Popular Opinion
30.2k voters

Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person

Updated March 25, 2020 433.9k votes 30.2k voters 895.2k 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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  • Leonardo da Vinci1
    6,980
    2,192

    Leonardo da Vinci

    Dec. at 67 (1452-1519)

    BirthplaceVinci, Italy

    Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath, painter, sculptor, architect,...  more
  • Jesus Christ2
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    3,605
    Jesus (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a...  more

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  • Plato3
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    2,162
    Plato (; PLAY-toe Greek: Πλάτων Plátōn, pronounced [plá.tɔːn] in Classical Attic; 428/427 or...  more

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  • Michelangelo4
    1,755
    637

    Michelangelo

    Dec. at 89 (1475-1564)

    BirthplaceCaprese Michelangelo, Italy

    Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian...  more
  • William Shakespeare5
    3,593
    1,787

    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

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  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart6
    3,369
    1,947

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Dec. at 35 (1756-1791)

    BirthplaceSalzburg, Austria

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

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  • Charles Darwin7
    1,639
    741

    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
  • Charles Dickens8
    1,776
    738

    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

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  • J. R. R. Tolkien9
    1,825
    906

    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

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  • Isaac Newton10
    1,911
    1,240

    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
  • Ludwig van Beethoven11
    1,148
    618

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Dec. at 57 (1770-1827)

    BirthplaceBonn, Germany

    Ludwig van Beethoven ( (listen); German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːthoːfn̩] (listen); baptised 17...  more
  • Virginia Centurione Bracelli12
    1,064
    630

    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
  • Sonja Henie13
    1,393
    779

    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

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  • Steve Irwin14
    1,050
    462

    Steve Irwin

    Dec. at 44 (1962-2006)

    BirthplaceEssendon, Australia

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

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  • Jane Goodall15
    1,303
    861

    BirthplaceLondon, England

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

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  • Fridtjof Nansen16
    1,747
    1,210

    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
  • George Washington17
    2,207
    1,375

    George Washington

    Dec. at 67 (1732-1799)

    BirthplacePopes Creek, Colony of Virginia, British America

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

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  • Edgar Allan Poe18
    2,218
    1,205

    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

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  • Robin Williams19
    2,034
    998

    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

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  • Elsa Brändström20
    1,716
    1,229

    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
  • Chloe McCardel21
    1,359
    835
    Chloe McCardel, born 10 May 1985, is a 29-year-old accomplished open water swimmer, triathlete...  more
  • Erik the Red22
    1,178
    816

    Erik the Red

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

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  • Albert Einstein23
    5,169
    2,740

    Albert Einstein

    Dec. at 76 (1879-1955)

    BirthplaceUlm, Germany

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

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  • Oscar Wilde24
    1,206
    769

    Oscar Wilde

    Dec. at 46 (1854-1900)

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland

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

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  • Aristotle25
    2,039
    1,380

    Aristotle

    Dec. at 62 (383 BC-321 BC)

    BirthplaceStagira, Greece

    Aristotle (; Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης Aristotélēs, pronounced [aristotélɛːs]; 384–322 BC) was a...  more