The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Bulgaria

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This page contains a list of the greatest Bulgarian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,710 Politicians, 104 of which were born in Bulgaria. This makes Bulgaria the birth place of the 29th most number of Politicians behind South Korea and Israel.

Top 10

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

Photo of Ahmed III

1. Ahmed III (1673 - 1736)

With an HPI of 80.84, Ahmed III is the most famous Bulgarian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 61 different languages on wikipedia.

Ahmed III (Ottoman Turkish: احمد ثالث, Aḥmed-i sālis) (30 December 1673 – 1 July 1736) was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and a son of Sultan Mehmed IV (r. 1648–1687). His mother was Gülnuş Sultan, originally named Evmenia Voria, who was an ethnic Greek. He was born at Hacıoğlu Pazarcık, in Dobruja. He succeeded to the throne in 1703 on the abdication of his brother Mustafa II (1695–1703). Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Pasha and the Sultan's daughter, Fatma Sultan (wife of the former) directed the government from 1718 to 1730, a period referred to as the Tulip Era. The first days of Ahmed III's reign passed with efforts to appease the janissaries who were completely disciplined. However, he was not effective against the janissaries who made him sultan. Çorlulu Ali Pasha, who Ahmed brought to the Grand Vizier, tried to help him in administrative matters, made new arrangements for the treasury and Sultan. He supported Ahmed in his fight with his rivals.

Photo of Galerius

2. Galerius (250 - 311)

With an HPI of 80.27, Galerius is the 2nd most famous Bulgarian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 60 different languages.

Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus (; c. 258 – May 311) was Roman emperor from 305 to 311. During his reign he campaigned, aided by Diocletian, against the Sasanian Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 299. He also campaigned across the Danube against the Carpi, defeating them in 297 and 300. Although he was a staunch opponent of Christianity, Galerius ended the Diocletianic Persecution when he issued an Edict of Toleration in Serdica in 311.

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3. Aurelian (214 - 275)

With an HPI of 79.12, Aurelian is the 3rd most famous Bulgarian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 76 different languages.

Aurelian (Latin: Lucius Domitius Aurelianus; 9 September 214 – c. October 275) was a Roman emperor, who reigned during the Third Century Crisis, from 270 to 275. As emperor, he won an unprecedented series of military victories which reunited the Roman Empire after it had nearly disintegrated under the pressure of barbarian invasions and internal revolts. Born in humble circumstances, near the Danube River, he entered the Roman military in 235, and climbed up the ranks. He would go on to lead the cavalry of the emperor Gallienus, until Gallienus' assassination in 268. Following this, Claudius Gothicus became emperor, until his own death in 270. Claudius' brother, Quintillus ruled the empire for three months, before Aurelian became emperor. During his reign, he defeated the Alamanni after a devastating war. He also defeated the Goths, Vandals, Juthungi, Sarmatians, and Carpi. Aurelian restored the Empire's eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273. The following year he conquered the Gallic Empire in the west, reuniting the Empire in its entirety. He was also responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome, the abandonment of the province of Dacia, and monetary reform, trying to curb the devaluation of the Roman currency. Although Domitian, two centuries previous, was the first emperor who had demanded to be officially hailed as dominus et deus ("master and god"), these titles never occurred in written form on official documents until the reign of Aurelian. His successes were instrumental in ending the crisis, earning him the title Restitutor Orbis ("Restorer of the World").

Photo of Georgi Dimitrov

4. Georgi Dimitrov (1882 - 1949)

With an HPI of 78.73, Georgi Dimitrov is the 4th most famous Bulgarian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Georgi Dimitrov Mihaylov (; Bulgarian: Гео̀рги Димитро̀в Миха̀йлов), also known as Georgiy Mihaylovich Dimitrov (Russian: Гео́ргий Миха́йлович Дими́тров; 18 June 1882 – 2 July 1949), was a Bulgarian communist politician. He was the first communist leader of Bulgaria from 1946 to 1949. Dimitrov led the Communist International from 1935 to 1943.

Photo of Maximinus Thrax

5. Maximinus Thrax (173 - 238)

With an HPI of 78.32, Maximinus Thrax is the 5th most famous Bulgarian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.

Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus "Thrax" ("the Thracian"; c. 173 – 238) was Roman emperor from 235 to 238. His father was an accountant in the governor's office and sprang from ancestors who were Carpi (a Dacian tribe), a people whom Diocletian would eventually drive from their ancient abode (in Dacia) and transfer to Pannonia. Maximinus was the commander of the Legio IV Italica when Severus Alexander was assassinated by his own troops in 235. The Pannonian army then elected Maximinus emperor.In 238 (which came to be known as the Year of the Six Emperors), a senatorial revolt broke out, leading to the successive proclamation of Gordian I, Gordian II, Pupienus, Balbinus and Gordian III as emperors in opposition to Maximinus. Maximinus advanced on Rome to put down the revolt, but was halted at Aquileia, where he was assassinated by disaffected elements of the Legio II Parthica. Maximinus is described by several ancient sources, though none are contemporary except Herodian's Roman History. He was a so-called barracks emperor of the 3rd century; his rule is often considered to mark the beginning of the Crisis of the Third Century. Maximinus was the first emperor who hailed neither from the senatorial class nor from the equestrian class.

Photo of Boris III of Bulgaria

6. Boris III of Bulgaria (1894 - 1943)

With an HPI of 78.03, Boris III of Bulgaria is the 6th most famous Bulgarian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.

