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The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Bosnia and Herzegovina

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This page contains a list of the greatest Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,577 Politicians, 62 of which were born in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This makes Bosnia and Herzegovina the birth place of the 48th most number of Politicians behind Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Bosnian, Herzegovinian 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 Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politicians.

Photo of Sokollu Mehmed Pasha

1. Sokollu Mehmed Pasha (1505 - 1579)

With an HPI of 75.04, Sokollu Mehmed Pasha is the most famous Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 39 different languages on wikipedia.

Sokollu Mehmed Pasha (Ottoman Turkish: صوقوللى محمد پاشا, romanized: Ṣoḳollu Meḥmed Pașa, Turkish: Sokollu Mehmet Paşa; Serbian: Мехмед-паша Соколовић, romanized: Mehmed-paša Sokolović; pronounced [měxmet pâʃa sokǒːloʋitɕ]; 1506 – 11 October 1579) was an Ottoman statesman most notable for being the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire. Born in Ottoman Herzegovina into an Orthodox Christian Serbian family, Mehmed was abducted at an early age as part of the Ottoman devşirme system of forcibly recruiting Christian boys to be raised to serve as a janissary. He rose through the ranks of the Ottoman imperial system, eventually holding positions as commander of the imperial guard (1543–1546), High Admiral of the Fleet (1546–1551), Governor-General of Rumelia (1551–1555), Third Vizier (1555–1561), Second Vizier (1561–1565), and as Grand Vizier (1565–1579, for a total of 14 years, three months, 17 days) under three sultans: Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, and Murad III. He was assassinated in 1579, ending his near 15-years of service to several Sultans, as sole legal representative in the administration of state affairs.Although Sokullu was Muslim, he remembered his Serbian Orthodox roots and his family. He persuaded the Sultan to restore the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć as a "gesture of reconciliation". He appointed members of his family (both Muslim and Christian) to important positions in Ottoman Empire, including Makarije Sokolović, Ferhad Pasha Sokolović, Sinan-beg Boljanić, Sokolluzade Lala Mehmed Pasha and Lala Mustafa Pasha.

Photo of Alija Izetbegović

2. Alija Izetbegović (1925 - 2003)

With an HPI of 72.44, Alija Izetbegović is the 2nd most famous Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Alija Izetbegović (Bosnian pronunciation: [ǎlija ǐzedbeɡoʋitɕ]; 8 August 1925 – 19 October 2003) was a Bosnian politician, lawyer, Islamic philosopher and author, who in 1992 became the first president of the Presidency of the newly independent Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He served in this role until 1996, when he became a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, serving until 2000. Izetbegović was the founder and first president of the Party of Democratic Action. He was also the author of several books, most notably Islam Between East and West and the Islamic Declaration.

