The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Albania

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This page contains a list of the greatest Albanian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,710 Politicians, 34 of which were born in Albania. This makes Albania the birth place of the 70th most number of Politicians behind Iceland and Philippines.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Albanian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Albanian Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Albanian Politicians.

Photo of Skanderbeg

1. Skanderbeg (1405 - 1468)

With an HPI of 84.17, Skanderbeg is the most famous Albanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 69 different languages on wikipedia.

Gjergj Kastrioti (Medieval Albanian: Gjergj Castrioti; Latin: Georgius Castriota; Italian: Giorgio Castriota; 1405 – 17 January 1468), known as Skanderbeg (Albanian: Skënderbeu or Skënderbej, from Ottoman Turkish: اسکندر بگ, romanized: İskender Bey; Latin: Scanderbegus; Italian: Scanderbeg), was an Albanian feudal lord and military commander who led a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire in what is today Albania, North Macedonia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. A member of the noble Kastrioti family, he was sent as a hostage to the Ottoman court. He was educated there and entered the service of the Ottoman sultan for the next twenty years. His rise through the ranks culminated in his appointment as sanjakbey (governor) of the Sanjak of Dibra in 1440. In 1443, during the Battle of Niš, he deserted the Ottomans and became the ruler of Krujë, Sfetigrad, and Modrič. In 1444, the council of feudal lords that historians would later call the League of Lezhë named Skanderbeg its chief military commander (first among equals). The league consolidated nobility throughout what is today Northern Albania, under the protection of the King of Naples, Alfonso V, with Skanderbeg as captain general. Thus, for the first time Albania was united under a single leader. Skanderbeg's rebellion was not a general uprising of Albanians, because he did not gain support in the Venetian-controlled cities of the north or in the Ottoman-controlled south. In addition to Albanians his followers included Slavs, Vlachs, and Greeks; he also had at his service Venetian and Neapolitan mercenaries. The resistance led by him nevertheless brought Albanians of different regions and dialects together in a common cause against foreign aggression, helping define Albanian ethnic identity.Despite his military valor he was only able to hold his own possessions within the very small area in today's northern Albania where almost all of his victories against the Ottomans took place. Skanderbeg's military skills presented a major obstacle to Ottoman expansion, and many in western Europe considered him to be a model of Christian resistance against Muslims. For 25 years, from 1443 to 1468, Skanderbeg's 10,000-man army marched through Ottoman territory, winning against consistently larger and better-supplied Ottoman forces. He was greatly admired for this.Skanderbeg always signed himself in Latin: Dominus Albaniae ("Lord of Albania"), and claimed no other titles but that in surviving documents. In 1451, through the Treaty of Gaeta, he recognized de jure the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Naples over Albania, ensuring a protective alliance, although he remained a de facto independent ruler. In 1460–61, he supported Ferdinand I of Naples in his wars against John of Anjou and the barons who supported John's claim to the throne of Naples. In 1463, he became the chief commander of the crusading forces of Pope Pius II, but the Pope died while the armies were still gathering. Together with Venetians, he fought against the Ottomans during the Ottoman–Venetian War (1463–1479) until his death in January 1468. He ranks high in the military history of that time as the most persistent—and ever-victorious—opponent of the Ottoman Empire in its heyday. He became a central figure in the Albanian National Awakening in the 19th century. He is much loved in modern Albania by both Christians and Muslims, and is commemorated with many monuments and cultural works.

Photo of Enver Hoxha

2. Enver Hoxha (1908 - 1985)

With an HPI of 82.33, Enver Hoxha is the 2nd most famous Albanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 79 different languages.

Enver Halil Hoxha ( HOJ-ə, Albanian: [ɛnˈvɛɾ ˈhɔdʒa] (listen); 16 October 1908 – 11 April 1985) was an Albanian communist politician. He was First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania from 1941 until his death in 1985. He was also a member of the Politburo of the Party of Labour of Albania, chairman of the Democratic Front of Albania, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces and ruled the country from 1944 until his death in 1985. He was the 22nd Prime Minister of Albania from 1944 to 1954 and at various times was both foreign minister and defence minister of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania. Hoxha was born in Gjirokastër in 1908 and became a grammar school teacher in 1936. Following the Italian invasion of Albania, he joined the Party of Labour of Albania at its creation in 1941 in the Soviet Union. He was elected First Secretary in March 1943 at the age of 34. Less than two years after the liberation of the country, the monarchy of King Zog was formally abolished, and Hoxha rose to power as Albania's symbolic head of state. During his 41-year rule, he rebuilt the country, which was left in ruins after World War II, building Albania's first railway line, raising the adult literacy rate from 5% to more than 90%, wiping out epidemics, electrifying the country and leading Albania towards agricultural independence. He also outlawed religion, travelling abroad, and private proprietorship, closed or converted to secular uses all of Albania's religious facilities. Under his regime, thousands of perceived dissidents were executed, and tens of thousands more were imprisoned in forced labour camps.Hoxha's government was characterised by his proclaimed firm adherence to anti-revisionist Marxism–Leninism, i.e. Stalinism, from the mid/late-1970s onwards. After his break with Maoism in the 1976–1978 period, numerous Maoist parties around the world declared themselves Hoxhaist. The International Conference of Marxist–Leninist Parties and Organisations (Unity & Struggle) is the best-known association of these parties.

