Here is a list of the 12 great men of the world in my lifetime.
Mohandas Gandhi: He not only embraced non-violence in the struggle for justice and human dignity, he promoted it and influenced others.
Mao Tse-Tung: He brought discipline to the Chinese people which has made China the economic giant it is.
Winston Churchill: He stood with and for the British people to defeat the German war machine.
Ayatolla Khomeini: He stayed in Europe and organized the Iranian people to remove the Shah and bring dignity to the Iranian people.
Martin Luther King: He not only led the struggle to bring justice and dignity to the black people of America but gave all oppressed people all over the world hope.
Che Guevara: He sowed the seed to make way for men like Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, etc, to bring democracy and better living conditions to the poor and oppressed people of Latin America.
General Giap: He led the Vietnamese people to defeat the most powerful nations of the world.
Fidel Castro: He led the Cuban people with pride to self-sufficiency in the face of over four decades of a crippling blocade.
Hugo Chávez: He is the radiant light of South and Latin America.
Lula: He is the saviour of Brazil.
Jimmy Carter: With others at the Carter Center he was able to influence democratic change in places where the people felt democracy was not possible.
Nelson Mandela: He is the statesman of Africa who bears neither hate nor malice.
Time will tell if Obama will join this list or follow in the footsteps of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.