Miscellaneous Political Leaders
An assortment of rulers, representatives, and other leaders from around the world.
Abu Bakr (born 573, died 634)
Muhammad's father-in-law and chosen successor.
- The first caliph, 632-634
Adolf Hitler (born 1889, died 1945)
Leader of Germany in World War II. Ordered the extermination of Jews and other ''undesirables'' in concentration camps.
- German dictator and founder of Naziism
Akbar (born 1542, died 1605)
Hereditary emperor of Hindustan who conquered and annexed other kingdoms, eventually ruling all of northern India.
- Mogul emperor of India, 1556-1605
Albert Gallatin (born 1761, died 1849)
American financier and political leader.
- U.S. Representative, 1795-1801; secretary of the treasury, 1801-1814; minister to France and Great Britain
Alcide De Gasperi
- Italian prime minister
Aleksandr Kerenski (born 1881, died 1970)
Russian revolutionary leader.
- Served Russia''s first revolutionary government as minister of justice, minister of war, and prime minister (all in 1917); overthrown by the Bolsheviks
Alexander Hamilton (born 1757, died 1804)
American lawyer and statesman. Mortally wounded in a duel with political opponent Aaron Burr.
- First U.S. treasury secretary, 1789-95
- President of the U.S.S.R., 1964-65
Andrea Doria (born 1468, died 1560)
Genoese naval leader and statesman.
- Called ''''the Father of Peace'''' in Italy; defeated the Turks and conquered Tunis
Aneurin Bevan (born 1897, died 1960)
- As minister of health (1945-51), established the National Health System
Anwar el-Sadat (born 1918, died 1981)
Egyptian statesman. Signed the Camp David Accords with Menachem Begin of Israel.
- President of Egypt, 1970-81; assassinated
Arthur J. Balfour (born 1848, died 1930)
British philosopher and statesman. In 1917, while serving as foreign minister, issued the Balfour Declaration, stating British support for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.
- British prime minister, 1902-05
Atahualpa (died 1533)
Last Incan ruler. Pizarro condemned him to death for refusing to become a Christian.
- King of Peru, 1525-33
Benito Mussolini (born 1883, died 1945)
Italian fascist dictator who joined with Hitler's Germany against the Allies in World War II.
- Ruler of Italy, 1922-43
Benito Juarez (born 1806, died 1872)
Mexican statesman and military leader. Led the revolution against Santa Anna, Maximilian, and the French.
- President of Mexico, 1857-72
Benjamin Franklin (born 1706, died 1790)
American statesman, scientist, publisher, and philosopher.
- Member of the Constitutional Convention; U.S. representative in negotiations with the British and French
Benjamin Disraeli (born 1804, died 1881)
British statesman and novelist of Jewish descent.
- British prime minister, 1868, 1874-80
Camillo Benso di Cavour (born 1810, died 1861)
- Premier of Piedmont, 1852-59, 1860-61; unified Italy
Armand Jean du Plessis Cardinal de Richelieu (born 1585, died 1642)
French cleric and political figure.
- Chief minister to King Louis XIII of France
Carlo Sforza (born 1873, died 1952)
- Leader of the anti-fascist opposition in Italy
Cecil Rhodes (born 1853, died 1902)
British financier and statesman. Rhodesia and the Rhodes scholarships (which he endowed) are named for him.
- Represented British imperial interests in South Africa
Cesare Borgia (died 1507)
Son of Pope Alexander IV; brother of Lucretia Borgia.
- Ruthless general and ruler of various territories given to him by his father
Chaim Weizmann (born 1874, died 1952)
Russian-born scientist, scholar, and Zionist leader.
- First president of Israel, 1949-51
Charles DeGaulle (born 1890, died 1970)
French military leader and statesman.
- Head of the Free French during World War II; president of the Fifth Republic, 1959-69
Charles Pinckney (born 1757, died 1824)
American legislator and diplomat.
- Wrote an early draft of the U.S. Constitution
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (born 1754, died 1838)
French statesman and excommunicated bishop.
- Served under both Napoleon and Louis XVIII; involved in Revolution of 1830
Charles Stewart Parnell (born 1846, died 1891)
Irish nationalist leader.
- Had significant success in obstructing British policies, until a revelation of adultery cost him popular and parliamentary support
Che (Ernesto) Guevara (born 1928, died 1967)
Argentine physician and revolutionary.
- Played a prominent role in the Cuban revolution
Chiang Kai-shek (born 1887, died 1975)
Chinese Nationalist leader who set up an independent government in Taiwan after the communists took control of mainland China.
- President of China, 1928-31 and 1943-49; president of Taiwan, 1950-75
Cosimo de' Medici (born 1389, died 1464)
Florentine banker, statesman, and patron of the arts.
- Ruler of the Florentine Republic
Dag Hammarskjöld (born 1905, died 1961)
Swedish economist and diplomat.
- U.N. secretary general, 1953-61
Irish nationalist leader known as ''the Liberator.''
- Founded the Catholic Association; member of parliament, 1828; Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1841
Daniel Webster (born 1782, died 1852)
American lawyer, statesman, and orator.
- Whig candidate for president in 1852
David Lloyd George (born 1863, died 1945)
British statesman of Welsh descent.
- British prime minister, 1916-22
David Ben-Gurion (born 1886, died 1973)
Poland-born Israeli statesman.
- First prime minister of Israel, serving 1949-53 and 1955-63
American lawyer and statesman.
