Obama topped a new Harris interactive poll that asked 2,634 Americans who they admire enough to call a hero.
Jesus came in second on a list that includes God, Mahtma Gandhi and George Washington.
Other historic or notable figures making the top 10 were Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, John McCain, John F. Kennedy, U.S. Airways pilot Chesley Sullenberger and Mother Teresa.
Participants named the heroes randomly instead of being shown or read a list of people to choose from. The poll was conducted online between January 12 and 19, 2009.
God ranked 11th, between Mother Teresa and Hillary Clinton.
Of the multiple reasons participants gave to explain their choices of heroes, the ones most cited is, "Doing what's right regardless of personal consequences" with 89 percent, "Not giving up until the goal is accomplished" with 83 percent and "Doing more than what other people expect of them," with 82 percent. Also popular were "Overcoming adversity" and "Staying level-headed in a crisis."
In the first Harris Poll asking this question in 2001, Jesus came in first, followed by the Rev. King, Powell, John F. Kennedy and Mother Teresea.
Obama joked last year at a roast that contrary to rumors, he was not born in a manger but on the planet Krypton. Apparently, Obama is even more popular than Superman, who didn't make the cut.