Photo of Safiye Sultan

3. Safiye Sultan (1550 - 1619)

With an HPI of 79.73, Safiye Sultan is the 3rd most famous Albanian Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Safiye Sultan (Ottoman Turkish: صفیه سلطان; c. 1550 – 1621) was the Haseki Sultan (Chief Consort) of Murad III and Valide Sultan of the Ottoman Empire as the mother of Mehmed III and the grandmother of Sultans: Ahmed I and Mustafa I. Safiye was also one of the eminent figures during the era known as the Sultanate of Women. She lived in the Ottoman Empire as a courtier during the reigns of seven sultans: Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, Murad III, Mehmed III, Ahmed I, Mustafa I, and Osman II.

Photo of Anastasius I Dicorus

4. Anastasius I Dicorus (430 - 518)

With an HPI of 77.66, Anastasius I Dicorus is the 4th most famous Albanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.

Anastasius I Dicorus (Greek: Ἀναστάσιος Anastásios; c. 431 – 9 July 518) was Eastern Roman emperor from 491 to 518. A career civil servant, he came to the throne at the age of 61 after being chosen by the wife of his predecessor, Zeno. His reign was characterised by reforms and improvements in the government, finances, economy, and bureaucracy of the Empire. He is noted for leaving the empire with a stable government, reinvigorated monetary economy and a sizeable budget surplus, which allowed the Empire to pursue more ambitious policies under his successors, most notably Justinian I. Since many of Anastasius' reforms proved long-lasting, his influence over the Empire endured for many centuries. Anastasius was a Miaphysite and his personal religious tendencies caused tensions throughout his reign in the Empire which was becoming increasingly divided along religious lines. He is venerated as a saint by the Syriac Orthodox Church on 29 July.

Photo of Ali Pasha of Ioannina

5. Ali Pasha of Ioannina (1750 - 1822)

With an HPI of 77.10, Ali Pasha of Ioannina is the 5th most famous Albanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Ali Pasha (1740 – 24 January 1822), variously referred to as of Tepelena or of Janina/Yannina/Ioannina, or the Lion of Yannina, was an Albanian ruler who served as pasha of a large part of western Rumelia, the Ottoman Empire's European territories, which was referred to as the Pashalik of Yanina. His court was in Ioannina, and the territory he governed incorporated central and southern Albania, most of Epirus and the western parts of Thessaly and Greek Macedonia. Ali had three sons: Muhtar Pasha, who served in the 1809 war against the Russians, Veli Pasha, who became Pasha of the Morea Eyalet and Salih Pasha, governor of Vlorë.Ali first appears in historical accounts as the leader of a band of brigands who became involved in many confrontations with Ottoman state officials in Albania and Epirus. He joined the administrative-military apparatus of the Ottoman Empire, holding various posts until 1788 when he was appointed pasha, ruler of the sanjak of Ioannina. His diplomatic and administrative skills, his interest in modernist ideas and concepts, his popular Muslim piety, his respect towards other religions, his suppression of banditry, his vengefulness and harshness in imposing law and order, and his looting practices towards persons and communities in order to increase his proceeds caused both the admiration and the criticism of his contemporaries, as well as an ongoing controversy among historians regarding his personality. As his influence grew, his involvement in Ottoman politics increased culminating in his active opposition to the ongoing Ottoman military reforms. After being declared a rebel in 1820, he was captured and killed in 1822 at the age of 81 or 82, after a successful military campaign against his forces. In Western literature, Ali Pasha became the personification of an "oriental despot".

Photo of Zog I of Albania

6. Zog I of Albania (1895 - 1961)

With an HPI of 75.08, Zog I of Albania is the 6th most famous Albanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.

