Gallup's most admired man and woman poll

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Gallup's most admired man and woman poll is an annual poll that Gallup has conducted at the end of most years since 1948.[1][2] Americans are asked, without prompting, to say what man and woman "living today in any part of the world, do [they] admire most?"[3] The result is published as a top ten list. Most years the most admired man is the sitting President of the United States and the most admired woman is or has been the First Lady of the United States.[4]

Gallup's poll is announced during the last week of each year, and the results typically gets mainstream media coverage at the time.[5] The survey has been considered, in part, a test of name recognition.[6] While places at the top of the list are often predictable, scholars have found appearances further down in the top ten to be illuminating, such as in 1958 when segregationist governor Orval Faubus made the list in the wake of the Little Rock Nine civil rights episode.[7]

Trends and top finishers[edit]

Sitting U.S. presidents have captured the top spot for men in 60 out of 73 years.[8] In his lifetime, evangelist Billy Graham had 61 appearances in the top 10, the most of anyone, with eight second-place finishes.[8] The second most is Ronald Reagan with 31, and Jimmy Carter with 28 and Pope John Paul II with 27 follow.[9] The sitting pope has finished in the top ten in every year since 1977.[9]

Among women, the poll has shown Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Hillary Rodham Clinton as U.S. First Ladies with the most appearances on the list. The high mark for top 10 appearances belongs to Queen Elizabeth II with 50 through 2018.[8] Although never winning, broadcaster Oprah Winfrey has finished in the top 10 a total of 31 times through 2018, including finishing second 14 times.[8] The high mark for most appearances at number 1, the most admired woman in the world, belongs to Hillary Clinton, who served as First Lady of Arkansas from 1983 to 1992, First Lady of the United States during the presidency of Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, United States Senator representing New York from 2001 to 2009, and United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. She ranked first 22 times out of 25 during the years 1993–2017, including 16 in a row from 2002 to 2017, before her dominance was broken in 2018 by Michelle Obama.[8] In 1980, Mother Teresa and Rosalynn Carter tied for most admired woman, and in 2019, Barack Obama and Donald Trump shared the title of most admired man.[10]

Number of selections[edit]

Rank Most admired man Number of times
1 Dwight D. Eisenhower 12
1 Barack Obama 12
3 Ronald Reagan 8
3 Bill Clinton 8
5 George W. Bush 7
6 Lyndon B. Johnson 4
6 Richard Nixon 4
6 George H. W. Bush 4
9 Douglas MacArthur 3
9 Henry Kissinger 3
11 Jimmy Carter 3
12 John F. Kennedy 2
12 Harry S. Truman 2
14 Pope John Paul II 1
14 Donald Trump 1
Rank Most admired woman Number of times
1 Hillary Clinton 22
2 Eleanor Roosevelt 13
3 Margaret Thatcher 6
4 Jacqueline Kennedy 5
5 Mother Teresa 4
6 Nancy Reagan 3
6 Rosalynn Carter 3
6 Golda Meir 3
9 Betty Ford 2
9 Barbara Bush 2
9 Mamie Eisenhower 2
9 Michelle Obama 2
12 Pat Nixon 1
12 Laura Bush 1
12 Ethel Kennedy 1
12 Elizabeth Kenny 1

Winners, 1946 to 2019[edit]

These are the most admired men and women of each year.[11]

