A survey by a U.S. newspaper finds President-elect Barack Obama is the man Americans admire most in the world.

USA Today says one-third of about 1,000 people interviewed named Mr. Obama as their first or second choice.  The report published Friday says it is the first time a president-elect has topped the yearly survey in more than 50 years.

U.S. President George Bush fell to a distant second in the survey after holding the top spot for seven years.

Hillary Clinton - Mr. Obama's pick for secretary of state - emerged as the most-admired woman in the poll, a position she has held for 13 of the past 16 years.
Republican John McCain's running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, came in second on the women's list, while McCain himself ranked third among men.

Pope Benedict, the Reverend Billy Graham and Hillary Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, tied for fourth most-admired man.

Among the most admired women, talk-show host Oprah Winfrey came in third, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice placed fourth and Mr. Obama's wife, Michelle Obama, ranked fifth.

The survey was conducted by phone in the middle of December.

USA Today
says this year's support for Mr. Obama is the second-highest rating in the survey's history, behind President Bush's 39 percent in 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The paper says support for President Bush has declined almost every year since then, falling this year to just five percent.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.