Zog I (Albanian: Naltmadhnija e tij Zogu I, Mbreti i Shqiptarëve, IPA: [ˈzɔɡu]; 8 October 1895 – 9 April 1961), born Ahmed Muhtar bey Zogolli, taking the name Ahmet Zogu in 1922, was the leader of Albania from 1922 to 1939. At age 27, he first served as Albania's youngest ever prime minister (1922–1924), then as president (1925–1928), and finally as king (1928–1939). Born to a beylik family in Ottoman Albania, Zog was active in Albanian politics from a young age and fought on the side of Austria-Hungary during the First World War. He held various ministerial posts in the Albanian government before being driven into exile in June 1924, but returned later in the year with Yugoslav and White Russian military support and was subsequently elected prime minister. Zog was elected president in January 1925 and vested with dictatorial powers, with which he enacted major domestic reforms, suppressed civil liberties, and struck an alliance with Benito Mussolini's Italy. In September 1928, Albania was proclaimed a monarchy and he acceded to the throne as Zog I, King of the Albanians. He married Geraldine Apponyi de Nagy-Appony in 1938; their only child Leka was born a year later. Albania fell further under Italian influence during Zog's reign, and by the end of the 1930s the country had become almost fully dependent on Italy despite Zog's resistance. In April 1939 Italy invaded Albania and the country was rapidly overrun. Mussolini declared Albania an Italian protectorate under King Victor Emmanuel III, forcing Zog into exile. He lived in England during the Second World War but was barred from returning to Albania by Enver Hoxha's communist regime. Zog spent the rest of his life in France and died in April 1961 at the age of 65. His remains were buried at the Thiais Cemetery near Paris, before being transferred to the royal mausoleum in Tirana in 2012.

Photo of Ramiz Alia

7. Ramiz Alia (1924 - 2011)

With an HPI of 74.78, Ramiz Alia is the 7th most famous Albanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.

Ramiz Tafë Alia (pronunciation ; 18 October 1925 – 7 October 2011) was an Albanian politician serving as the second and last leader of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania from 1985 to 1991, serving as First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania. He was also the country's head of state from 1982 to 1992. He had been seen as a successor by Enver Hoxha and took power after Hoxha died.

Photo of Sali Berisha

8. Sali Berisha (1944 - )

With an HPI of 72.66, Sali Berisha is the 8th most famous Albanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 62 different languages.

Sali Ram Berisha (Albanian pronunciation: [saˈli bɛˈɾiʃa]; born 15 October 1944) is an Albanian conservative politician and former cardiologist who served as the second President of Albania from 1992 to 1997 and Prime Minister from 2005 to 2013. He was also chairman of the Democratic Party of Albania twice, from 1991 to 1992 and then again from 1997 to 2013. Berisha abandoned his career as a cardiologist and university professor to become the chairman of the Democratic Party in the 1990s. From 1992, after the fall of communism, he served as the first non-Communist President of Albania until his government collapsed in 1997 in the wake of the collapse of notorious pyramid schemes. From 1997 to 2005, Albania was governed by the Socialist Party (PS) for two mandates, while he stayed in opposition. In 2005, the Democratic Party won the general elections, and he became the Prime Minister after his coalition formed the new government. In 2009, he was re-elected Prime Minister, after the Democrats obtained a narrow win in the general elections but were forced into a coalition with the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) through not winning enough seats on its own for the first time since the start of multi-party democracy in 1991. In the 2013 election, his government was unseated in an won coalition led by the Socialist Party and the LSI. After the loss he resigned as the Chairman of the Democratic Party but he continues to be a Member of Parliament as of 2021. On 19 May 2021, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the public designation of Berisha as Non-grata due to involvement in significant corruption. Berisha announced that he will open a lawsuit, where he will sue the US Secretary of State for defamation, citing the lack of any factual proof to back up the claims. On 9 September 2021 Berisha was expelled by party chairman Lulzim Basha from the Democratic Party's Parliamentary Group due to legal issues with the US Department of State. This decision led to Berisha starting a nation-wide movement to remove Basha as leader of the Democratic Party, causing a major rift in the party's internal structures, between Berisha's and Basha's supporters. A deeply controversial figure in Albanian politics, Berisha's supporters hail him as a historical figure who overthrew the country's dictatorial regime, whereas his opponents accuse him of having used an authoritarian style of leadership, particularly during the 1990s, culminating with the Albanian civil war in 1997.

Photo of Koca Sinan Pasha

9. Koca Sinan Pasha (1520 - 1596)

With an HPI of 71.87, Koca Sinan Pasha is the 9th most famous Albanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Koca Sinan Pasha (Turkish: Koca Sinan Paşa, "Sinan the Great"; ca. 1520 – 3 April 1596) was an Albanian-born Ottoman Grand Vizier, military figure, and statesman. From 1580 until his death he served five times as Grand Vizier. In 1594, he ordered the burning of Saint Sava's remains on the Vračar plateau.

Photo of Lütfi Pasha

10. Lütfi Pasha (1488 - 1562)

With an HPI of 71.66, Lütfi Pasha is the 10th most famous Albanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Lütfi Pasha (Ottoman Turkish: لطفى پاشا, Luṭfī Paşa; Modern Turkish: Lütfi Paşa, more fully Damat Çelebi Lütfi Paşa; c. 1488 – 27 March 1564, Didymoteicho) was an Ottoman Albanian statesman, general, and Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman the Magnificent from 1539 to 1541.

Pantheon has 34 people classified as politicians born between 300 BC and 1969. Of these 34, 11 (32.35%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Sali Berisha, Alfred Moisiu, and Edi Rama. The most famous deceased politicians include Skanderbeg, Enver Hoxha, and Safiye Sultan.

Living Politicians

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Deceased Politicians

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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 12 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.