Special Report

Most Admired People of the Year

Source: Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Narendra Modi
> Title/Job: Prime minister of India

Narendra Modi was first elected prime minister of India in 2014 on a platform of improving the nation’s transportation infrastructure and opening up the country to direct foreign investment. Modi has championed Hindu culture, which some criticized as exclusionary toward Muslims, especially in the province of Kashmir, which has a Muslim majority. Modi launched a campaign to improve sanitary conditions in rural areas of India, though some of his methods have been criticized as heavy-handed with government workers using coercive means on the local populace to follow the program.

Source: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Malala Yousafzai
> Title/Job: Activist, Nobel Peace winner

Malala Yousafzai’s outspoken advocacy for female education led to an assassiation attempt — Taliban gunmen shot her in the head in October 2012. She survived, and after months of recovery, the following July she addressed the United Nations.

Her autobiography “I Am Malala” was published a year after she was attacked, and she became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2014 at the age of 17 for advocating for educating young women.

Source: Michael Regan / Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo
> Title/Job: Soccer player for Portugal national team

In much of the world, he is simply known as “Ronaldo” and is one of the greatest soccer players of all time. The Portuguese star joined Juventus in 2018 in a deal that will pay him $64 million a year over four years. After the deal was announced, the Italian soccer club sold 520,000 Juventus jerseys with his name on them in 24 hours. The 34-year-old’s acclaim extends to social media, where he has nearly 400 million followers.

Source: Pool / Getty Images

Peng Liyuan
> Title/Job: Chinese singer, wife of Xi Jinping

Peng Liyuan is a Chinese folk music and opera singer who is also the wife of China’s president, Xi Jinping. Peng has been one of the more high-profile Chinese first ladies. She is proficient in English and is known for her work with children who have HIV/AIDS and supports education in the rural areas of China as well as educating women. Peng said earlier this year that China wants to play a more important role in helping the World Health Organization achieve its sustainable goals on health by 2030.

Source: Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

Dalai Lama
> Title/Job: Buddhist monk and spiritual leader of Tibet

Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama, and he has been an outspoken advocate for Tibetan autonomy and foe of Chinese aggression. He was forced into exile under pressure from China in 1959. He has been a staunch advocate for better understanding and respect among the different faiths of the world, promoting messages of responsibility, love, compassion and kindness. For his efforts, the Dalai Lama received the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.

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