- Peace party candidate for President in 1812
Eamon de Valera
Irish nationalist leader. American-born child of an Irish mother and a Spanish father.
- President of Sinn Fein, 1917-26; prime minister of Ireland through much of the 1940s and 1950s; became President in 1959
Edmund Jennings Randolph (born 1753, died 1813)
American statesman. Refused to sign the Constitution because he did not think it was adequately republican.
- Governor of Virginia, 1786-88; U.S. attorney general, 1789-94; secretary of state, 1794-95
Edmund Burke (born 1729, died 1797)
British statesman, orator and writer.
- championed free trade with Ireland and Catholic emancipation; denounced the use of Indians in the American war
Boris Yeltsin (born 1931)
Russian statesman who continued the democratic reform of the Soviet system begun by Mikhail Gorbachev.
- President of Russia, 1991-1991
Saddam Hussein (born 1937)
Iraqi leader. His invasion of Kuwait in 1990 led to the Persian Gulf War.
- President of Iraq since 1979
Jomo Kenyatta (born 1891, died 1978)
Kenyan revolutionary leader and statesman. Original name: Kamau Ngengi.
- First president of Kenya, 1964
Moammar Khadafy (born 1942)
Libyan who led an anti-monarchist coup in 1969. As ruler of Libya, accused of supporting terrorism.
- President of Libya since 1977
Eisaku Sato (born 1901, died 1975)
Japanese statesman and proponent of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
- Prime minister of Japan, 1964-72
Emiliano Zapata (died 1919)
- Led his own revolutionary movement independent of other movements of the time, 1911-16
Emilio Aguinaldo (born 1869, died 1964)
- Led insurrections against the Spanish and the Americans
Engelbert Dollfuss (born 1892, died 1934)
- Proclaimed himself dictator of Austria in an attempt to put down Naziism and preserve Austrian independence, but was assassinated by Austrian Nazis
Mohammed Riza Pahlevi (born 1919, died 1980)
The last shah of Iran. Overthrown by the Ayatollah Khomeni.
- Shah of Iran, 1941-79
Riza Pahlevi (born 1877, died 1944)
The founder of modern Iran.
- Shah of Iran, 1925-41
Francisco Franco (born 1892, died 1975)
Spanish military leader and dictator.
- Assumed supreme power in Spain at the end of the Spanish Civil War, 1939
Frederick North (born 1732, died 1792)
- British prime minister whose policies helped bring on the American Revolution
Frederick the Great (born 1712, died 1786)
King of Prussia, 1740-86. Highly skilled as an administrator and writer, as well as a military leader.
- Provoked both the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years'' War
Friedrich Ebert (born 1871, died 1925)
German social-democratic leader.
- First president of the German Reich, 1919-25
Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (born 1901, died 1973)
Cuban military and political leader.
- Cuban dictator overthrown by Castro in 1958
Jean-Claude ''Baby Doc'' Duvalier (born 1951)
Made ''president for life'' by his father, Papa Doc; overthrown by a coup and exiled.
- President of Haiti, 1970-86
Gamal Abdel Nasser (born 1918, died 1970)
Egyptian statesman and military leader. A key proponent of Arab unification.
- President of Egypt, 1956-58
Genghis Khan (born 1162, died 1227)
- Legendary general who invaded and subdued northern China, Korea, northern India, Iran, and Iraq
Georges Clemenceau (born 1841, died 1929)
- Premier of France, 1906-09, 1917
Manuel Noriega (born 1934)
Panamanian leader. Overthrown by a U.S. invasion in 1989.
- Leader of the Panamanian army, and virtual dictator, 1983-89
Georges Danton (born 1759, died 1794)
- Leader of the Jacobins; like many early leaders of the Revolution, he was guillotined during the Reign of Terror
Idi Amin (born 1925)
Ugandan political leader known for his ruthlessness and cruelty.
- President of Uganda, 1971-80
Georgios Papandreou (born 1888, died 1968)
- Organized the Greek Democratic Socialist Party; prime minister, 1944-45
Giuseppe Garibaldi (born 1807, died 1882)
- Involved in numerous attempted revolutions in the mid-19th century
Giuseppe Mazzini (born 1805, died 1872)
- Organized Young Italy, a secret society dedicated to republican principles and the unification of Italy
- U.N. secretary-general, 1992-96
Gouverneur Morris (born 1752, died 1816)
American statesman and diplomat.
- Member of the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention; minister to France during the French Revolution
Mao Zedong (or Tse-Tung) (born 1893, died 1976)
Peasant-born communist leader who founded the People's Republic of China.
- Led China, 1949-76
Haile Selassie (Ras Tafari) (born 1891, died 1975)
Emperor of Ethiopia.
- Ruled Ethiopia 1930-36; driven out by an Italian invasion; restored to throne in 1941; deposed in 1974
Rajiv Gandhi (born 1944, died 1991)
Indian statesman. Became prime minister after the assassination of his mother, Indira Gandhi; was himself assassinated in 1991.
- Prime minister of India, 1984-89
Fidel Castro (born 1926)
Cuban who led the communist coup that overthrew the Batista regime.
- Premier of Cuba since 1959
Charles the Great (born 742, died 814)
King of the Franks who conquered much of western Europe. Also known as Charlemagne or Carolus Magnus.
- King of the Franks, 768-814; crowned emperor by the pope in 800
Heinrich Himmler (born 1900, died 1945)
German Nazi official. Committed suicide to escape prosecution for war crimes.
