The Gallup poll was conducted between Dec. 2-15 and posed open-ended questions on which living men and women participants most admire.
Both Trump and Obama received 18 percent, while 11 percent of participants chose someone they know and 25 percent did not pick anyone.
This is the first time Trump has landed atop the list, and the record-tying 12th time for Obama, who now matches former President Dwight Eisenhower's mark.
Others in this year's top 10 were former President Jimmy Carter, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Pope Francis, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, and Warren Buffett. None of them received more than 2 percent. This was Carter's 29th time in the top 10, second among presidents to only Ronald Reagan, who has 31 top 10 appearances.
The poll used a sample of 1,025 people from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., ages 18 and above, and was conducted over the phone.
The 2019 voting was mainly along party lines, but not entirely, as 2 percent of those identifying as Democrats chose Trump and 3 percent of Republicans chose Obama. Independents were closely split with 12 percent for Obama and 10 percent for Trump.
Michelle Obama had the top spot for women, with 10 percent choosing her. First lady Melania Trump finished second with 5 percent.
Others in the top 10 were Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, Queen Elizabeth II, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley. The president's daughter Ivanka Trump was chosen by 1 percent of those polled.