Hero: any person admired for courage, nobility, or exploits, esp. in war ... any person admired for qualities or achievements and regarded as an ideal or model. -Webster's New World College Dictionary (4th ed. 1999)
A decade ago, I was teaching a law course called "Celebrated American Trials of the 20th Century" at a local university. On a snowy February evening in 2003 the topic for my class of 30 students was the infamous Lindbergh kidnapping case of 1935. Not surprisingly, the topic of heroes came up.