From Barack Obama to Santa Claus: Male role models to look up to

From Barack Obama to Santa Claus: Male role models to look up to

To welcome Brovember, where we celebrate all things masculine, Team YP reveals their 'top man'; the one who inspires them the most

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U.S. President Barack Obama is one heck of a guy to look up to.
Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Robin Williams

He was the Genie, Mrs Doubtfire, Patch Adams … and so many other characters who brought to life some of the greatest human virtues.

Through his movies I was inspired to be more ambitious, fearless, considerate and grateful. His life and work taught us so much, and his tragic death highlighted a very serious and important issue that should not be forgotten.

Heidi Yeung, Web Sub-editor


Photo: EPA

Stephen King

I think author Stephen King is pretty inspiring. He might not have changed the world, but his story is good motivation for us ordinary people who won't ever be politicians or world leaders.

He lived in a trailer home with his wife and had to work two jobs to support his family. He really wanted to be a writer, but he kept getting rejected. He didn't give up though. He received more than 60 rejection letters. Even his now best-selling book, Carrie, only sold for US$35. Soon after though, the book was signed to another publisher and King finally started making money as a writer - and has since become world famous. So the lesson is: don't give up on your dreams!

Lucy Christie, Sub-editor


Nikolai Tesla

If I can't choose my dad (great guy, really) I would choose Nikolai Tesla.

Back in the late 1800s, electricity was still pretty new, and it was all direct current. The problem is, you can't send electricity very far with DC, but tycoons like Thomas Edison didn't care, as long as they were making money.

Then Tesla came along and invented Alternating Current (AC) - the same electrical system we use today. Along the way, he invented the radio (although Marconi stole it), radar, sonar, the remote control, and tonnes of other great stuff. Unlike Steve Jobs, Tesla actually invented this stuff, the ideas and the nuts and bolts of it. Also unlike Jobs, Tesla didn't do it for the money - he did it for science - and he died penniless and alone, instead of as a scientific celebrity.

Sam Gusway, Sub-editor


Photo: Washington Post

Santa Claus, North Pole politician

Yes, you read that right. Father C has turned his hand to politics. Claus, 68, recently won a city council seat in the town of North Pole, Alaska. He's a big guy, with a long, fuzzy, white beard and he's here to campaign for children's rights and more laws that benefit young people.

Born Tom O'Connor, Claus changed his name 10 years ago before moving to North Pole. He calls up lawmakers, badgers them about child welfare issues or local pollution problems, gets the media involved, and then change begins to happen.

This man, whoever he really is, reminds us that selfless acts always beat selfish actions.

Lauren James, Sub-editor


Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Photo: EPA

Men in the public eye

Barack Obama, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Legend, and any other man in the public eye who often tell people their support for gender equality and acknowledge that improving women's rights (something we shouldn't have to even SAY in 2015) makes life better for EVERYONE. Literally not rocket science.

Karly Cox, Deputy Editor


Otto von Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck

The first chancellor of Germany, von Bismarck - rather than trying to fix too many problems - focused on uniting Germany into one country in the late 1800s. His approach inspires me to set achievable targets, rather than try to do everything. He had to juggle a lot of complex politics, and still managed to succeed, and this motivates me to think positively yet realistically when I'm in tough situations.

Ben Pang, Reporter



Angelina Jolie (left) and Louis Zamperini
Photo: Universal Pictures

Louis Zamperini

Louis Zamperini, whose life is highlighted in the movie Unbroken, serves as a great example of a man who refuses to be conquered. He went from bullied youngster to Olympic athlete and beyond.

Zamperini was in the US Airforce during the second world war. His plane crashed into the ocean where he survived for 47 days on a life raft with two other crew members. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese where he was singled out by a camp officer for special torment.

After he was rescued, he suffered nightmares, but ultimately forgave his abuser.

Susan Ramsay, Editor

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Who are the greatest guys?

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