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The most universally liked person is a high honor, and a very tall order to fill. That means the 7.753 billion people on the planet need to not only have heard of who the person is, but also find them to be admirable in some way.

If there's anyone we know, they have to have some level of notoriety because of their deeds, their celebrity status, online or television personality, or accomplishments.

We tend to idolize celebrities because we can peer into their lives and feel like we know them. The bits of their personality that are shown to us tend to be the most likeable if their PR is doing a good job.

It's also possible that they're just a genuinely good person.


Redditor bpm918 asked:

"Who do you think is the most universally liked person in the world?"

Here's a list of people who's got their PR down pat, or are maybe legitimately good at their core.

A Russian Commander.

"That one Russian commander who decided not to nuke America, which would’ve led to probably the entire world getting destroyed, anybody who knows of him should like him."

- Thebigvader

"Vasily Arkhipov. I think you're right. Everybody should know about him and what he did back in 62 during the October crisis."

- canyon_cube

"Sadly he was viewed as a coward when he returned home and died a unsung death as an alcoholic. Even though he is one of the few people in the history of the world who saved humanity from ourselves."

- darksidemojo

"This almost happened twice."

"Stanislaw Jewgrafowitsch Petrow is the one who didn't nuke America after an ICBM launch was miss-detected. Vasily Arkhipov didn't nuke some American ships when his got attacked. Both probably prevented a third world war, before today I have only ever heard of Stanislaw Jewgrafowitsch Petrow."

- SalvadorsAnteater

"Ironically, the Petrov incident occurred shortly after the release of War Games, a film that examines the possibility of an accidental nuclear war due to a computer game being misinterpreted as Soviet aggression."

- karma_the_sequel

"Maybe he saw the movie. the movie saved mankind lol."

- jesus-sold-weed

"It is entirely possible that it did or at least helped. It is known that President Reagan watched the film and then discussed it with Congress, his advisors and his joint chiefs of staff. Reagan's interest in the film is credited with leading to the enactment 18 months later of NSDD-145, the first Presidential directive on computer security. It is not too far a stretch to suspect it may also have been a concern in the back of his mind as he oversaw thawing of relations from 1985-1989 during his 2nd term."

- misogichan

Broadcaster David Attenborough.

"I was thinking David Attenborough."

- bpm918

"David Attenborough went through a little phase of being disliked. I think he published a story about how we all need to cut back on airline travelling because it's killing the planet, but the same paper also mentioned how many airline miles he'd done that year for filming."

"Personally I still like the guy."

- -Scottish

"Between his personal airline miles and the message from his content its still a net positive in my opinion."

- Miramarr

The kindest painter, Bob Ross.

"Bob Ross."

- rmicheler

"Pretty sure it's only in the US and few western countries."

- DeathSimulator

"Not true at all. Everyone I know over here who knows of Bob loves Bob. (Over here = African Country with an Arab/Muslim majority: Morocco)."

- Communistulthar

"I'm from Eastern Europe and I love this guy. I'm really bad at drawing and it was never my passion, maybe at some point when I was a kid but it doesn't really matter. My point is even though I'm not an artsy person I just love listening to his voice, it calms me."

- rellanson

Actor Keanu Reeves

"Keanu Reeves."

- RagingBullet97

"No I hate Keanu Reeves!"

"...No, no, I can't do it. I tried, but you're right, I just can't hate Keanu!"

- Starblaiz52

The late actress Betty White.

"Betty White."

- escaped_prisoner

"This was the answer I came here for."

- PurpleLavishness

"Can't wait for her to turn 100 years old. I hope she's in a good health although we don't know how long she's going to last."

- Usashi-hullA

Our neighbor Mr. Rogers.

"Mr. Rogers."

- rmicheler

"I'm still upset with whoever started chopping onions in the theater during Won't You Be My Neighbor."

- McbealtheNavySeal

"We found his Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood online at the beginning of everything shutting down and did some binging. Incredibly soothing and left me in tears regularly."

"I didn’t have tv growing up, so wasn’t familiar. My wife did though. He says things even adults need to be reminded of time and time again."

- Enjolraw

The late actor, Robin Williams.

​"Robin Williams."

- roseetheOG69

"I miss him."

- Responsible_Wafer208

"He is a national treasure and he will be missed. I couldn't imagine anybody else playing the genie from Aladdin."

- cpullen53484

Singer Dolly Parton.

"Dolly Parton."

- AssignmentOpen6112

"I have never heard anything close to a negative word about Dolly. Came from nothing....100% self-made...never promotes herself...self deprecating. Only brings good to the world. Love that woman."

