I can't really answer that, I guess I don't read enough to have a big enough selection! All writers have their good and bad work, so it's unfair to admire some more than other, in my opinion.
My favorite writers are actually unknown to me. By that I mean my favorite writers are investigative journalists that get published in Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, those kinds of mags, and I never bother to look at their names. I know that's a shitty thing, and I should be ashamed of myself. In fact, now that I've put it out there I guess I should make a real effort to start looking at names. Well, one writer's name I guess I do know because he's published a book of his stories that have appeared those and other magazines. That's Mike Sager and his book Scary Monsters and Super Freaks is one that I read and re-read often.
As for well-known writers I love Capote, Bukowski, and Hunter. I quite like Dorothy Parker. A couple of my favorite stories about writers are the films 84 Charring Cross Road, Before Night Falls, The Basketball Diaries, Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle, Love Song for Bobby Long, Running with Scissors, and if you ignore the murder-aspect of it...Heavenly Creatures. Oh and of course Barfly. Also, though it's fictional, I love the story of The Hours. I'm also a big listener of song lyrics. I've always loved the eloquence of Ronnie James Dio - the heavy metal elfin. I really love the writing and singing of Neko Case, Johnette Napolitano, Elliot Smith, Lucinda Williams. And more that I can't think of right now.
I did not read enough well known writers to answer this. I'm more interested in how people work. I was touched by the story of Stephen King and JK Rowling, how they started t write. Not so long ago I discoverd Shel Silverstein, a genius!
Colette, Hermann Hesse, Louise Erdrich, Robert Conley.
David Lodge, Sue Townsend, Nick Hornby, David Sedaris, Thomas Hardy, J K Rowling.
hemingway, fonte, wharton, steinbeck
"Admire" is to strong, "appreciate" is more accurate.
Jane Austen, Thich Nhat Hanh, John Updike, Dali Lama, Garcia Lorca, Peter Straub, Stephen King
I admire all of them. The only authors I have ever read and never got "in to" were Stephen King and Danielle Steel.
Some of my favorites are:
William Shakespeare: The greatest poet EVER!
Jude Devereaux..she is a Goddess with the written word!
Stephenie Meyers...Ahhh, what would I do without the Twilight Saga
Joey W. Hill
the list could go on and on forever!
Wilbur Smith for his vivid novels of Africa and ancient Egypt.
Alistair Maclean for his plots.
Douglas Reeman for his Navy tales of WW2.
Dale Brown for his excellent techno thrillers and his depth of knowledge on the subject.
Dr. Andrew Weil
Dr. Nicholas Perricone
Tolstoy, Gogol, Aksakov, Dostoyevsky, Shokolov, Gorky, Bulgakov, Paustovsky, Ivo Andric.
Balzac, Anthony Trollope, Arnold Bennett, Wilkie Collins, John Galsworthy, Rider Haggard, L.M. Montgomery.
Historians: Alain Corbin, Robert Darnton, Le Roy Ladurie, Orlando Figes.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, J. R. R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, ...
Nicholson Baker, John Grisham, James Fallows, Naomi Klein, Carson McCullers, Simon Shama,
There are too many to name. But my favourite poet is undeniably William Blake, followed by Dante Alighieri, James Joyce, Antonin Artaud and Allen Ginsberg...