Reader’s Digest Trust Poll: The 100 Most Trusted People in America

Reader's Digest teamed up with research firm The Wagner Group to poll over 1,000 Americans and discover which individuals and the ideals they represent have earned our confidence. Here, the surprising winners, paired with one of their inspiring quotes.

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1. Tom Hanks, actor

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"But look, I was born in 1956, the peak year for births in US history. I think I'm very representative of many of the thought processes my generation have been through and, by and large, people of my age have had their imprint planted on the consciousness of western society for a long time."

Quotes Sources: Reader's Digest,,,,,,,,,,,, The Guardian, "A Hand to Guide Me" by Denzel Washington,, New York Times, Federal News Service, The Telegraph, "Business @ The Speed of Thought" by Bill Gates, The Times Colonist, Africa News, Hollywood Reporter,,, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School commencement speech, Los Angeles Times, Michigan Daily, Buffalo News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Canwest News Service, Pacific Free Press, University of Maryland press office, "Quiet Strength" by Tony Dungy, Chicago Daily Herald, AP, Harper's Bazaar, Judge Judy, "Medical Myths That Can Kill You" by Nancy Snyderman, Redbook, "It Worked For Me" by Colin Powell,,,, "Best Advice I Ever Got" by Katie Couric, Stanford Daily, Judge Joe Brown, "Through His Eyes" by Tim Tebow, "America's Supreme Court: Making Democracy Work" by Steven Breyer, Rolling Stone, "Tell Me the Truth, Doctor" by Richard Besser, speech at American Bar Association, Sunday Business Post,,,, "My Beloved World" by Sonia Sotoyor, @TheRock on Twitter, Parade, Vanity Fair, CNN/Time, Agence France Press, "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" by Christiane Northrup, NPR,,, Washington Post, Obama's 2008 address to the DNC in Denver, speech at Chapman Law School, "Unto the Hills" by Billy Graham, "Condi: The Life of a Steel Magnolia" by Condoleeza Rice, Newhouse News Service, Warren Buffet's 2011 Annual Letter,, speech at Golden Rasberry Awards, Justice Kagan's congressional confirmation hearing, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Faust speech at Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. 

2. Sandra Bullock, actor

John Shearer/WireImage

"I've made mistakes, and I know why I made them, but I made that choice. Nobody's ever made a choice for me."

3. Denzel Washington, actor

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

"At the end of the day, it's not about what you have or even what you've accomplished. It's about what you've done with those accomplishments. Its about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It's about what you've given back."

4. Meryl Streep, actor

Jude Domski/WireImage

"I have always regarded myself as the pillar of my life."

5. Maya Angelou, American studies professor

Jemal Countess/WireImage

"A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."

6. Steven Spielberg, director

Steve Granitz/WireImage

"I dream for a living."

7. Bill Gates, Microsoft cofounder

Paul Morigi/Getty Images

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."

8. Alex Trebek, host, Jeopardy!

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ATI

"I’m curious about everything—even things that don’t interest me."

9. Melinda Gates, co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Mathew Imaging/WireImage

"Our desire to bring every good thing to our children is a force for good throughout the world. It’s what propels socieites forward."

10. Julia Roberts, actor

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

"You can be true to the character all you want but you've got to go home with yourself."

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