For a record 58th time, Charlotte-born evangelist Billy Graham has made the Gallup Poll’s annual list of the men Americans most admire.
The 96-year-old Graham, who rarely leaves his Montreat home anymore, tied with former President George W. Bush at No. 4 in the 2014 list of the 11 most admired men. (There was a six-way tie for the fifth spot).
Leading that list, for the seventh year in a row, was President Barack Obama.
The most admired woman, meanwhile, was former Secretary of State – and likely 2016 presidential candidate – Hillary Clinton. She has now led that list 17 times in 18 years. (Former first lady Laura Bush took the top spot in 2001.)
Graham was not the most admired religious figure, according to the poll conducted Dec. 8-11. Pope Francis was No. 2 on the list of men, trailing only Obama.
The runner-up on the most-admired-women list was Oprah Winfrey.
But no one comes close to Graham’s record of total appearances on the annual list. He has finished in the top 10 every year since 1963 (except 1976, when Gallup didn’t ask the most-admired question) as well as from 1955 through 1961.
The evangelist, who preached to millions at crusades around the globe, has never ranked first in the poll, but he finished second every year from 1969 through 1974.
Graham’s 58 appearances on the most-admired-men list puts him far ahead of former President Ronald Reagan, the runner-up in total appearances with 31. Queen Elizabeth of England is the top repeater on the most-admired-women list, with 46 appearances. She didn’t make the 2014 list, but Princess Kate Middleton, the wife of Elizabeth’s grandson – Prince William – did.
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SOURCE: The Charlotte Observer