One should be very careful about choosing role models. Just because they are cool onscreen, onstage or on the field doesn't mean they should be idolized. Do you know how many people considered OJ Simpson a role model? Or Michael Jackson? Or Lindsay Lohan? The joke's on them now. Role models should be people that you know or have at least researched beyond their public personas.
That being said, I look up to the following people, knowing that they are the types that I can respect and most likely approach on the street: Tim Mcillrath, Damien Echols, and Stanislov Petrov.