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.
With an HPI of 78.55, Skanderbeg is the most famous Albanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 70 different languages on wikipedia.
Gjergj Kastrioti (Latin: Georgius Castriota; Italian: Giorgio Castriota; 1405 – 17 January 1468), commonly known as Skanderbeg (Albanian: Skënderbeu or Skënderbej, from Ottoman Turkish: اسکندر بگ, romanized: İskender Bey; 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 and the nearby areas extending from central Albania to Sfetigrad, and Modrič. In 1444, with support from local nobles and the Catholic Church in Albania, a general council (generalis concilium) of Albanian aristocracy was held in the city of Lezhë (under Venetian control). The council proclaimed a union (known in historiography as League of Lezhë) of the small Albanian principalities and fiefdoms under Skanderbeg as its sole leader. This was the first time much of Albania was united under a single leader.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 and led an expedition against John of Anjou and the barons who supported John's claim to the throne of Naples. In 1463, he was earmarked to be the chief commander of the crusading forces of Pope Pius II, but the Pope died while the armies were still gathering and the greater European crusade never eventuated. 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 honored in modern Albania, and is commemorated with many monuments and cultural works.
With an HPI of 77.13, Enver Hoxha is the 2nd most famous Albanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 80 different languages.
Enver Halil Hoxha ( HO-jə, Albanian: [ɛnˈvɛɾ ˈhɔdʒa] (listen); 16 October 1908 – 11 April 1985) was an Albanian communist politician who was the authoritarian ruler of Albania from 1944 until his death in 1985. He was First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania from 1941 until his death. 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. 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, his government rebuilt the country, which was left in ruins after World War II, building Albania's first railway line, raising the adult literacy rate from 5–15% to more than 90%, wiping out epidemics, electrifying the country and leading Albania towards agricultural independence. It also outlawed religion, travelling abroad, private proprietorship, and closed or converted to secular uses all of Albania's religious facilities. His government imprisoned, executed, or exiled thousands of landowners, rural clan leaders, Muslim and Christian clerics, peasants who resisted collectivization, and disloyal party officials.Hoxha's government was characterised by his proclaimed firm adherence to anti-revisionist Marxism–Leninism, i.e. Stalinism, from the mid/late-1960s 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.
With an HPI of 76.95, Safiye Sultan is the 3rd most famous Albanian Politician. Her biography has been translated into 35 different languages.
Safiye Sultan (Ottoman Turkish: صفیه سلطان; "pure" c. 1550 – after 20 April 1619) 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. After the death of Selim II in 1574, Prince Murad took the throne as the new sultan in Constantinople under the name of Murad III. Safiye was by his side and moved with him to Topkapi Palace, and less than a year into his reign she received the title of Haseki Sultan (chief consort), which placed her above the princesses. Nurbanu, her Mother-in-law, who was with them as the Sultan's mother, was upset with Safiye's influence on Murad and wanted to replace her with another concubine of the harem. Finally, the conflict between Safiye and Nurbanu reached a crisis and Murad sent Safiye to Eski Saray. That she lived there for a year after Nurbanu's death, but Murad brought her back to him. After 1585, she became the most powerful one in harem. Moreover, she was not contented with harem, she began to intervene in state affairs and she became one of the powerful figures of the Murad reign. She strengthened her position in the court when she became the Valide Sultan (Sultan’s mother) upon the ascension of her son Mehmed III on the throne in 1595, after the death of Murad III. As Valide Sultan, her personal purse was three times that of the Sultan, the highest level of salary for a person in the empire. During her son reign, Mehmed would consult her on matters if it was important and he did not make a decision if it was not her consent; People and civil servants appealed to her when they needed some help, since they knew how influential she was on the Ottoman court, sometimes they would even throw themselves in front of her carriage for her help. She was the most influential in directing everything related to the empire and the terms of appointments and dismissals of everyone in the Empire, even the Grand Vizier and Shaykh al-Islam. When Mehmed III went on the campaign of Eğri in 1596, he left a treasure of one billion akçe to her service, and he gave her the power to audit important matters in his absence. She distributed alms to the poor, orphan and widows upon the fall of Eğri Castle. Safiye Sultan did not only interfere in interior affairs but also in foreign affairs of the empire. It is known that she corresponded by letters with foreign kings-queens and established diplomatic relations with them. Just as her mother-in-law Nurbanu, she supported a pro-Venetian policy in foreign politics. But in the last years of her son's reign, her meddling in state affairs caused three destructive rebellions and made her immensely hated by the soldiers and the people. Upon the death of Mehmed III in 1603, she was sent to Eski Saray on January 9, 1604 and lived there in retirement without political influence until her death in 20 April 1619. She was laid to rest in the tomb of Murad III.
With an HPI of 70.05, Anastasius I Dicorus is the 4th most famous Albanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.
Anastasius I Dicorus (Greek: Ἀναστάσιος, translit. 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.
With an HPI of 69.78, Ali Pasha of Ioannina is the 5th most famous Albanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Ali Pasha of Ioannina (1740 – 24 January 1822), 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".
With an HPI of 68.48, Zog I of Albania is the 6th most famous Albanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 60 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.
With an HPI of 67.83, Kara Ahmed Pasha is the 7th most famous Albanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.
Kara Ahmed Pasha (executed 29 September 1555) was an Ottoman statesman of Albanian origin. He was Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire between 1553 and 1555.He led the Ottoman troops that captured the Hungarian fortress of Temesvár, defended by the troop of István Losonczy, on 26 July 1552. That year, his army took three other castles (Veszprém, Szolnok and Lipova) before failing at the siege of Eger. After Sultan Suleiman executed his eldest son Şehzade Mustafa in October 1553, there appeared some sort of dissatisfaction and unrest among soldiers who blamed Rüstem Pasha for Mustafa's death. Then Suleiman dismissed Rüstem Pasha and appointed Kara Ahmed Pasha as his Grand Vizier in October 1553. But almost two years later, Kara Ahmed was strangled by Suleiman's order in September 1555. It is said that the reason for the execution was due to political manoeuvrings of Suleiman's legal wife Hürrem Sultan, who wanted her son-in-law Rüstem to become the Grand Vizier again. After the death of Kara Ahmed, Rüstem Pasha became the Grand Vizier (1555–1561) once more.
With an HPI of 66.66, Ramiz Alia is the 8th most famous Albanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 49 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.
With an HPI of 65.46, Lütfi Pasha is the 9th most famous Albanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 24 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.
With an HPI of 65.04, Sali Berisha is the 10th most famous Albanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 61 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 has been banned from entering the United States and the United Kingdom after being accused of "involvement in significant corruption" and links to organised crime groups and criminals that pose a "risk to public safety in Albania". 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. He is also the current chairman of the Democratic Party of Albania which has been disputed.
Pantheon has 42 people classified as politicians born between 300 BC and 1977. Of these 42, 17 (40.48%) 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. As of April 2022, 4 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Koca Davud Pasha, Xhafer Ypi, and Monika Kryemadhi.
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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 14 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.