Bill Gates Voted Fifth "Most Admired" Man in World in Gallup Poll, and Rightfully So

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Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton grabbed the majority of the headlines yesterday when Gallup released the results of its yearly "most admired" people poll. But only a few spots down from Big O on the men's list was Seattle's own dean of donations, Bill Gates.

Gates moves up two full spots from last year when he was ranked No. 7, behind Obama, George W. Bush, Nelson Mandela, Glenn Beck, Pope Benedict XVI and Rev. Billy Graham.

Here's the men's top 10 list from this year.

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It's no wonder Gates' charitable stock is on the rise. It's been a banner year for giving from both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and from Bill himself.

There's his foundation's efforts in global health, global economic development and United States programs ($23.9 billion in grants awarded and counting). There is also Bill's individual donations to the Children's Vaccine Program, the Earth Institute and the Lunchbox Fund and dozens of others.

Most noteworthy this year for Washingtonians was Gates' (and his father William Sr.'s) failed push to pass Washington's tax-the-rich initiative I-1098, which, whatever one thought of the actual legislation, was a perfect example of the Gates family attitude toward being rich.

But what's been most eye-grabbing of late has been his efforts with the Giving Pledge, in which he's corralled a gaggle of uber-rich business owners like Mark Zuckerberg, George Lucas and T. Boone Pickens into promising to donate around half of their wealth to charity.

In short, the man deserves the rise in "admiration" reflected in the new Gallup rankings. Certainly much more than the new No. 8: Glenn Beck.

 
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