17 consecutive years.

    The results were also notable for being the 13th time in more than 70 years that the president did not take the top spot, and honoring Queen Elizabeth with her 50th time included in the top 10.

    Click through to see which men and women Americans admire most.

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  • Most admired men




  • #11. Mike Pence

    Named by 1% of survey participants.

    Vice President Mike Pence has long been a staple of American conservatism. The former radio host and congressman was the governor of Indiana before being picked by President Donald Trump to serve as his #2. "I'm a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order," Pence said when he accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination.


  • #10. Elon Musk

    Named by 1% of survey participants.

    Elon Musk's entrepreneurial spirit has earned him a spot among the top 10 most admired men in America. As the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, Musk has served as the mind behind numerous technological advancements, and continues to lead the private sector in rocket science and space exploration.


  • #9. Joe Biden

    Named by 1% of survey participants.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden's decades of public service in the U.S. government have earned him praise from Americans across the political spectrum. Biden ended his term as vice president with high approval ratings, and is a possible Democratic candidate for president in 2020.


  • #8. Dalai Lama

    Named by 1% of survey participants.

    His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was recognized at the age of 2 as the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama. He has been the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists for more than 70 years. With nearly 20 million followers on Twitter, His Holiness has projected a message of peace and compassion that has resonated across the globe.


  • #7. Bill Clinton

    Named by 1% of survey participants.

    Former President Bill Clinton is once again among the top 10 most admired men after being left off the list in 2017. Despite being one of the two presidents ever to be impeached, Clinton remains a prominent figure within the Democratic Party. After leaving office, he founded the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit humanitarian organization.


  • #6. Bernie Sanders

    Named by 1% of survey participants.

    Bernie Sanders gained national prominence during the 2016 presidential election when he mounted a unexpectedly popular campaign for the Democratic nomination. The senator from Vermont is the most notable independent politician within the American government, and has long been a champion of progressive policies.


  • #5. Bill Gates

    Named by 1% of survey participants.

    As the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has accrued a net worth of more than $90 billion. Today Gates is largely recognized for his charitable work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organization's goal is to confront global challenges ranging from poor health in developing countries to the faults in America's education system.


  • #4. Pope Francis

    Named by 2% of survey participants.

    Pope Francis took the country by storm when he visited the U.S. for the first time in September 2015. Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Argentina, Pope Francis is the first Holy Father from the Americas, and is admired for softening several of the Catholic church's stringent policies.


  • #3. George W. Bush

    Named by 2% of survey participants.

    President George W. Bush left office in 2009 with dismal approval ratings and a country yearning for change. Nearly a decade later, Bush has largely won over the American public, and enjoys high favorability ratings—so much so that he was named the third most admired man.