At a lifelong level, Buddha and Gandhi.
As a living role model, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
As a role model from a tradition not my own, Nityananada.
In business and Western society, the late Stephen R. Covey (check out my memorial hub).
In martial arts, O-Sensei, Yamaoka Tesshu, and Ip Man.
In thinking about the mind, Joseph Chilton Pearce and the HeartMath Institute. In popularizing that information, Daniel Goleman.
In writing novels - so many, but I'll begin with J. R. R. Tolkien.
In living truth deeply and developing ideas that we can all use, Carl Jung.
My father doesn't believe in role models, but clearly, I do. I don't try to emulate these people. But I do use them to remind myself of what we are all capable of, and of what I want to do every day.