- Leader of the SS and the Gestapo
Suleiman the Magnificent (died 1566)
Turkish leader who organized and reformed the government, expanded his territory, and supported the arts and sciences.
- Sultan of Turkey, 1520-66
Henri Philippe Pétain (born 1856, died 1951)
French general and politician.
- Headed the Vichy government in WWII; sentenced to life imprisonment for collaboration with the Nazis
Henry Clay (born 1777, died 1852)
American statesman. Served as a U.S. senator and representative from Kentucky; ran for President in 1932 and 1944.
- Fought hard to keep America from civil war
Henry Cabot Lodge (born 1850, died 1924)
American legislator and historian.
- As a senator, vigorously opposed U.S. involvement in the League of Nations
Hideki Tojo (born 1885, died 1948)
Japanese military leader and statesman. Hanged as a war criminal after World War II.
- Japanese prime minister, 1941-44
Hirohito (born 1901, died 1989)
Japan's longest-reigning emperor.
- Emperor of Japan, 1926-89
Ho Chi Minh (born 1890, died 1969)
Vietnamese communist leader.
- President of North Vietnam, 1954-69
Huey Pierce Long (born 1893, died 1935)
American politician whose career was cut short by assassination.
- Governor of Louisiana, 1928-31; U.S. senator, 1931-35
Abdul-Aziz ibn-Saud (born 1880, died 1953)
Founder of Saudi Arabia.
- King of Saudi Arabia, 1932-53
Jawaharlal Nehru (born 1889, died 1964)
Indian nationalist leader. Father of Indira Gandhi.
- First prime minister of India, serving 1950-66
Jean Paul Marat (born 1743, died 1793)
French revolutionary who escaped the guillotine only to be assassinated in his bathtub.
- A leader of the Jacobins in their overthrow of the Girondists
Jefferson Davis (born 1808, died 1889)
- President of the Confederate States of America, 1861-65
John C. Calhoun (born 1782, died 1850)
- Champion of states'' rights, slavery, and the southern cause
Josef Stalin (born 1879, died 1953)
Soviet dictator who built the U.S.S.R. into a major power. Original name: Iosef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili.
- Ruler of the Soviet Union, 1927-53
Joseph R. McCarthy (born 1908, died 1957)
American legislator who led congressional investigations into alleged communist conspiracies.
- U.S. senator from Wisconsin, 1947-57
Josip Broz (Tito) (born 1892, died 1980)
Yugoslavian communist leader.
- President of Yugoslavia, 1953-80
Juan Perón (born 1895, died 1974)
Argentine military and political leader.
- President of Argentina, 1946-55 and 1973-74
Jules Cardinal Mazarin
French statesman and church official.
- Prime minister of France under Louis XIII and during the early years of Louis XIV''s reign.
Kamehameha I (died 1819)
First ruler of all the Hawaiian islands.
- King of Hawaii, 1795-1819
Kemal Atatürk (born 1923, died 1938)
Turkish military leader and statesman. Original name: Mustafa Kemal.
- First president of the Turkish Republic, 1923-38
Kim Il Sung
Founder of North Korea.
- Head of state from North Korea''s establishment in 1948; named president in 1972
Klemens W.N.L. Metternich (born 1773, died 1859)
Austrian statesman and diplomat, largely responsible for political stability in Europe between 1815 and 1830.
- Prince of the Austrian Empire, 1813-48
Konrad Adenauer (born 1876, died 1967)
German lawyer and statesman. First chancellor of West Germany.
- Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1949-63
Kublai Khan (born 1216, died 1294)
Founder of the Mongol dynasty in China. Grandson of Genghis Khan. Visited by Marco Polo.
- Emperor of China, 1280-1294
Kwame Nkrumah (born 1909, died 1972)
Ghanaian statesman and proponent of African cooperation.
- Prime minister of Ghana, 1957-60; president, 1960-66
Lavrenti Beria (born 1899, died 1953)
Soviet official under Stalin; notoriously ruthless.
- Soviet commissar for internal affairs
Leon Trotsky (born 1879, died 1940)
Russian communist leader who spent much of his life in exile and was finally murdered in Mexico.
- Though a close associate of Lenin, he was defeated by Stalin in the power struggle that followed Lenin''s death
Leonid Brezhnev (born 1906, died 1982)
Russian communist leader.
- Leader of the Soviet Union, 1966-82
Lester B. Pearson (born 1897, died 1972)
Canadian statesman and diplomat who mediated the 1956 Suez crisis.
- Prime minister of Canada, 1963-68
Liu Shaoqi (born 1898, died 1974)
- Secretary-general of the communist party, 1943-54; chairman of the People''s Republic of China, 1959-69
William Maxwell Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook (born 1879, died 1964)
Canadian-born British newspaper publisher, statesman, and political writer.
- Served the Canadian government in World War I, and the British government in World War II
Lorenzo de' Medici (born 1449, died 1492)
Florentine statesman known as ''Lorenzo the Magnificent.'' An important patron of the arts during the Italian Renaissance.
- Ruled the city-state of Florence from 1478 to 1492
Makarios III (born 1913, died 1977)
Cypriot archbishop and statesman.
- First president of the Republic of Cyprus, 1959-77
Maximilien Robespierre (born 1758, died 1794)
A leading figure of the French Revolution.
- Responsible for the Reign of Terror, the bloodiest phase of the Revolution; was himself overthrown and guillotined
Menachem Begin (born 1913, died 1992)
Israeli statesman. Signed the Camp David Accords with Anwar Sadat of Egypt in 1978.