Photo of Ante Pavelić

3. Ante Pavelić (1889 - 1959)

With an HPI of 70.80, Ante Pavelić is the 3rd most famous Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Ante Pavelić (Croatian pronunciation: [ǎːnte pǎʋelit͡ɕ] (listen); 14 July 1889 – 28 December 1959) was a Croatian politician who founded and headed the fascist ultranationalist organization known as the Ustaše in 1929 and served as dictator of the Independent State of Croatia (Croatian: Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH), a fascist puppet state built out of parts of occupied Yugoslavia by the authorities of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, from 1941 to 1945. Pavelić and the Ustaše persecuted many racial minorities and political opponents in the NDH during the war, including Serbs, Jews, Romani, and anti-fascists, becoming one of the key figures of the genocide of Serbs, the Porajmos and the Holocaust in the NDH.At the start of his career, Pavelić was a lawyer and a politician of the Croatian Party of Rights in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia known for his nationalist beliefs and support for an independent Croatia. By the end of the 1920s, his political activity became more radical as he called on Croats to revolt against Yugoslavia, and schemed an Italian protectorate of Croatia separate from Yugoslavia. After King Alexander I declared his 6 January Dictatorship in 1929 and banned all political parties, Pavelić went abroad and plotted with the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) to undermine the Yugoslav state, which prompted the Yugoslav authorities to try him in absentia and sentence him to death. In the meantime, Pavelić had moved to Fascist Italy where he founded the Ustaše, a Croatian nationalist movement with the goal of creating an independent Croatia by any means, including the use of terror. Pavelić incorporated terrorist actions in the Ustaše program, such as train bombings and assassinations, staged a small uprising in Lika in 1932, culminating in the assassination of King Alexander in 1934 in conjunction with the IMRO. Pavelić was once again sentenced to death after being tried in France in absentia and, under international pressure, the Italians imprisoned him for 18 months, and largely obstructed the Ustaše in the following period. At the behest of the Germans, senior Ustaša Slavko Kvaternik declared the NDH's establishment on 10 April 1941 in the name of Pavelić. Calling himself the Poglavnik, or supreme leader, Pavelić returned from Italy and took control of the puppet government. He created a political system similar to that of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The NDH, though constituting a Greater Croatia, was forced by the Italians to relinquish several territorial concessions to the latter. After taking control, Pavelić imposed largely anti-Serbian and antisemitic policies that resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 Serbs and Jews in concentration and extermination camps in the NDH, murdering and torturing several hundred thousand Serbs, along with tens of thousands of Roma and Jews. These persecutions and killings have been described as the "single most disastrous episode in Yugoslav history". The racial policies of the NDH greatly contributed to their rapid loss of control over Croatia as they fed the ranks of both the Chetniks and Partisans and caused even the Nazis to attempt to restrain Pavelić and his genocidal campaign.In 1945, he ordered the executions of prominent NDH politicians Mladen Lorković and Ante Vokić on charges of treason when they were arrested for plotting to oust him and align the NDH with the Allies. Following the surrender of Germany in May 1945, Pavelić ordered his troops to keep fighting even after the surrender. The remainder of the NDH government decided to flee to Austria on 3 May 1945, but Pavelić instead ordered them to retreat to Austria over the former border of the Third Reich and have the Croatian Armed Forces surrender to the British Army. The British refused to accept the surrender and directed them to surrender to the Partisans. The Partisans began carrying out killings of the Ustaše when the latter attacked their position, killing them in the Yugoslav death march of Nazi collaborators. Pavelić himself fled to Austria, and later Argentina, whose president Juan Perón provided sanctuary for German war criminals and several Ustaše. On 10 April 1957, he was shot several times in a failed assassination attempt by the Serbian assassin Blagoje Jovović. Pavelić survived the attempt and soon left Argentina for Spain. He died two and a half years later, on 28 December 1959, aged 70, from the injuries he sustained in the attempted assassination.

Photo of Valerius Severus

4. Valerius Severus (300 - 307)

With an HPI of 67.57, Valerius Severus is the 4th most famous Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

Flavius Valerius Severus (died September 307), also called Severus II, was a Roman emperor from 306 to 307. After failing to besiege Rome, he fled to Ravenna. It is thought that he was killed there or executed near Rome.

