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Lincoln, Gandhi, Mandela are my heroes, says Obama

world Updated: Jul 06, 2009 11:32 IST

Seen as an icon by millions of people across the world, US President Barack Obama sees Mahatma Gandhi as his role model, apart from Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela.

The charismatic Obama, who won the presidency last year becoming the first Afro-American to achieve the honour, revealed his list of heroes during an interview with Itar-Tass/Rossiya TV - the first to a Russian media outlet after becoming US President.

"Internationally -- Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi. I always am interested in leaders who are able to bring about transformative change without resort to violence, but rather changing people's minds and people's hearts," Obama said when asked who were his heroes.

Obama also reiterated his love for former President Lincoln, who lead the country at the time of the Civil War.

"Lincoln is the President who I find most compelling because not only did he deal with probably the biggest crisis in American history, the Civil War, but he also did so in a way that was full of understanding of humanity," he said.

"And his willingness to... understand other people, from slaves to slave owners, and try to hold people together even when we were in the midst of war I think is extraordinary," Obama said.

In an interview to the Outlook magazine last year Obama had said that he is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.