The Washington Post

Nelson Mandela was consistently among ‘most admired’ people, polling shows

Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and human rights icon, has died. He was 95.

In his lifetime, Mandela was routinely regarded by Americans as one of the "most admired" people in the world, according to decades of Gallup polls.

In annual polls going back to 1946, Mandela has been among the top 10 men — Gallup asks separate questions for men and women — mentioned 20 times. The only other non-U.S. presidents to exceed that are Billy Graham, who finished in the top 10 56 times, the most of anyone, and Pope John Paul II, who had 27 top 10 finishes.

a173dwws7e2rwaqclkgtig

When canvassing the public about who they admire most, Gallup asks an open-ended question: "What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most?"

Typically, most people name the sitting president, then the rest of the responses are all over the map. Mandela has been in the low single digits, but that has been enough to consistently put him among the top 10 most admired men. And in 2012, he was ranked second behind President Obama.

ham7pygdt0y81bspahdiow

— Sean Sullivan contributed

The Washington Post's Sudarsan Raghavan talks about the life and legacy of former South African president Nelson Mandela. (Thomas LeGro/The Washington Post)
Peyton M. Craighill is polling manager for the Washington Post. Peyton reports and conducts national and regional news polls for the Washington Post, with a focus on politics, elections and other social and economic issues.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
New Hampshire has voted. The Democrats debate on Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Philip Rucker and Robert Costa say...
For Trump, the victory here was sweet vindication, showing that his atypical campaign could prevail largely on the power of celebrity and saturation media coverage. But there was also potential for concern in Tuesday's outcome. Trump faces doubts about his discipline as a candidate and whether he can build his support beyond the levels he has shown in the polls.
The Post's John Wagner and Anne Gearan say...
Hillary Clinton, who was declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses last week by the narrowest of margins, now finds herself struggling to right her once-formidable campaign against a self-described democratic socialist whom she has accused of selling pipe dreams to his supporters.
Quoted
People have every right to be angry. But they're also hungry for solutions.
Hillary Clinton, in her New Hampshire primary night speech
Quoted
I am going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.
Donald Trump, in his New Hampshire primary victory speech
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
See results from N.H.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.