You’ll notice a running theme with the following list. None of the people were known for being really “hip” or cool. They had a reputation for being positive role models usually for how they treated others. These people were nice, smart, funny, and the types of characters I wanted to be around. I’m impressed whenever I meet someone today that reminds me of one of these guys.
You’ll also notice that everyone on this list is male. I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by strong, smart women my entire life. However, I tended to be inspired by male characters who bucked the “manly” standard of machismo or power, and there’s also the sad fact that women were/are underrepresented in media along with many other groups.