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Michelle Obama overtakes Angelina Jolie as world’s most admired woman

July 20, 2019 at 07:04 am | Women

Mildred Europa Taylor

Mildred Europa Taylor | Staff Writer

July 20, 2019 at 07:04 am | Women

Former U.S. first lady, Michelle Obama. Pic credit: Vox

Former U.S. first lady, Michelle Obama, left the White House more than two years ago, but she continues to be greatly admired by people all over the world, a recent survey has shown.

55-year-old Obama has topped the list of the world’s most admired women, beating out former titleholder Angelina Jolie, according to the study by YouGov.

The survey interviewed more than 42,000 people from 41 countries. Panellists were simply asked: “Thinking about people alive in the world today, which [man or woman] do you most admire?”

Obama, whose recent autobiography, Becoming, has sold 10 million copies, was named by almost 9 per cent of respondents. She was followed by media mogul Oprah Winfrey, actress Jolie, Queen Elizabeth II and Emma Watson.

American filmmaker and humanitarian Jolie moved down two rankings, falling from first place last year to third this year, while Winfrey moved up from third to second.

A breakdown of the survey. Pic credit: YouGov

Obama’s husband, former President Barack Obama, was also named as one of the world’s most admired men, coming in second behind Bill Gates. He was named by just over 9 per cent of respondents worldwide, but in the U.S., his figures were higher.

He was named the most admired man in America, beating out Donald Trump, Clint Eastwood, Gates and Dwayne Johnson. Michelle Obama also topped YouGov’s list of most admired women in America.

Last December, the former first lady was voted America’s “Most Admired Woman” in 2018, taking the title from Hillary Clinton who had been on the top spot for 17 years. This was according to a Gallup survey which asked Americans in an open-ended question, to name the man and woman living anywhere in the world today whom they admire most.

President Obama was the winner among men for the 11th consecutive year while the current leader, Trump, ranked second for the fourth year in a row.

Michelle and Barack Obama. Photo: Bloomberg

The Obamas have proven to be the most admirable people to Americans even after the presidency. The power couple recently signed book deals worth at least $60 million and a production deal with Netflix worth tens of millions of dollars.

This April, Netflix announced the first slate of projects being produced by the Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground Productions, for the streaming service. The couple has also raked in a significant amount of money from public speaking events with Obama being paid as much as $400,000 per speech.

The New York Post reports that Obama made at least $1.2 million for three talks to Wall Street firms in 2017 while Michelle Obama earns an estimated $225,000 per corporate and non-profit speaker appearance.

Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, is a big hit globally as it’s been launched in the U.S., Australia, Ireland, South Africa, the UK, India and New Zealand.
The publisher, Penguin Random House, said it will be published in 25 languages around the world.

Michelle invited the world to the personal lives of the Obamas in the book as she expresses her difficulties in marriage, fertility and early relationship with the man who later became the president of the most powerful nation in the world.

The Obamas are also making a fortune after the presidency and have invested wisely in their children and the future. They invested in real estate by purchasing their original home in Chicago before the presidency (at $1.65 million in 2005) and an 8,200-square-foot mansion in Washington, DC, for $8.1 million which they previously rented.

According to Forbes, the Obamas are generous givers and from 2009 to 2015, they gave $1.1 million to charity. Soon, the Obamas can hit the billion-dollar mark and join the circle of wealthy billionaires like Winfrey.

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