Year Most admired man Most admired woman
1946 Douglas MacArthur* Not asked
1947 Douglas MacArthur* Not asked
1948 Harry Truman Eleanor Roosevelt
1949 Harry Truman Eleanor Roosevelt
1950 Dwight Eisenhower Eleanor Roosevelt
1951 Douglas MacArthur Sister Elizabeth Kenny
1952 Dwight Eisenhower Eleanor Roosevelt
1953 Dwight Eisenhower Eleanor Roosevelt
1954 Dwight Eisenhower Eleanor Roosevelt
1955 Dwight Eisenhower Eleanor Roosevelt
1956 Dwight Eisenhower Eleanor Roosevelt
1957 Dwight Eisenhower Eleanor Roosevelt
1958 Dwight Eisenhower Eleanor Roosevelt
1959 Dwight Eisenhower Eleanor Roosevelt
1960 Dwight Eisenhower Eleanor Roosevelt
1961 John F. Kennedy Eleanor Roosevelt
1962 John F. Kennedy Jacqueline Kennedy
1963 Lyndon Johnson Jacqueline Kennedy
1964 Lyndon Johnson Jacqueline Kennedy
1965 Lyndon Johnson Jacqueline Kennedy
1966 Lyndon Johnson Jacqueline Kennedy
1967 Dwight Eisenhower Not asked
1968 Dwight Eisenhower Ethel Kennedy
1969 Richard Nixon Mamie Eisenhower
1970 Richard Nixon Mamie Eisenhower
1971 Richard Nixon Golda Meir
1972 Richard Nixon Pat Nixon
1973 Henry Kissinger Golda Meir
1974 Henry Kissinger Golda Meir
1975 Henry Kissinger Betty Ford
1976 Not asked Not asked
1977 Jimmy Carter Rosalynn Carter
1978 Jimmy Carter Betty Ford
1979 Jimmy Carter Rosalynn Carter
1980 Pope John Paul II Mother Teresa / Rosalynn Carter
1981 Ronald Reagan Nancy Reagan
1982 Ronald Reagan Margaret Thatcher
1983 Ronald Reagan Margaret Thatcher
1984 Ronald Reagan Margaret Thatcher
1985 Ronald Reagan Nancy Reagan
1986 Ronald Reagan Mother Teresa
1987 Ronald Reagan Nancy Reagan
1988 Ronald Reagan Margaret Thatcher
1989 George H. W. Bush Margaret Thatcher
1990 George H. W. Bush Margaret Thatcher
1991 George H. W. Bush Barbara Bush
1992 George H. W. Bush Barbara Bush
1993 Bill Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton
1994 Bill Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton
1995 Bill Clinton Mother Teresa
1996 Bill Clinton Mother Teresa
1997 Bill Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton
1998 Bill Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton
1999 Bill Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton
2000 Bill Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton
2001 George W. Bush Laura Bush
2002 George W. Bush Hillary Rodham Clinton
2003 George W. Bush Hillary Rodham Clinton
2004 George W. Bush Hillary Rodham Clinton
2005 George W. Bush Hillary Rodham Clinton
2006 George W. Bush Hillary Rodham Clinton
2007 George W. Bush Hillary Rodham Clinton
2008 Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton
2009 Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton
2010 Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton
2011 Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton
2012 Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton
2013 Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton
2014 Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton
2015 Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton
2016 Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton
2017 Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton
2018 Barack Obama Michelle Obama
2019 Barack Obama
Donald Trump (tie)[12]
Michelle Obama[12]
  • Most admired person


  1. ^ Panetta, Grace (December 30, 2019). "Donald Trump and Barack Obama are tied for 2019's most admired man in the US". Business Insider. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  2. ^ Seiger, Theresa (December 30, 2019). "Trump, Obama share title as most admired man in annual Gallup poll". KIRO-TV. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  3. ^ "Hillary Edges Out Oprah as Most Admired Woman in '07". Gallup. December 26, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
  4. ^ Babbie, Earl R. (1982). Social Research for Consumers. Wadsworth Publishing Company. p. 14.
  5. ^ See for example Fieldstadt, Elisha (December 27, 2018). "Michelle Obama voted most admired woman, bumps Hillary Clinton from top spot: Gallup". NBC News.; Dopp, Terrence (December 27, 2017). "Obama Tops Trump as Most Admired, Gallup Poll of Americans Finds". Bloomberg News.; Levy, Gabrielle (December 28, 2016). "Gallup: Obama Is Most-Admired Man in the World". U.S. News & World Report.; and so forth.
  6. ^ Harris, Chris (December 27, 2018). "Michelle Obama Tops List of Most Admired Women As Hillary Clinton and Melania Trump Tie for Third". People.
  7. ^ Rosenberg, Gerald N. (2008). The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring About Social Change? (Second ed.). University of Chicago Press. p. 129.
  8. ^ a b c d e Jones, Jeffrey M. (December 27, 2018). "Michelle Obama Ends Hillary Clinton's Run as Most Admired". Gallup.
  9. ^ a b "Obama, Clinton Continue Reign as Most Admired" (Press release). Gallup. December 30, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  10. ^ "Obama, Trump Tie as Most Admired Man in 2019". December 30, 2019.
  11. ^ "Most Admired Man and Woman". Gallup. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Trump, Obama tie for Americans' most-admired man By QUINT FORGEY, Politico, December 30, 2019
  • The Gallup Poll 1999. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources Inc. 1999. pp. 248–249.
    • Lists of the most admired people for any given year can be found in the respective volume.

External links[edit]