Who do Americans most admire as we turn the page on a new year? Gallup has been tracking this question since 1948, and editor in chief Frank Newport helps us sort through the results.
In 1948, a sitting president and a former first lady — Harry Truman and Eleanor Roosevelt — were the most-admired man and woman according to the American public. Today it is much the same: The most-admired man of 2014 is Barack Obama (winning for the 7th year in a row) and Hillary Clinton is the most-admired woman.
The president usually, but not always, wins, notes Newport.
Thre is a wide gap between Obama, with 19 percent of mentions, and the next in the top 10, Pope Francis, who got 6 percent of mentions. Next comes Bill Clinton, Billy Graham, George W. Bush, Ben Carson, Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, Bill O’Reilly, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Vladimir Putin.
Putin may be the most unusual man on the list, named by 1 percent of Americans.
Billy Graham has been in the top ten list of most-admired men more than any other — at 58 times. Ronald Reagan made it on there 31 times. Jimmy Carter was up there 28 times.
This year for Hillary Clinton marks the 13th in a row as the most-admired woman. It is also the 17th time out of the last 18 years. (Laura Bush won in 2001, two months after the 9/11 attacks.)
Queen Elizabeth, at 46 times, is the woman who has been on the list more than any other, followed by Margaret Thatcher and Jackie Kennedy.
The winner of most admired woman who is most forgotten today: Sister Elizabeth Kenny, in 1951. She was an Australian nun who came up with a polio treatment before a vaccine for the virus was in wide use.