Since 1946, the Gallup polling company has asked Americans which public figures they admire the most. The results each year are broken into men’s and women’s categories. Former President Barack Obama finished first on the list of men for 2018. Former First Lady Michelle Obama topped the list of women. In doing so, she moved ahead of Hillary Clinton, who topped the list of most-admired women for 17 years.
Michelle Obama was the choice of 15% of respondents, while Clinton fell to third with 4%, behind Oprah Winfrey, who was the selection of 5%.
Gallup has surveyed which men and women are admired the most every year for over seven decades, with the exception of 1976.
Many of those at the top of the list are not American. Queen Elizabeth has been in the top 10 women for 50 years, which is a record. This year’s top 10 men include the Dalai Lama, who is the spiritual leader of Tibet, and Pope Francis.
President Obama is on an impressive run of his own. He has held the top spot for 11 years, going back to when he was still president-elect. Of those who picked a man in the survey, Obama received 19% of votes. He is closing in a milestone. If Obama tops the list one more time, he’ll match Dwight Eisenhower’s 12 non-consecutive years in that position.
There were politicians on both the lists of most admired men and women. President Donald Trump was second for the fourth time. He was the choice of 13% of those polled who answered about men. The women’s roster includes departing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who many believe is the most powerful political figure in Europe. She has held office since 2005. Nancy Pelosi, who will likely become Speaker of the House again, is also on the list. So is Nikki Haley, who is the outgoing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.