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Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person

Updated March 25, 2020 428.8k votes 29.9k voters 885.1k views403 items

List RulesVote up the public figures, living or passed, with whom you'd most like to spend a little quality time.

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 and only good 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. Throughout history, common people have sought to surround ourselves with popular folks who can inspire and influence others. Anyone can add their personal role models to this list, making it an accurate, real-time ranking of the most interesting and inspiring role models in the world. From idols to heroes, these are the people other people most aspire to meet. So, add your two cents and see how your personal heroes stack up against the crowd's.
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  • 1
    Leonardo da Vinci is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    6,894
    2,133

    Leonardo da Vinci

    Dec. at 67 (1452-1519)

    BirthplaceVinci, Italy

    Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath, painter, sculptor, architect,... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Jesus Christ is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    9,046
    3,551
    Jesus (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Michelangelo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,715
    610

    Michelangelo

    Dec. at 89 (1475-1564)

    BirthplaceCaprese Michelangelo, Italy

    Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Plato is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    4,064
    2,134
    Plato (; PLAY-toe Greek: Πλάτων Plátōn, pronounced [plá.tɔːn] in Classical Attic; 428/427 or... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    3,552
    1,763

    William Shakespeare

    Dec. at 52 (1564-1616)

    BirthplaceStratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

    William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    3,331
    1,923

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Dec. at 35 (1756-1791)

    BirthplaceSalzburg, Austria

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Charles Dickens is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,749
    712

    Charles Dickens

    Dec. at 58 (1812-1870)

    BirthplacePortsmouth, United Kingdom

    Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Charles Darwin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,603
    717

    Charles Darwin

    Dec. at 73 (1809-1882)

    BirthplaceThe Mount, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom

    Charles Robert Darwin, (; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist,... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,795
    883

    J. R. R. Tolkien

    Dec. at 81 (1892-1973)

    BirthplaceBloemfontein, South Africa

    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (; 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Virginia Centurione Bracelli is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,051
    606

    Virginia Centurione Bracelli

    Dec. at 64 (1587-1651)

    BirthplaceGenoa, Italy

    Saint Virginia Centurione Bracelli (2 April 1587 – 15 December 1651) was an Italian Roman... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Sonja Henie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,379
    754

    Sonja Henie

    Dec. at 57 (1912-1969)

    BirthplaceOslo, Norway

    Sonja Henie (8 April 1912 – 12 October 1969) was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Isaac Newton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,879
    1,226

    Isaac Newton

    Dec. at 84 (1643-1727)

    BirthplaceWoolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, United Kingdom

    Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,115
    610

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Dec. at 57 (1770-1827)

    BirthplaceBonn, Germany

    Ludwig van Beethoven ( (listen); German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːthoːfn̩] (listen); baptised 17... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Steve Irwin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,016
    441

    Steve Irwin

    Dec. at 44 (1962-2006)

    BirthplaceEssendon, Australia

    Stephen Robert Irwin (22 February 1962 – 4 September 2006), nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter",... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Jane Goodall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,273
    841

    BirthplaceLondon, England

    Dame Jane Morris Goodall (; born Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall on 3 April 1934), formerly... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Fridtjof Nansen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,741
    1,190

    Fridtjof Nansen

    Dec. at 69 (1861-1930)

    BirthplaceEurope, Northern Europe, Nordic countries, Norway, Oslo

    Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen (Norwegian: [²fɾɪtːjɔf ˈnɑnsn̩]; 10 October 1861 – 13 May... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    2,197
    1,190

    Edgar Allan Poe

    Dec. at 40 (1809-1849)

    BirthplaceBoston, Massachusetts

    Edgar Allan Poe (; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Chloe McCardel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,352
    811
    Chloe McCardel, born 10 May 1985, is a 29-year-old accomplished open water swimmer, triathlete... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    George Washington is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    2,172
    1,356

    George Washington

    Dec. at 67 (1732-1799)

    BirthplaceVirginia, United States of America

    George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Elsa Brändström is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,712
    1,209

    Elsa Brändström

    Dec. at 60 (1888-1948)

    BirthplaceSaint Petersburg, Russia

    Elsa Brändström (26 March 1888 – 4 March 1948) was a Swedish nurse and philanthropist. She was... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,989
    986

    Robin Williams

    Dec. at 63 (1951-2014)

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and comedian.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,190
    755

    Oscar Wilde

    Dec. at 46 (1854-1900)

    BirthplaceIreland, Ireland, Europe, Dublin

    Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    Albert Einstein is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    5,115
    2,734

    Albert Einstein

    Dec. at 76 (1879-1955)

    BirthplaceUlm, Germany

    Albert Einstein ( EYEN-styne; German: [ˈalbɛɐ̯t ˈʔaɪnʃtaɪn] (listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Erik the Red is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    1,168
    800

    Erik the Red

    Erik Thorvaldsson (c. 950 – c. 1003), known as Erik the Red, was a Norse explorer, described... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Nikola Tesla is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person
    2,269
    1,213

    Nikola Tesla

    Dec. at 87 (1856-1943)

    BirthplaceSmiljan, Croatia

    Nikola Tesla was a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer,... more on Wikipedia

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