Photo of Tvrtko I of Bosnia

5. Tvrtko I of Bosnia (1338 - 1391)

With an HPI of 67.13, Tvrtko I of Bosnia is the 5th most famous Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Stephen Tvrtko I (Serbo-Croatian: Stjepan/Stefan Tvrtko / Стјепан/Стефан Твртко; c. 1338 – 10 March 1391) was the first king of Bosnia. A member of the House of Kotromanić, he succeeded his uncle Stephen II as Ban of Bosnia in 1353. As he was a minor at the time, Tvrtko's father, Vladislav, briefly ruled as regent, followed by Tvrtko's mother, Jelena. Early in his personal rule, Tvrtko quarrelled with his country's Roman Catholic clergy but later enjoyed cordial relations with all the religious communities in his realm. After initial difficulties – the loss of large parts of Bosnia to his overlord, King Louis I of Hungary, and being briefly deposed by his magnates – Tvrtko's power grew considerably. He conquered some remnants of the neighbouring Serbian Empire in 1373, after the death of its last ruler and his distant relative, Uroš the Weak. In 1377, he had himself crowned king of Bosnia and of Serbia, claiming to be the heir of Serbia's extinct Nemanjić dynasty. Stephen Tvrtko issued a chapter in 1382 mentioning that he "follows faith and life of his Serb first parents".As the Kingdom of Bosnia continued to expand, Tvrtko's attention shifted to the Adriatic coast. He gained control of the entire Pomorje and the major maritime cities of the area, established new settlements and started building a navy, but never succeeded in subjugating the lords of the independent Serbian territories. The death of King Louis and the accession of Queen Mary in 1382 allowed Tvrtko to take advantage of the ensuing succession crisis in Hungary and Croatia. After bitter fighting, from 1385 to 1390, Tvrtko succeeded in conquering large parts of Slavonia, Dalmatia, and Croatia proper. Following the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, his tenuous claim to Serbia became a mere fiction, as the Serbian rulers he sought to subdue became vassals of the victorious Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Turks also launched their first attacks on Bosnia during Tvrtko's reign, but his army was able to repel them. Tvrtko's sudden death in 1391 prevented him from solidifying the Kotromanić hold on Croatian lands. Tvrtko is widely considered one of Bosnia's greatest medieval rulers, having enlarged the country's borders to their greatest extent, left a strong economy, and improved the living standards of his subjects. He was survived by at least one son, Tvrtko II, but was succeeded by Dabiša, under whom Tvrtko's burgeoning realm began to decay.

Photo of Lala Mustafa Pasha

6. Lala Mustafa Pasha (1500 - 1580)

With an HPI of 66.91, Lala Mustafa Pasha is the 6th most famous Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Lala Mustafa Pasha (c. 1500 – 7 August 1580), also known by the additional epithet Kara, was an Ottoman Bosnian general and Grand Vizier from the Sanjak of Bosnia.

Photo of Prince Marko

7. Prince Marko (1335 - 1395)

With an HPI of 66.67, Prince Marko is the 7th most famous Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Marko Mrnjavčević (Serbian Cyrillic: Марко Мрњавчевић, pronounced [mâːrko mr̩̂ɲaːʋt͡ʃeʋit͡ɕ] (listen); c. 1335 – 17 May 1395) was the de jure Serbian king from 1371 to 1395, while he was the de facto ruler of territory in western Macedonia centered on the town of Prilep. He is known as Prince Marko (Macedonian: Kрaле Марко; Serbian Cyrillic: Краљевић Марко, Kraljević Marko, IPA: [krǎːʎeʋit͡ɕ mâːrko]) and King Marko (Macedonian: Kрaле Марко; Serbian Cyrillic: Краљ Марко; Bulgarian: Крали Марко) in South Slavic oral tradition, in which he has become a major character during the period of Ottoman rule over the Balkans. Marko's father, King Vukašin, was co-ruler with Serbian Tsar Stefan Uroš V, whose reign was characterised by weakening central authority and the gradual disintegration of the Serbian Empire. Vukašin's holdings included lands in north-western Macedonia and Kosovo. In 1370 or 1371, he crowned Marko "young king"; this title included the possibility that Marko would succeed the childless Uroš on the Serbian throne. On 26 September 1371, Vukašin was killed and his forces defeated in the Battle of Maritsa. About two months later, Tsar Uroš died. This formally made Marko the king of the Serbian land; however, Serbian noblemen, who had become effectively independent from the central authority, did not even consider to recognise him as their supreme ruler. Sometime after 1371, he became an Ottoman vassal; by 1377, significant portions of the territory he inherited from Vukašin were seized by other noblemen. King Marko, in reality, came to be a regional lord who ruled over a relatively small territory in western Macedonia. He funded the construction of the Monastery of Saint Demetrius near Skopje (better known as Marko's Monastery), which was completed in 1376. Later Marko became an Ottoman vassal and died on 17 May 1395, fighting against the Wallachians in the Battle of Rovine. Although a ruler of modest historical significance, Marko became a major character in South Slavic oral tradition. He is venerated as a national hero by the Serbs, Macedonians and Bulgarians, remembered in Balkan folklore as a fearless and powerful protector of the weak, who fought against injustice and confronted the Turks during the Ottoman occupation.