- Israeli prime minister, 1977-83
Mikhail S. Gorbachev (born 1931)
Last leader of the U.S.S.R., who began democratic reforms and ended the Cold War with the NATO powers.
- General secretary of the Communist Party, 1985-91
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (born 1918)
South African political leader. Head of the African National Congress; imprisoned 1964-90 for his anti-apartheid activities. Became the first black president of South Africa 1994-99.
- President of South Africa, 1994-1999
Neville Chamberlain (born 1869, died 1949)
British statesman notorious for claiming to have secured peace by his pre-war concessions to Hitler.
- British prime minister, 1937-40
Nicolae Ceausescu (born 1918, died 1989)
Rumanian hard-line communist leader. Overthrown at the end of the Cold War, he was executed by a firing squad.
- Leader of Rumania, 1974-89
Nikita Khrushchev (born 1894, died 1971)
Soviet leader who presided over the post-Stalin ''thaw.''
- Premier of the U.S.S.R., 1958-64
Otto von Bismarck (died 1898)
German statesman. Known as ''the Iron Chancellor.''
- First chancellor of the German Empire, 1871-90
Palmiro Togliatti (born 1893, died 1964)
Italian communist leader.
- Founder of the Italian Communist Party
Patrick Henry (born 1736, died 1799)
American patriot who spoke the famous line ''Give me liberty or give me death.''
- Played a central role in the American Revolution, but never served in the U.S. government, refusing several political appointments
Belgian statesman and diplomat.
- First president of the UN general assembly, 1946; secretary general of NATO, 1957-61
Paul von Hindenburg (born 1847, died 1934)
German field marshal and political leader.
- Defeated Adolph Hitler in the 1932 presidential election, but was forced to appoint him chancellor in 1933
Pierre Joseph Proudhon (born 1809, died 1865)
French journalist and politician.
- Regarded as the father of anarchism
Rafael L. Trujillo Molina (born 1891, died 1961)
- President of the Dominican Republic, 1930-38, 1942-52
(James) Ramsay MacDonald (born 1866, died 1937)
British statesman and author of Scottish descent. Wrote several books on socialism.
- First Labour Party prime minister of Great Britain, 1924, 1929-35
Raymond Poincaré (born 1860, died 1934)
- President of the French Republic, 1913-20; prime minister 1912-13, 1922-24 and 1926-29
Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh (born 1769, died 1822)
British statesman. The stress of his active political life eventually led him to commit suicide.
- British foreign secretary, 1812-22; played an important role in the Napoleonic Wars and the ensuing settlements
Robert Peel (born 1788, died 1850)
British statesman who spearheaded monetary and social reforms in the first half of the 19th century.
- British prime minister, 1834-35, 1841
Robert Walpole (born 1676, died 1745)
- Britain''s first prime minister, serving 1715-17, 1721
Robert Clive (born 1725, died 1774)
British military leader and statesman.
- A key figure in founding the empire of British India
Robert Francis Kennedy (born 1925, died 1968)
American lawyer, legislator, and government official. Assassinated while campaigning for the Presidency.
- U.S. attorney general under his brother, John F. Kennedy, 1961-64; U.S. senator, 1965-68
Salvador Allende (born 1908, died 1973)
Chilean socialist leader.
- President of Chile, 1970-73; overthrown by a coup
Samuel Adams (born 1722, died 1803)
American patriot and statesman.
- One of the instigators of the Boston Tea Party
Samuel Houston (born 1793, died 1863)
American military and political leader. Defeated Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto. First president of the Republic of Texas, and later governor of the state of Texas; removed from office for refusing to swear allegiance to the Confederacy.
- President of the Republic of Texas, 1836-38; governor of Texas, 1859-61
Stephen F. Austin (born 1793, died 1836)
Texas colonizer and patriot for whom the city of Austin is named.
- Head of government in the Texas colony, 1822-32; secretary of state for the Republic of Texas, 1836
Stephen A. Douglas (born 1813, died 1861)
- Best known for a series of debates on slavery with Abraham Lincoln
Achmed Sukarno (born 1901, died 1970)
- Dictatorial first president of Indonesia, 1945-67
Sun Yat-sen (born 1866, died 1925)
Chinese revolutionary and statesman.
- Regarded as the father of modern China
Syngman Rhee (born 1875, died 1965)
- First president of South Korea, 1948-60
Theodor Herzl (born 1860, died 1904)
Austrian journalist and Jewish activist.
- Founder of modern Zionism
Thomas E. Dewey (born 1902, died 1971)
American lawyer and politician. As a prosecutor and district attorney, fought organized crime. Narrowly defeated by Truman in the 1948 presidential election.
- Governor of New York, 1942-54
Thomas Joseph Mboya (born 1930, died 1969)
- Leader of the Kenya Independence Movement; assassinated
U Thant (born 1909, died 1974)
Burmese statesman and diplomat.
- UN secretary general, 1961-71
Nikolai Ilyich Lenin (born 1870, died 1924)
Russian communist leader. Original name: Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov.
- Led the Bolshevik Revolution; first premier of the Soviet Union, 1918-24
William Pitt, Jr. (born 1759, died 1806)
Perhaps England's greatest prime minister.
- British prime minister, 1783-1801, 1804-05
William Ewart Gladstone (born 1809, died 1898)
British legislator and statesman. An influential member of parliament throught much of queen Victoria's reign.
- British prime minister, 1868-74, 1880-85, 1886, 1892-94
William Pitt (born 1708, died 1778)
English statesman called ''the Great Commoner.''
