Bill Gates & Michelle Obama Are Most Admired but Who Are Top Earners?

In a poll from YouGov, the top three most admired men in the world are Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and Jackie Chan. The topmost admired women are Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Angelina Jolie. Now, naturally, none of those people are starving on the street. Let’s take a look at their net worth – it may surprise you.

By far the highest in that regard is Bill Gates. The tech mogul is worth around $103.8 billion, according to Bloomberg. This coincidentally also makes him the second richest man in the world.

As for the second-highest net worth in the list, Oprah Winfrey is worth a staggering $2.6 billion, as estimated by Forbes. The popular TV host has been near the top of the most admired list for years, having held the third-highest spot last year.

Net Worth Does Not Equal Popularity

Next in line would be Jackie Chan. The action star is estimated to be worth around $400 million, according to He too has held his position on the list for some time.

After Jackie is Angelina Jolie. Formerly the most admired woman on this list, she is now in second place. Worth about $100 million as estimated by, the popular actress is also well-known for her humanitarian work.

Barack and Michelle Obama

Last on the list are both Obamas. They are reportedly worth roughly $40 million dollars each. The former White House couple has continued to be successful after the conclusion of Barack Obama’s second term as U.S. president. Despite having the lowest net worth of these two top-three lists, they rank second and first, respectively, as the most admired. That’s proof positive that it takes more than money to impress people.

Both Obamas are known to support human rights causes as well as to donate considerable sums to humanitarian causes. The same can be said for many other people on the most admired list of course – supporting charities and working with them seems to have a higher impact than sheer net worth does here!

America’s Most Admired

If we look at how America answered, we see a slightly different picture. Barack and Michelle Obama take the top spot by a wide margin, followed by people like Donald Trump. Also on the list are Clint Eastwood, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Melania Trump. All familiar names but not necessarily corresponding to the highest net worth individuals, which would include Jeff Bezos or Alice Walton, for example.

YouGov created this list by asking more than 42,000 people from 41 countries around the world – they each nominated the people they most admired. How would you answer the question ‘Thinking about people alive in the world today, which [man or woman] do you most admire?’? Would your answers match the list or be something different entirely?

Last modified: September 23, 2020 12:50 PM

Melanie Hawthorne

Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. It's a dream job – periodically angering video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. Mel thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper! You can get in touch here: