60 Inspirational Role Model Examples in 2023 (2023)

60 Inspirational Role Model Examples in 2023 (1)

Real-life role model examples include Roger Federer, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and LeBron James. Common role models in daily life include parents, teachers, coaches, and a great boss.

A role model is a person whose character is worth emulating or imitating. They inspire others to be their best self.

Role models often share identity characteristics with the person who looks up with them. For example, many Black teenagers will look up to influential Black leaders like LeBron James.

Youths often also look up to sports stars and those sportspeople end up being role models whether they like it or not!

Below are some real-life examples of role models who have tended to be upstanding and successful citizens.

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Role Models for Boys

60 Inspirational Role Model Examples in 2023 (2)
  • Lebron James – Famous African-American basketballer.
  • MrBeast – Famous American YouTuber.
  • Barack Obama – First Black president of the United States.
  • Neil Armstrong – First man to walk on the moon.
  • Jackie Chan – Famous martial artist and actor from Hong Kong.
  • Mark Rober – Famous American former NASA Engineer and YouTuber (ask your kids).
  • Kobe Bryant – Famous African-American basketballer.
  • Rafael Nadal – Famous Spanish tennis player.
  • David Attenborough – Famous British environmentalist.
  • Bear Grylls – Famous British explorer and environmentalist.
  • Trevor Noah – Famous South African comedian.
  • Kevin Durant – Famous African-American basketballer.
  • Lionel Messi – Famous Argentinian football player.
  • Stephen Hawking – Famous scientist and disabled role model (deceased).
  • Cristiano Ronaldo – Famous Portuguese footballer.
  • Timothy Berners-Lee – Inventor of the internet.
  • Bruce Springsteen – Famous working-class rock and roll star.
  • Dave Grohl – Famous American grunge rock star.
  • Nelson Mandella – Famous South African human rights activist.
  • Mo Farah – Famous British-Muslim runner.
  • Harry Styles – Famous British rock star.

Role Models for Girls

60 Inspirational Role Model Examples in 2023 (3)
  • Oprah Winfrey – Influential African-American former talkshow host.
  • Angela Merkel – Former chancellor of Germany.
  • Malala Yousifazi – Pakastani human rights activist.
  • Serena Williams – African-American former tennis player.
  • Emma Watson – British actress best known for her role as Hermione in Harry Potter.
  • Marie Curie – Famous female scientist.
  • Jane Goodall – Anthropologist and animal rights activist.
  • Taylor Swift – Singer.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsberg – Former supreme court justice who broke many glass ceilings.
  • Adele – Singer.
  • Miley Cyrus – Singer.
  • Katy Perry – Singer.
  • Ariana Grande – Singer.
  • Melinda Gates – Philanthropost and activist.
  • Amelia Earhart – Famous explorer.
  • Maria Ressa – Philippino journalist and free speech activist.
  • Beyonce – African-American singer.
  • Dolly Parton – Country musician.
  • Emma Chamberlain – Famous YouTuber and blogger.
  • Greta Thunberg – Environmental activist who inspired youths around the world.
  • Rosa Parks – Civil rights activist.