- One of the most influential legislators of his day, though he was never officially prime minister
William Jennings Bryan (born 1860, died 1925)
American lawyer, statesman, and orator. Three-time candidate for President.
- A prosecuting attorney in the 1925 trial of John T. Scopes for teaching evolution
William H. Seward (born 1801, died 1872)
American statesman. A strong opponent of slavery.
- Best remembered for advocating purchase of ''''Seward''s Folly'''' (Alaska) while serving as secretary of state to Abraham Lincoln
William M. ''Boss'' Tweed (born 1823, died 1878)
Ran the Tweed Ring, a powerful New York political machine. Died while serving a jail sentence for corruption.
- New York state senator, 1867-71
Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (born 1874, died 1965)
British statesman, author and historian. Led the United Kingdom through much of World War II.
- British prime minister, 1940-45, 1951-55
Yasser Arafat (born 1929)
Palestinian patriot and politician who negotiated a peace agreement with Israel in 1993.
- Head of the Palestine Liberation Organization since 1969; president of the Palestinian Authority since 1996
Yitzhak Rabin (born 1922, died 1995)
Israeli statesman. Assassinated by a Jewish extremist because of his policy of negotiating with the Palestinians.
- Prime minister of Israel, 1992-95
Zhou Enlai (born 1898, died 1976)
Chinese communist leader.
- Chinese premier, 1949-76
Adlai E. Stevenson (born 1900, died 1965)
American lawyer and politician.
- Governor of Illinois, 1949-1953 who ran for President in 1952 and 1956
Salvatore Phillip ''Sonny'' Bono (born 1934, died 1998)
American singer, actor and politician. Former husband of singer and actress Cher.
- Elected mayor of Palm Springs, California, in 1988
Aristide Briand (born 1862, died 1932)
French journalist and statesman who worked for international cooperation and world peace.
- Prime minister of France, 1909-11, 1913, 1921-22, 1925-26, 1929; also played an important role as foreign minister
Oliver Cromwell (born 1599, died 1658)
British military, religious and political leader. Led the puritan forces to victory in the English Civil War, 1642-51. Executed King Charles I, but refused the crown, instead taking the title of Lord Protector.
- Ruler of England, 1653-58
Imre Nagy (born 1896, died 1958)
Hungarian communist leader.
- Premier of Hungary, 1953-55, 1956
Eleutherios Venizelos (born 1864, died 1936)
- Favored taking Greece into World War II on the side of the Allies, and did so after the pro-German king of Greece was forced out
Lajos Kossuth (born 1802, died 1894)
- Leader of the 1848 Hungarian rebellion against Soviet rule
Lech Walesa (born 1943)
Polish union organizer and statesman.
- Organized the Solidarity labor union in 1980; president of Poland, 1990-95
Ferdinand V (born 1452, died 1516)
Hereditary ruler of Aragon, who married Isabella of Castile to unite Spain.
- King of Spain, 1474-1504
Alexander the Great
Macedonian ruler who conquered much of the known world of his day.
- Ruled the largest western empire of the ancient world
Edward M. Kennedy (born 1932)
American legislator. Brother of Robert Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy.
- U.S. senator from Massachusetts, 1962-
Eden Pastora (born 1937)
Nicaraguan political leader.
- A hero of the 1979 revolution in Nicaragua
Maximilian (born 1832, died 1867)
Austrian archduke; brother of Austrian emperor Francis Joseph. Full name: Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph.
- Named emperor of Mexico in 1864 by French-backed Mexican exiles; forced to surrender to Mexican nationalists in 1867
Ivan III (born 1440, died 1505)
Russian ruler known as ''Ivan the Great.''
- Grand duke of Russia, 1462-1505; developed the first Russian code of law
Ivan IV (born 1530, died 1584)
First Russian ruler to formally use the title of Tsar. Known as ''Ivan the Terrible'' for his ruthlessness and temper.
- Leader of Russia, 1533-84
Chaka (born 1773, died 1828)
- Founder of the Zulu empire; became chief in 1816
Louis XIV (born 1638, died 1715)
France's most powerful and longest-ruling monarch. Known as ''the Sun King.''
- King of France, 1643-1715
Darius the Great
King of Persia, 522-486 B.C. Known for his grand construction projects.
- His invading army was soundly defeated by the Greeks at the battle of Marathon in 490 B.C.
Athenian general and statesman.
- Made Athens the preeminent political and cultural center of ancient Greece
Mohammed Ali Jinnah (born 1876, died 1948)
- Founded Pakistan, 1947
Juscelino Kubitschek (born 1902, died 1976)
President of Brazil, 1956-61.
- Built Brazil''s new capital, Brasilia
Kuan Yew Lee (born 1923)
- The world''s longest-serving prime minister, 1959-90
Hosni Mubarak (born 1928)
- President of Egypt, 1981-
Gaafar Mohammed al Nimeiry (born 1930)
- President of Sudan, 1971-85; overthrown by a coup
Umberto II (born 1904, died 1983)
King of Italy, 1946.
- Italy''s last king, he was deposed by Mussolini after ruling for less than a month
Ali (died 661)
Arabic warrior and ruler. Son-in-law of the prophet Mohammed.
- Caliph, 656-61
Kofi Abrefa Busia (born 1914, died 1978)
- Ghanaian prime minister
Kofi Annang (born 1938)
- Seventh secretary-general of the United Nations
Leopold Sedar Senghor (born 1906)
- First president of Senegal
Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe (born 1904, died 1996)
- First president of Nigeria
Ali Gaji (died 1503)
Islamic ruler of Kanem-Bornu, in central Africa.
