As a kid, my heroes were athletes. (My fave was Thurman Munson, the working class catcher for the yankees. He was a hero for the simple reason that he managed to occasionally hit .300 in an otherwise lousy team. Now, in hindsight that doesnt seem like that good a reason for him to be a hero!
As an adult, I've been lucky enough to work for a few extroardinary people. One of them was named Harris Wofford. He was an advisor to Martin Luther King, JFK and then a senator from Pennsylvania. Even though he'd been around some very hardball politicians, he never lost his sense of idealism and had an uncanny ability to keep his eye on the what was most important. he would get beat up by oponents and would always somehow manage to not sink into depression or anger or vengeance. His ability to keep focused on what's truly important in life was truly inspiring