Everyday Role Model Examples

60 Inspirational Role Model Examples in 2023 (4)
  • Coaches – Often, a person’s coach is their greatest role model because he or she pushes them to be great at a sport.
  • Teachers – Many students spend their days with their teachers who end up becoming motivational idols to the student.
  • Sportspeople – Adolescents admire their sports stars like basketballers and footballers.
  • Entrepreneurs – As people get older, they will often admire successful businesspeople like Elon Musk.
  • Minority Celebrities – The historical underrepresentation of people of color in media makes emerging minority role models very important to kids of color who seek successful people who look like them.
  • Politicians – Much maligned by many, but people interested in politics find role models in people who fight the good fight.
  • Motivational Speakers – Famous motivational speakers like Tony Robins are looked up to by men and women alike.
  • Religious Mentors – Priests, pastors, rabbis, clerics, monks, and nuns could be moral role models for religious people.
  • Environmentalists – Budding environmentalists might look up to climate change activists or great anthropologists like Jane Goodall.
  • Parents – Parents are a child’s first role model and mentor.
  • YouTubers – Today, many kids spend their days watching YouTube and looking up to famous YouTube stars like Mark Rober.
  • Scientists – Young kids who love science will often look up to famous scientists like Einstein or Newton.
  • Bosses – When you start your first job, you might look up to your boss or a senior coworker.
  • Disabled Celebrities – People with disabilities have historically been marginalized. Famous disabled people are important role models to society to demonstrate that anyone can do anything!
  • Human Righs Activists – Many young people who want to change the world look up to famous human rights activists like Greta Thunberg.
  • Siblings – Children often look up to their big brothers and sisters.
  • Actors – Actors on the big screen are often heroes to children who want to be action heroes.
  • Inventors – Children with big dreams might look up to inventors of cool products and tools.
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Role Model Characteristics and Traits

1. They’re professional

A professional person maintains their high moral standards and values throughout their job. They will have strong work ethic and good communication skills in the workplace. They’re often considered role models because their professionalism is something that is respected and looked up to.

For example, someone who always arrives at meetings early or someone who gets the job done could be considered to be highly professional. These are people who help the company move forward, as opposed to people who are just coasting around and not doing anything meaningful or impactful.

Often, a highly professional leader who is effective at their job will be a role model to interns and new members of the team in the workplace.

2. They’re mature and upstanding

Adults tend to promote positive role models for children to try to nudge them toward prosocial behaviors. So, they look to mature people with very little controversy.

For example, Tiger Woods used to regularly rank in role model lists until his various affairs led to his moral downfall. After that, he was not nearly as widely pushed as someone to look up to.

This doesn’t mean that young people don’t admire bad role models – they often admire rappers who promote a destructive way of life – but, in general, when trying to brainstorm a good role model, we look toward someone who is above the fray and always takes the high road.

3. They’re disciplined

When we look to motivational people who we can admire and try to emulate, we often try to figure out the ‘secret sauce’ that made them successful. Often, the answer lies in their discipline.

For example, you can see many videos on YouTube about the “morning routine of millionaires” where people try to unpick how millionares reach success. The videos will promote things like “discipline”, “morning meditation”, a “journalling routine”, and similar signs of success.

Similarly, when young men look up to famous sports stars and bodybuilders, a repeated theme emerges: you need self-discipline to succeed in life.

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4. They have self-confidence

A common characteristic of a role model is confidence. Usually, people will look up to someone who is oozing with self-esteem. After all, we want to be as confident of them!

For example, one reason people look up to sports stars is because they’re full of confidence. They are the best at what they do, and they know it.

If you appear to be doubtful of what you can do, then people will also naturally doubt your capacity to lead—they are not likely to emulate you.

Even in everyday life, when we see someone who walks with confidence, we’ll often admire them or be drawn to their aura.

5. They are unique

Often, people look up to people with individualism and a unique style. Their ability to ‘get away with’ being different is something we admire, especially if we lack that skill.

The most common example of this is found in music. People like Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain, and Janis Joplin were all unique in their own right. They had their own style and didn’t conform to the social norms.

Sometimes, these unique people spark trends and subcultural fashions – for example, Beyonce’s fashion style is closely watched and reported on because she’s so influential.


Role models are vital in society. Young people need someone to look up to and try to emulate. At a time of life when you’re vulnerable to the influence of negative or destructive people, a good role model can keep them on track.

As we get older, our role models often change. In university, it was my professor who was a human rights activist. Now, it’s businesspeople who create great websites. As I develop in my life, so too will my role models – and you’re never too old or too successful to have someone to look up to!

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Chris Drew (PhD)

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Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.