- The most notable ruler of the Sefawa dynasty that reigned for more than 1,000 years
Sylvanus Epiphanio Olympio (born 1902, died 1963)
Statesman from Togo, West Africa.
- First president of the Republic of Togo
Alafin Abiodun (died 1789)
- The last important ruler of the Yoruba state of Oyo of present day Nigeria
Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola (born 1937, died 1998)
Nigerian multimillionaire businessman.
- Winner of the June 12 1993 presidential elections in Nigeria which the military government annulled
Salim Ahmed Salim (born 1942)
- Former prime minister of Tanzania
- Secretary-general of the Organization of African Unity
Sunni Ali (died 1492)
West African emperor.
- Founder of the Songhay Empire which at its height stretched from the Atlantic Ocean central Africa
Guadalupe Victoria (born 1786, died 1843)
Mexican soldier and statesman. Original name: Manuel Félix Fernández
- First president of the Mexican Republic, 1824-29
Ramiro de Maeztu (born 1875, died 1936)
Spanish journalist, political writer and statesman. Executed by the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War.
- Wrote La defensa de la hispanidad (''''In Defense of Spanishness'''')
Roderick (died 711)
Last Visigothic king of Spain. Killed in battle with Muslim invaders.
- King of Spain, 710-11
Rolando Bandinelli (died 1181)
Tuscan lawyer, diplomat and theologian who became Pope Alexander III in 1159.
- Led the Catholic church in its power struggles with Frederick Barbarossa
Alejandro Lerroux (born 1864, died 1949)
- Radical who served four short terms as prime minister of Spain, 1933-35
Alton Brooks Parker (born 1852, died 1926)
American jurist and politician.
- Democratic nominee for President in 1904
Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (born 1811, died 1888)
Argentine statesman and writer. Known for his promotion of education.
- President of Argentina, 1868-74
Gerardo Machado y Morales
- Popularly elected president in 1924, he became increasingly dictatorial and was forced into exile in 1933
Simón Bolívar (born 1783, died 1830)
South American revolutionary and statesman.
- Wrested Venezuela, Colombia and Peru from Spainish control
Toussaint L'Ouverture (died 1803)
Leader of a Haitian independence movement during the French Revolution.
- Freed the slaves and briefly ruled the country, but was later overthrown by the French and imprisoned
François Maurice Marie Mitterand (born 1916, died 1996)
- President of France, 1981-95
Fifteenth-century Onodoga chief.
- Legendary founder of the Iroquois Confederacy
Slobodan Milosevic (born 1941)
Serbian nationalist leader.
- President of Serbia in the early 1990s
Ante Pavelic (born 1889, died 1959)
Croatian fascist leader.
- Installed by Germany as President of the Independent State of Croatia during WWII
Pi'ilani the Great
- Twentieth king of the island of Maui
Serbian nationalist leader.
- President of the Bosnian Serb Republic during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia
Legendary Hindu ruler and diety.
- His story is told in the Ramayana
Kwassi Klutse (born 1945)
- Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo 1998-
Etienne Gnassingbe Eyadema (born 1937)
Togolese soldier and politician
- President of the Republic of Togo 1967-
Julius ''Mwalimu'' Kambarage Nyerere (born 1922, died 1999)
Tanzanian nationalist and politician
- Prime Minister (1961-1962); President of Tanganyika (1962-1964); President of United Republic of Tanzania (1964-1985; Chairman, Organisation of African Unity (1984-1985)
Vladimir Valdimirovich Putin (born 1952)
Russian KGB agent and politician
- Acting President of Russia, 2000-
Miscellaneous Political Leaders
An assortment of rulers, representatives, and other leaders from around the world.
Beatrice Webb (born 1858, died 1943)
- Along with her husband, Sidney James Webb, established a Socialist salon and provided intellectual leadership to the Labour party
Cleopatra VII (born -69, died -30)
Queen of Egypt; lover of both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony.
- Co-ruler of Egypt with her brother, Ptolemy XIII; patron of the arts and sciences
Wanda of Poland
Queen of Poland in the 8th century.
- Led her army in the fight to repel invaders
Queen of Syria.
- Third-century Palmyrian queen who led the fight against Roman invaders
Constance de Cezelli
- Defended her town against the Spanish in 1590 and was named governor by Henry IV
Margaret of Denmark (born 1353, died 1412)
Queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
- United Scandinavia under the Kalmar Union of 1397
- Sultana of Delhi, 1236-40
Catherine the Great (born 1729, died 1796)
German-born Empress of Russia, 1762-96.
- Forced the abdication of her unpopular husband, Peter III, and took control; made Russia a European power for the first time
Christina of Sweden (born 1626, died 1654)
Queen of Sweden, 1632-54.
- Abdicated in favor of her cousin, Charles X Gustavus; later made two unsuccessful attempts to regain the throne
Louise Michel (born 1830, died 1905)
French anarchist rebel.
- A leading figure of the 1870 siege of Paris and the Paris Commune
Nancy Ward (born 1738, died 1824)
- Woman warrior who sat on the Cherokee Council of Chiefs and acted as an ambassador and negotiator
- Ruler of Abyssinia in the 10th century
Anna Ivanovna (born 1693, died 1740)
Empress of Russia, 1730-40.
