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List: Top Ten American Heroes

Date: February 2009

Source: Harris Poll (pdf)

Base: The poll was conducted online among a sample of 2,634 U.S. adults (aged 18 and over) by Harris Interactive(R) between January 12 and 19, 2009. The names were chosen spontaneously - those surveyed were not shown or read a list of people to choose from.

Notes: To be clear, the hero did not actually have to be an American. The question used was: "Now I'd like to ask you some questions about heroes. First of all, please tell me who you admire enough to call a hero?" (UP TO THREE ANSWERS).

Barack Obama came top of the list, beating Jesus Christ into second place. Chesley Sullenberger, the airline pilot who successfully landed a stricken airliner in the Hudson River in New York, came in ninth, edging out Mother Teresa (10th) and pushing God out of the top ten (placing 11th, one ahead of Hillary Clinton). The link (to a pdf) above has more explanation on the methodology, data from a similar poll carried out in 2001, plus Harris' own conclusions. Ranking is in order but no data supplied on percentage breakdown.

Rank

American Hero

1

Barack Obama

2

Jesus Christ

3

Martin Luther King

4

Ronald Reagan

5

George W. Bush

6

Abraham Lincoln

7

John McCain

8

John F. Kennedy

9

Chesley Sullenberger

10

Mother Teresa


 
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