Who is your role model best answer? ›

My Role Models are my father and my mother. Because my father taught me how to be patient in critical matters and also he taught me the value of time. He always tell me, respect the time. And my mother taught me that never lose your honesty.

What is a good example of role model? ›

Real-life role model examples include Roger Federer, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and LeBron James. Common role models in daily life include parents, teachers, coaches, and a great boss. A role model is a person whose character is worth emulating or imitating. They inspire others to be their best self.

Who is an inspiration and role model for youth today? ›

Today in this modern world, many students are motivated by their teachers, and rightly so. Teachers are in a position of authority and can encourage their students to follow their aspirations & become good human beings. Therefore, if you have a good teacher, you can make them your role model.

Who is your role model in your life? ›

Your role model may be someone you know personally, professionally or someone you've never met, including: Family members. Friends. Past or current supervisors.

Who is my role model essay? ›

Role Model Essay– There are many people in the world who blindly follow anyone. Also, they admire and love that person no matter what he does. A role model is a person who inspires you to be like him. Moreover, a role model is the person you love and want to be like him.

What are the 3 types of role models? ›

And that's exactly what I'm going to help you do here.
  • Positive Role Model. For most people, when they hear the word role model, they immediately conjure up images of a positive one — a successful person whose values and behavior are worthy of imitation. ...
  • Reverse Role Models. ...
  • Anti-Role Models.
Jan 2, 2019

What is a perfect role model? ›

Good role models hold themselves, and their work, to the highest standards. They respect people's time, work and boundaries, and always look for ways to improve.

Who are your role model inspiring you to develop good character? ›

points out, “Developmental psychologists emphasize that it is parents who constitute the most important role models in that their influence is crucial to their offspring's personality development.” Other everyday positive role models may include teachers and coaches.

Who is a good role model for youth? ›

Role models can be parents, older siblings, neighbors, friends, teachers, counselors, community leaders, celebrities—or really anyone a child admires and looks up to—and finding good role models for students is important for childhood development.

Who is a strong role model for girls today why? ›

Oprah Winfrey

She's been through a lot, but she has come out on top of it all. Because she has a lot of power and many fans worldwide, she's the most powerful and influential woman on TV today.

Who is your role model in your family? ›

Role Models and Children. A role model is a person who serves as an example by influencing others. For many children, the most important role models are their parents and caregivers. Children look up to a variety of role models to help shape how they behave in school, relationships, or when making difficult decisions.

Who is your role model and why write 10 sentences? ›

She is my role model because she gives me strength and motivates me. She inspires me to become a good human being and a caring child. My mother has always helped us and made us believe in ourselves. She is the most understanding person of all the people I know.

What inspires you as a role model? ›

Source of Inspiration – A positive role model inspires us. They give us the zeal to work hard. Having a positive role model in life motivates us to do our best at work. It's a good idea to mimic someone you admire when you're lacking in self-motivation.

Who is your role model and why interview question? ›

Why do recruiters ask "Who is your role model?" Recruiters mostly ask this to understand who has inspired you in your journey and how you respond to tough situations at work. Through this HR interview question, recruiters try to gauge your values and how well they align with the company's values and mission statements.

Why your mother is your role model? ›

My mother has taught me that hard times can be overcome and that losing battles can be won. She has taught me more than I could have learnt from any book. She sets an inspirational example to me teaching me how to live life and make wise choices, even in the most uncertain situations. I respect her a lot.

Who is your biggest role model interview? ›

How to answer "Who is your role model?"
  • Provide a genuine response. ...
  • Focus on your career goals and values. ...
  • Discuss how you relate to them. ...
  • Example 1: A professional in your field.
  • Example 2: A teacher.
  • Example 3: A family member.
  • Example 4: A celebrity.
  • Example 5: An activist.
Dec 14, 2021

Why my parents are my role model? ›

Parents are the first role models that children meet. Therefore, parents are responsible for teaching children how to talk, how to walk, important values, and how to make healthy and wise decisions.


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