These are the famous folks it would be most exciting to meet in person, as ranked by the wisdom of the crowd. Some of the best people to ever live make great role models for people of all ages. Who doesn't love a good celebrity putting forth positive energy in the world?
Maybe you've dreamed of having tea with Mother Teresa, or just shaking the hand of Honest Abe. Maybe you just want to say "hey" to Taylor Swift. This list includes both modern day and historical role models, dead and alive - some of the most inspirational, creative, selfless, and intelligent people ever to have walked the earth. Note that this isn't just a list of famous people, but genuinely good idols to look up to.
Throughout history, common people have sought to surround ourselves with popular folks who can inspire and influence others. From idols to heroes, these are the people we most aspire to meet. So, add your two cents and see how your personal heroes stack up against the crowd's.
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by initials JFK and Jack, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from January ...more
- Dame Jane Morris Goodall (; born Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall on 3 April 1934), formerly Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall, is an English primatologist and anthropologist. Considered to be the world's ...more
- Sonja Henie (8 April 1912 – 12 October 1969) was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She was a three-time Olympic Champion (1928, 1932, 1936) in Ladies' Singles, a ten-time World Champion ...more
- Edgar Allan Poe (; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales ...more
- Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. ...more
- Johann Friedrich, Greve Struensee (5 August 1737 – 28 April 1772) was a German doctor. He became royal physician to the mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark and a minister in the Danish ...more
- Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank (German: [anəˈliːs maˈʁiː ˈfʁaŋk], Dutch: [ɑnəˈlis maːˈri ˈfrɑŋk]); 12 June 1929 – February or March 1945) was a German-born Dutch-Jewish diarist. One of the most ...more
- Diana, Princess of Wales (born Diana Frances Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997), was a member of the British royal family. She was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, and the mother of ...more
- Elsa Brändström (26 March 1888 – 4 March 1948) was a Swedish nurse and philanthropist. She was known as the "Angel of Siberia" (German: Engel von Sibirien).
- Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Art of Fugue, the ...more
- Vincent Willem van Gogh (Dutch: [ˈvɪnsɛnt ˈʋɪləm vɑŋ ˈɣɔx] (listen); 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the ...more
- Stephen William Hawking (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the ...more
- Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg (Born von Bismarck-Schönhausen; German: Otto Eduard Leopold Fürst von Bismarck, Herzog zu Lauenburg; 1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), known as ...more
- Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand Steuben (born Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben; September 17, 1730 – November 28, 1794), also referred to as Baron von Steuben ...more
- Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen (Norwegian: [²fɾɪtːjɔf ˈnɑnsn̩]; 10 October 1861 – 13 May 1930) was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. In his ...more
- Alexander III of Macedon (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Γʹ ὁ Μακεδών; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great (Ancient Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας, romanized: Aléxandros ho ...more
- Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his ...more
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (, also US: GURT-ə, GAYT-ə, -ee; German: [ˈjoːhan ˈvɔlfɡaŋ fɔn ˈɡøːtə] (listen); 28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer and statesman. His works include: ...more
- Socrates (; Ancient Greek: Σωκρᾰ́της, romanized: Sōkrátēs, [sɔːkrátɛːs]; c. 470 – 399 BC) was a classical Greek (Athenian) philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as ...more
- Chloe McCardel, born 10 May 1985, is a 29-year-old accomplished open water swimmer, triathlete and first aid instructor from Melbourne, Australia.
- Charles Augustus Lindbergh (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974) was an American aviator, military officer, author, inventor, explorer, and environmental activist, and a spokesperson for the American ...more
- Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most ...more
- Immanuel Kant (; German: [ʔɪˈmaːnu̯eːl ˈkant, -nu̯ɛl]; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was an influential German philosopher in the Age of Enlightenment. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, ...more
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful ...more
- Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third President of the United States. He was a spokesman for democracy, and embraced ...more