The Rev. Billy Graham, the renowned Christian evangelist who died at age 99 on Wednesday, holds the remarkable distinction of having appeared on Gallup's Top 10 "Most Admired Man" list 61 times, more than any other man since the annual listing began in 1948 -- and more than any woman has appeared on the companion Top 10 "Most Admired Woman" list.
|No. of times||No. of times|
|Billy Graham||61||Queen Elizabeth II||49|
|Ronald Reagan||31||Margaret Thatcher||34|
|Jimmy Carter||28||Oprah Winfrey||30|
|Pope John Paul II||27||Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis||28|
|Bill Clinton||25||Hillary Rodham Clinton||26|
|Dwight Eisenhower||21||Mamie Eisenhower||21|
|Richard Nixon||21||Barbara Bush||20|
|George H.W. Bush||20||Margaret Chase Smith||20|
|Harry Truman||20||Nancy Reagan||19|
|Nelson Mandela||20||Mother Teresa||18|
|Bill Gates||18||Clare Boothe Luce||18|
|Edward Kennedy||18||Condoleezza Rice||17|
|Winston Churchill||17||Betty Ford||17|
|George W. Bush||16||Mme Chiang Kai-Shek||17|
|Colin Powell||16||Helen Keller||17|
|Douglas MacArthur||15||Patricia Nixon||15|
|Barack Obama||12||Eleanor Roosevelt||14|
|Henry Kissinger||12||Maya Angelou||12|
|Pope Paul VI||12||Elizabeth Dole||11|
|Jesse Jackson||11||Barbara Walters||11|
|Adlai Stevenson||11||Laura Bush||11|
|Albert Schweitzer||11||Lady Bird Johnson||11|
|Herbert Hoover||10||Indira Gandhi||11|
|Pope Pius XII||10||Michelle Obama||10|
Graham achieved fame as a young evangelist in the late 1940s and 1950s when his rallies attracted increasingly large crowds and his influence spread, fueled in part by news coverage in Hearst newspapers and LIFE magazine. He subsequently became widely known for his worldwide evangelistic crusades that attracted millions of people and for his radio and television broadcasts heard and seen around the world. He also was known as the preacher to the presidents, and he met in person with every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, as well as Donald Trump before his presidency.
A 2005 Gallup poll showed that 85% of Americans said they had seen Graham on television at some point in their lives; 52% had heard him on the radio, and 16% reported having seen him in person.
Graham first appeared on Gallup's "Most Admired Man" list in 1955 and has been among the nation's top 10 most admired men every year since then, except in 1962 when he dropped out of the top 10 and in 1976 when Gallup did not publish the traditional Top 10 list.
Graham's 61 appearances on the list are far ahead of Ronald Reagan's 31 appearances, Jimmy Carter's 28 and Pope John Paul II's 27. Queen Elizabeth II's 49 appearances on the Top 10 "Most Admired Woman" list tops that category. Graham owes his remarkable record for being among the nation's most admired men in part to his longevity. The list requires that those named be living -- thus cutting short the number of appearances for people such as John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower, who did not live until they were almost 100, as did Graham.
Graham held the No. 2 spot on the list eight times -- from 1969 through 1974, and again in 1997 and 1999 -- but never appeared as the No. 1 most admired man, a distinction usually held by the sitting president.
In 2017, even at his advanced age and despite not having appeared in public for years, Graham placed fourth on the "Most Admired Man" list, trailing only Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Pope Francis.