WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the first time in 17 years, a woman other than Hillary Clinton has been named by Americans as the woman they admire most. Former first lady Michelle Obama, who finished second to Clinton three times and is currently touring to promote her recently released autobiography, won by a significant margin this year. Oprah Winfrey was second, with Clinton and Melania Trump next.
Meanwhile, former President Barack Obama was the winner among men for the 11th consecutive year, including one year as president-elect, eight as president and two as former president. President Donald Trump ranks second for the fourth year in a row.
Gallup’s annual survey, conducted Dec. 3-12 this year, asks Americans, in an open-ended question, to name the man and woman living anywhere in the world today whom they admire most. Gallup first asked the question in 1946 and has done so every year since, except 1976.
Also among the top 10 most admired women this year is Queen Elizabeth, who placed in the top 10 for a record 50th time. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, human rights activist Malala Yousafzai and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi are the other top 10 finishers this year.
Like the queen of England, Winfrey and Clinton have long histories finishing among the top 10 women, with Winfrey appearing for the 31st time and Clinton for the 27th. Winfrey has never finished first, but has been second on 14 occasions. Clinton has finished first 22 times — more than any other man or woman — including in 1993 and 1994, 1997 through 2000, and 2002 through 2017. Clinton has finished second on three occasions, third once (this year) and fourth once (in 1992).
Most Admired Woman (Percentage)
Michelle Obama 15
Oprah Winfrey 5
Hillary Clinton 4
Melania Trump 4
Queen Elizabeth 2
Angela Merkel 2
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 2
Ellen DeGeneres 2
Nikki Haley 1
Malala Yousafzai 1
Nancy Pelosi 1