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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Evangelist Billy Graham and basketball great Michael Jordan top a recent survey of most admired people with North Carolina ties.

During an Elon University poll late last month, 720 North Carolina residents were asked, "Think of a person, living or dead, who is from or associated with North Carolina. Of those people, who do you admire most?"

Of the responses to the open-ended question, 7.5 percent said Graham. Four percent answered Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington and attended Laney High School before a Hall of Fame career at UNC and the NBA. He now owns the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats (soon to be renamed Hornets).

Most Admired North Carolinians
Rank Name % Mentioning
1 Billy Graham 7.5
2 Michael Jordan 4.0
3 Andy Griffith 3.1
4 Wright Brothers 2.8
5 Jesse Helms 2.6
6 Jim Hunt 2.0
7 Dale Earnhardt 1.4
8 Maya Angelou 1.2
9 Terry Sanford 1.1
10 Sam Ervin 1.1

Margin of error +/- 3.65

Comment on this Story

  • Vog46

    and I selected Billy Graham. He wasn’t a pedophile, and did not live in a priestly palace. He evangelized to millions but never let success go to his head, and he was a devoted family man.
    To me he is the epitome of a great Christian.
    I see a great deal of Billy Graham in Pope Francis who is coming into a situation where he’s dealing with excessive institutionalized “bling” in the Catholic Church. Mr Graham started with nothing.

    Both are astonishingly great men



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