- Elected as a figurehead by the supreme council, but got rid of the council and took control
Queen of Ethiopia.
- Empress and general of Kushite Ethiopia who halted a Greek invasion in 332 B.C.
- Ruler of Antioch in the 12th century
- 19th century ruler of Asante
Agness de Dampierre
- 13th-century ruler of Bourbon
- Ruler of Judea in the 1st century B.C.
Alix of Vergy
- Ruler of Burgundy in the 13th century
Amina Sarauniya Zazzua (born 1533, died 1610)
Queen of Zazzua, a province of Negeria.
- A great warrior-queen, she expanded Zazzua to its largest size
Anne of Austria (born 1601, died 1666)
Queen regent of France, 1643-61.
- Ruled as regent for her son, Louis XIV
- Ruler of Norway in the 9th century
- Ruler of Tuscany in the 11th century
Beatrix de Bourgogne
- Ruler of Bourbon in the 13th century
Beatrix (born 1938)
Queen of the Netherlands since 1980.
- Daughter of Queen Juliana
Benazir Bhutto (born 1953)
Prime Minister of Pakistan, 1988-90, 1993-95.
- First woman to lead a Moslem nation in modern times
Berenice III and IV
- Rulers of Egypt in the 1st century B.C.
Betty Mae Jumper
Native American leader.
- Tribal Chairman of the Seminole and editor of the Seminole Tribune
- Ruler of Navarre in the 15th century
- Ruler of the northern Italian cities of Forli and Imola in the 15th century
Grand Duchess of Luxemburg, 1919-64.
- In 1919, her people voted 3-to-1 to accept her as their monarch rather than set up a republic
Christine of France
- Ruler of Savoy in the 17th century
- Ruler of Monaco in the 15th century
Queen of Syria in the 2nd century B.C.
- Co-ruled Mesopotamia with her son, and was later poisoned by him
Corazon Aquino (born 1932)
President of the Philippines, 1986-.
- Housewife who led a people''s revolution against dictator Ferdinand Marcos
Edith Cresson (born 1934)
First female premier of France.
- Premier of France, 1991-92
Elizabeth Petrovna (born 1709, died 1762)
Empress of Russia, 1741-62. Daughter of Peter the Great.
- Overthrew Anna Leopoldovna and took her place as regent for Ivan VI; founded the University of Moscow
Emma (born 1858, died 1934)
Queen of the Netherlands, 1879-90.
- Acted as regent for her daughter, Wilhelmina
Mary Eugenia Charles (born 1919)
Formed the Dominica Freedom Party after the Labour Party passed legislation to limit dissent.
- Prime minister of Dominica, 1980-95
Golda Meir (born 1898, died 1978)
Israeli stateswoman; one of the 25 signers of Israel's Proclamation of Independence.
- Prime minister of Israel, 1969-74
Hanna Suchocka (born 1946)
Poland's first female prime minister.
- Prime minister of Poland, 1992-93
- Ruler of the Byzantine Empire in the 10th century
Henriette de Cleves
- Ruler of Nevers in the 16th century
- Ruler of Lakhm in the 6th century
- Ruler of Boulogne in the 12th century
Indira Gandhi (born 1917, died 1984)
Prime minister of India, 1966-77, 1979-84. Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, and her son, Rajiv Gandhi, were also prime ministers.
- First woman to be elected prime minister of India; assassinated in 1984
- Ruler of the Byzantine Empire in the 8th century
Isabel Martinez de Peron (born 1931)
Argentine political leader.
- First female president of Argentina, 1974-76
Isabella I (born 1451, died 1504)
Queen of Spain, 1474-1504.
- Financed Columbus'' famous 1492 voyage
Isabella II (born 1830, died 1904)
Queen of Spain, 1833-68.
- Ruled over a country in political turmoil; abdicated in favor of her son, Alfonso XII
- Ruler of Poland in the 14th century
Jeanne d'Albret (born 1528, died 1572)
Mother of Henry IV of France.
- Queen of Navarre, 1562-72
Joanna I (born 1326, died 1382)
Queen of Naples, 1343-82.
- Had her first husband, Prince Andrew of Hungary, murdered
Joanna II (born 1371, died 1435)
Queen of Naples, 1414-35.
- Ruled during a time of great unrest
- Ruler of Belgium in the 13th century
Juana (born 1479, died 1555)
Queen of Spain, 1504-06. Daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella.
- Went insane when her husband, Philip I, died
- Ruler of southern Syria in the 1st century
Juliana (born 1909)
Queen of the Netherlands, 1948-80.
- Mother of Queen Beatrice
- Ruler of Portugal in the 14th century
- Ruler of China in the 2nd century
- Ruler of China in the 2nd century B.C.
- Ruler of Tuscany in the 13th century
- Ruler of Antioch in the 13th century
- Ruler of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century
- Ruler of Axum in the 10th century B.C.
Margaret Thatcher (born 1929)
First female, and longest-serving, prime minister of Great Britain. Nicknamed the ''Iron Lady.''
- Prime minister of Great Britain, 1979-90
- Ruler of Flanders in the 12th century
- Ruler of the Netherlands in the 13th century
- Ruler of Blois in the 13th century
Maria Lea Pedini-Angelini
- Co-Captain-regent of San Marino, 1981-
Mary Robinson (born 1944)
- President of Ireland, 1990-
- Ruler of Nevers in the 10th century
- Ruler of Cambodia in the 19th century
- Ruler of Korea in the 19th century
- Ruler of Sukerchakais (Pakistan) in the 18th century
Susanne de Bourbon
- Ruler of Bourbon in the 16th century
Tamara (born 1160, died 1212)
Queen of Georgia, 1184-1212.
