Continuing a 50-plus year streak, Billy Graham was again named one of the top 10 most admired men in the world this year.
The results of the annual Gallup poll were released Monday, answering the question, “What [man/woman] that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most?”
Billy Graham has finished in the top 10 overall more than anyone else—a record 59 times. Next in line is Queen Elizabeth, who has made the most admired list 47 times.
This year, President Barack Obama topped the list of most admired men. In addition to Billy Graham, others on the list included former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
Hillary Clinton was named the most admired woman. Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin were also named some of the most admired women.
At age 97, Billy Graham still has a mark in society, recently releasing his final book Where I Am and maintaining a strong following on social media. But the growing trend of political figures landing higher and more often than religious leaders on the most admired list speaks to a changing landscape in America.
Donald Trump and Pope Francis tied for second most admired man in the world this year.
Gallup’s annual survey no doubt shows the great influence of politicians. It’s why Billy Graham often encouraged Christians to run for office and why his son, Franklin Graham, plans to challenge believers to do the same with the Decision America Tour in 2016.
“There now exists deep-seated antagonism and hostility toward Christianity in every seat of power in this nation—government, media, courts and education. It has become open season on Christians,” Franklin said in a recent article.
“I want people to vote and look at things like school boards. Could you imagine if evangelicals were able to get on the school boards of America—the impact that would have on our nation over the next 20 years?”
The Decision America Tour with Franklin Graham will make 50 stops—one in every state—to challenge Christians to pray for their nation, get out and vote, and boldly live out their faith.
The Gallup poll was conducted Dec. 2-6, surveying 824 adults nationwide by phone. The overall margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.