Photo of Biljana Plavšić

8. Biljana Plavšić (1930 - )

With an HPI of 65.18, Biljana Plavšić is the 8th most famous Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Biljana Plavšić (Serbian Cyrillic: Биљана Плавшић; born 7 July 1930) is a former Bosnian Serb politician and university professor who served as President of Republika Srpska and was later convicted of crimes against humanity for her role in the Bosnian War. Plavšić was indicted in 2001 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for war crimes committed during the Bosnian War. She plea-bargained with the ICTY and was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2003, to be served in a Swedish prison.She was released on 27 October 2009 after serving two-thirds of her sentence. Plavšić is, together with Radovan Karadžić, the highest ranking Bosnian Serb politician to be sentenced. Before entering politics, she taught biology at the University of Sarajevo.

Photo of Zoran Đinđić

9. Zoran Đinđić (1952 - 2003)

With an HPI of 62.42, Zoran Đinđić is the 9th most famous Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

Zoran Đinđić (Serbian Cyrillic: Зоран Ђинђић, pronounced [zɔ̝̌ran d͡ʑîːnd͡ʑit͡ɕ] (listen); 1 August 1952 – 12 March 2003) was a Serbian politician who served as the prime minister of Serbia from 2001 until his assassination in 2003. He was the mayor of Belgrade in 1997. Đinđić was a long-time opposition politician, and held a doctorate in philosophy. Đinđić was one of the original thirteen restorers of the modern day Democratic Party, becoming its president in 1994. During the 1990s, he was one of the co-leaders of the opposition to the administration of Slobodan Milošević, and became the Prime Minister of Serbia in 2001 after the overthrow of Milošević. As Prime Minister, he advocated pro-democratic reforms and the integration of Serbia into European structures. His government ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and implemented innovations in line with the Council of Europe recommendations, which led to the introduction of institutions for the protection of human rights and freedoms, as well as for Serbia and Montenegro to become a member state of the Council of Europe in 2003. His government strongly advocated cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Following the arrest of Special Operations Unit (JSO) members and extradition to the ICTY, the JSO organized an armed mutiny in November 2001 in Belgrade. Đinđić was assassinated in 2003 by Zvezdan Jovanović, a former JSO member operative with ties to the Zemun Clan.

Photo of Fikret Abdić

10. Fikret Abdić (1939 - )

With an HPI of 60.65, Fikret Abdić is the 10th most famous Bosnian, Herzegovinian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Fikret Abdić (born 29 September 1939) is a Bosnian politician and businessman who first rose to prominence in the 1980s for his role in turning the Velika Kladuša-based agriculture company Agrokomerc into one of the biggest conglomerates in SFR Yugoslavia. He won the popular vote in the Bosnian presidential elections of 1990.In the early 1990s, during the Bosnian War, Abdić declared his opposition to the official Bosnian government, and established the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia, a small and short-lived province in the northwestern corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina composed of the town of Velika Kladuša and nearby villages. The mini-state existed between 1993 and 1995 and was allied with the Army of Republika Srpska. In 2002, he was convicted on charges of war crimes against Bosniaks loyal to the Bosnian government by a court in Croatia and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, which was later reduced on appeal to 15 years by the Supreme Court of Croatia. On 9 March 2012, he was released after having served two thirds of his reduced sentence. He was imprisoned again in June 2020 on suspicion of abuse of his office as Mayor.

Pantheon has 62 people classified as politicians born between 300 and 1988. Of these 62, 30 (48.39%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Biljana Plavšić, Fikret Abdić, and Vojislav Šešelj. The most famous deceased politicians include Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, Alija Izetbegović, and Ante Pavelić. As of April 2022, 12 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Sinan Pasha, Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić, and Semiz Ali Pasha.

Living Politicians

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Deceased Politicians

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Newly Added Politicians (2022)

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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 15 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.