- Raised this country on the border of Europe and Asia to the peak of its political power
Teresa of Castile
- Ruler of Portugal in the 12th century
- Ruler of the Byzantine Empire in the 9th century
Theodora (born 980, died 1056)
Empress of the Byzantine Empire, 1042-56.
- Co-ruler with her sister Zoe and, later, Zoe''s husband Constantine IX; became sole ruler after Zoe''s death
- Ruler of Urbino in the 17th century
Wilhelmina (born 1880, died 1962)
Queen of the Netherlands, 1890-1948.
- Came to the throne at age ten; after a long reign, abdicated in favor of her daughter Juliana
Wilma Mankiller (born 1945)
Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
- First female chief; author of Mankiller: A Chief and Her People
- Ruler of Russia in the 16th century
- Ruler of Jerusalem in the 13th century
Yolande de Bourgogne (died 1219)
Empress of the Byzantine Empire, 1217-19.
- Succeeded to the throne on the death of her husband, Emperor Peter of Courtenay
- Empress of China in the 11th century
Zoe (born 980, died 1050)
Empress of the Byzantine Empire, 1028-50.
- After deposing two husbands, became co-ruler with her sister Theodora; her third husband, Constantine IX, ruled jointly with the sisters
Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (born 1929)
President of Nicaragua, 1990-.
- First female president in Central America
Dona Beatrice (born 1662, died 1706)
- Anti-colonialist leader of Kongo
- African queen
Agatha Barbara (born 1923)
President of Malta, 1982-87.
- The second female president in Europe
Eva ''Evita'' Duarte Peron (born 1919, died 1952)
Argentine political leader.
- Former actress and singer who controlled much of the social-service sector of the government while her husband, Juan Peron, was in power
- Chairman of Liberia, 1996-
Lidia Gueiler Tejada (born 1926)
Caretaker president of Bolivia, 1979-80.
- Ousted by a military coup
Vigdis Finnbogadottir (born 1930)
President of Iceland, 1980-86.
- First female president in Europe
- Co-Captain-regent of San Marino in 1984, 1989-92
Sabine Bergmann-Pohl (born 1946)
President of the Parliament of the German Democratic Republic, 1990.
- Last East German head of state
Ertha Pascal Trouillot (born 1943)
- Interim president of Haiti, 1990-91
- Co-Captain-regent of San Marino, 1993
The first female prime minister in Africa.
- Prime minister of the Central Africa Republic, 1975-76
Maria de Lurdes Pintassilgo
Prime minister of Portugal, 1975-80.
- The second female prime minister in Europe
Gro Harlem Brundtland (born 1939)
- Prime minister of Norway in 1981, 1986-89
Milka Planinc (born 1924)
- Prime minister of Yugoslavia, 1982-86
Khaleda Zia (born 1945)
Prime minister of Bangladesh, 1991-96.
- Her husband, President Ziaur Rahman, was assassinated while in office
Tansu Ciller (born 1946)
Prime minister of Turkey, 1993-96.
- One of the first women to lead a Moslem country
Sirimavo Bandaranaike (born 1916)
Prime minister of Sri Lanka, 1960-65, 1970-77.
- The world''s first female prime minister
Hasina Wajed (born 1947)
- Prime minister of Bangladesh, 1996
Kazimiera Prunskiene (born 1943)
- Prime minister of Lithuania, 1990-91
- Interim prime minister of Bulgaria, 1994-95
- Prime minister of Haiti, 1994-96
Chandrika Kumaratunge (born 1945)
President of Sri Lanka.
- Her prime minister is her mother, Sirimavo Bandaranaike
Nita Barrow (born 1916, died 1995)
- Governor-general of Barbados, 1990-95
Minita Gordon (born 1930)
- Governor-general of Belize, 1981-93
Catherine Tizard (born 1931)
- Governor-general of New Zealand, 1990-96
Alexandra Kollontai (born 1872, died 1952)
Russian communist leader and feminist activist.
- As the only woman on Lenin''s Central Committee, fought for woman-friendly policies in the new Soviet Union
Rosa Luxemburg (born 1870, died 1919)
Polish-German socialist and pacifist. Frequently imprisoned, she was eventually beaten and killed by the German police.
- An important figure in the European socialist movement
Henrietta Szold (born 1860, died 1945)
American Zionist and educator.
- Founded Hadassah, the Women''s Zionist Organization of America, in 1912
Hojo Masako (born 1157, died 1225)
Japanese political figure.
- A political figure in the middle ages through whose schemes political power was transferred to her family
Lydia Lili'uokalani (born 1838, died 1917)
Last reigning monarch of Hawaii, 1891-93.
- Deposed by American troops in 1893; later placed under house arrest when she tried to regin the throne
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (born 1900, died 1990)
Indian diplomat. Sister of Jawaharlal Nehru.
- First female president of the United Nations, 1953-54
French stateswoman and diplomat. A survivor of Auschwitz.
- First pfresident of the European Parliament
Ahilya Bai Holkar (died 1795)
Hindu ruler known for her wisdom and generosity. She was so beloved that she was deified during her lifetime.
- Ruler of the Holkar kingdom of India, 1767-95
Sarojini Naidu (born 1879, died 1949)
Indian poet, feminist and politician. Known as ''the Nightingale of India.''
- First female president of the Indian National Congress
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