- Marlowebabe

"They explore this in the podcast 'Dolly Parton's America.' And they don't just speculate on it, they look at case studies, how widely known she is, and how widely liked she is. She tops all the lists."

- partyondude69

"How can you not like her? She is beloved by both traditional Southern conservatives and progressive liberals (esp. GLBTQ+). She has big international appeal, too. Nelson Mandela played 'Jolene' over his prison’s loudspeakers because it sustained hope that his movement’s cries for freedom would be heard. Wow."

- r33c3d

"Dolly Parton is beloved in the US (and apparently in South Africa), but I'm not sure the rest of the world knows her too well as an activist..."

- RomulusRemus13

"I'm a Brit. I'd say she's pretty well-known here for her non-musical activities too. Love her!"

- mttsmrt

The late Steve Irwin.

"Steve Irwin."

- ManyGeeseAtOnce

"Oddly, when Steve Irwin first became famous he was criticized for tormenting wildlife, putting his children in harms way, and he and his wife being a couple of loons. I find it fascinating to see his legacy turn around via echo chambers."

- random_username_94

"My observation is that opinions of Steve Irwin are quite split, so I’m not sure he could be considered as universally liked."

- OnceAroundTheRock

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Universally, Grandma's are pretty great.

"Either Mom or grandma."

- scipper77

"As a mum, I can confirm that it is Granma. Mums say kids HAVE to do things they don’t want to AND say they CAN’T do things they want to."

- LochNessMother

Dame Julie Andrews.

"Dame Julie Andrews."

- madam-whiplash

"Like 20 years ago Anne Hathaway was on Conan and said that Julie Andrews “swore like a sailor” when they were working on Princess Diaries."

"Hilarious."

- BeatsByLobot

Mr. Bean.

"Rowan Atkinson? I bet Mr. Bean plays well all over the world. Hundreds of millions of people could love that dude and never even hear him say a peep. Eliminates a lot of potential controversy."

- destro23

"Probably 15 years ago I found myself on a Pakistan International Airlines flight. Just one of those things. And they put Mr. Bean on a loop on the in-flight TV for 3 hours and nobody did anything but laugh at Mr. Bean the whole flight."

"Right up there with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Perfect physical comedy that transcends culture."

- NerimaJoe

Steve from Blues Clues.

"Steve from Blue's clues."

- Affectionate-Egg-221

Steve, the actor who played Steve on the kids show, just recently came back to social media and it absolutely blew up.

Danny DeVito.

"Our national treasure, Danny DeVito."

- MyJeanShorts

"Danny DeVito is a beautiful human being. When the girl that played Matilda had her mom go through cancer treatments and she couldn't take care of her, Danny DeVito and his wife took her into their home and cared for her."

- khayriyah_a

"It never fails to make me laugh that he plays such a monumental a**hole on always sunny, yet is universally loved."

- Wolf_Mans_Got_Nards

"No but Danny Devito was the reason I didn’t kill myself. I also named my service cat after him 💕 he’s honestly such a good guy."

- Emotional-Code697

Rick Astley.

"Rick Astley."

- itsbertsson

"True true true. Cuz he’s never gonna give you up."

- MamaOfBeachBums

"There's a channel on YouTube called I think tekkitrealm. A large portion of his content is Rick rolling people in the most creative ways, everyone. Celebrities, world leaders, Rick Astley himself. He has world records and Rick rolled Guinness book when they were trying to verify him."

"Here is a video of him Rick rolling YouTube users with a paid ad... it was actually very funny."

- WinTheFaceoff

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

"Dwayne Johnson."

- Nickzino

"Not sure how this isn't a top vote. Even for people that don't like his movies or acting in particular, I'd say they're generally aware of all the charity and stuff he gives away to deserving people, and has been completely scandal free as far as I know. Beyond that, he is always smiling and speaks in a way that people enjoy listening to, both his voice and manner of communicating. Highly likeable guy."

- Tendies-Emporium

"Just me but has he made a mistake yet? If not, is he human?"

- Wit-Hoid6674

Al Yankovic.

"Weird Al Yankovic, unless you ask Coolio."

- BewareNixonsGhost

"Now Coolio respects him and they have amicable relationship."

- Usashi-hullA

"The Bob Ross of music."

- Netdork

Aw, that's cute.

"You, the person reading this."

- Askii_dade

"Dude I have a list of people who hate me longer than the lines at Comic con in 2019."

- Jamano-Eridzander

Well, maybe it's not universally true.

Most of these suggestions had at least a few commenters who disagreed with them.

No one person can truly be universally liked.

But they can absolutely come close, and with that comes great responsibility.

Did they live up to it?

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

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