Boris III (Bulgarian: Борѝс III; 30 January [O.S. 18 January] 1894 – 28 August 1943), originally Boris Klemens Robert Maria Pius Ludwig Stanislaus Xaver (Boris Clement Robert Mary Pius Louis Stanislaus Xavier), was the Tsar of the Kingdom of Bulgaria from 1918 until his death in 1943. The eldest son of Ferdinand I, Boris assumed the throne upon the abdication of his father in the wake of Bulgaria's defeat in World War I. Under the 1919 Treaty of Neuilly, Bulgaria was forced to, amongst other things, cede various territories, pay crippling war reparations, and greatly reduce the size of its military. That same year, Aleksandar Stamboliyski of the agrarian Bulgarian Agrarian National Union became prime minister. After Stamboliyski was overthrown in a coup in 1923, Boris recognized the new government of Aleksandar Tsankov, who harshly suppressed the Bulgarian Communist Party and led the nation through a brief border war with Greece. Tsankov was removed from power in 1926, and a series of prime ministers followed until 1934, when the corporatist Zveno (Bulgarian: Звено) movement staged a coup and outlawed all political parties. Boris opposed the Zveno government and overthrew them in 1935, eventually installing Georgi Kyoseivanov as prime minister. For the remainder of his reign, Boris would rule as a de facto absolute monarch, with his prime ministers largely submitting to his will. Following the outbreak of World War II, Bulgaria initially remained neutral. In 1940, Bogdan Filov replaced Kyoseivanov as prime minister, becoming the last prime minister to serve under Boris. Later that year, with the support of Nazi Germany, Bulgaria received the region of Southern Dobrudja from Romania as part of the Treaty of Craiova. In January 1941, Boris approved the anti-Semitic Law for Protection of the Nation, which denied citizenship to Bulgarian Jews and placed numerous restrictions upon them. In March, Bulgaria joined the Axis. In exchange, Bulgaria received large portions of Macedonia and Thrace, both of which were key targets of Bulgarian irredentism. Boris refused to participate in the German invasion of the Soviet Union and largely resisted German attempts to deport Bulgarian Jews as part of the Holocaust. In 1942, Zveno, the Agrarian National Union, the Bulgarian Communist Party, and various other far-left groups united to form a resistance movement known as the Fatherland Front, which would later go on to overthrow the government in 1944. In August 1943, shortly after returning from a visit to Germany, Boris died at the age of 49. His six-year-old son, Simeon II, succeeded him as tsar.

Photo of Phocas

7. Phocas (547 - 610)

With an HPI of 77.67, Phocas is the 7th most famous Bulgarian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

Phocas (Greek: Φωκάς, translit. Phokas; 547 – 5 October 610) was Eastern Roman emperor from 602 to 610. Initially a middle-ranking officer in the Eastern Roman army, Phocas rose to prominence as a spokesman of dissatisfied soldiers in their disputes with the court of the Emperor Maurice. When the army revolted in 602, Phocas emerged as natural leader of the mutiny. The revolt proved to be successful and led to the capture of Constantinople and overthrow of Maurice on 23 November 602 with Phocas declaring himself emperor on the same day. Phocas deeply mistrusted the uncooperative elite of Constantinople to whom he was an usurper and a provincial boor. He therefore attempted to base his regime on relatives whom he installed in high military and administrative positions. He immediately faced multiple challenges in domestic and foreign affairs to which he responded with little success. He dealt with domestic opposition with increasing ruthlessness which alienated even wider circles, including some members of his own household. At the same time the Empire was threatened on multiple frontiers. Avars and Slavs renewed their destructive raids of the Balkans, and the Sassanid Empire launched a massive invasion of the eastern provinces. Finally the Exarch of Africa, Heraclius the Elder, rebelled against Phocas and gained wide support throughout the empire. Phocas attempted to use border troops to crush the rebellion, which however only resulted in allowing the foreign invaders to break into the heartlands of the Empire. Heraclius the Elder's son, Heraclius, succeeded in taking Constantinople on 5 October 610, and executed Phocas on the same day, before declaring himself the emperor. Surviving sources are universally extremely hostile to Phocas. He is described as an incompetent tyrant and usurper who brutally purged any real or perceived opposition and left the Empire wide open to foreign aggression. The veracity of these sources is difficult to ascertain since emperors of the Heraclian dynasty who succeeded Phocas had a vested interest in tarnishing his reputation.

Photo of Marcian

8. Marcian (396 - 457)

With an HPI of 76.94, Marcian is the 8th most famous Bulgarian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.

Marcian (; Latin: Flavius Marcianus; Greek: Μαρκιανός Markianos; c. 392 – 27 January 457) was Roman emperor of the East from 450 to 457. Very little of his life before becoming emperor is known, other than that he was a domesticus (personal assistant) who served under the commanders Ardabur and his son Aspar for fifteen years. After the death of Emperor Theodosius II on 28 July 450, Marcian was made a candidate for the throne by Aspar, who held much influence because of his military power. After a month of negotiations Pulcheria, Theodosius' sister, agreed to marry Marcian. Zeno, a military leader whose influence was similar to Aspar's, may have been involved in these negotiations, as he was given the high-ranking court title of patrician upon Marcian's accession. Marcian was elected and inaugurated on 25 August 450. Marcian reversed many of the actions of Theodosius II in the Eastern Roman Empire's relationship with the Huns under Attila and in religious matters. Marcian almost immediately revoked all treaties with Attila, ending all subsidy payments to him. In 452, while Attila was raiding Italy, then a part of the Western Roman Empire, Marcian launched expeditions across the Danube into the Great Hungarian Plain, defeating the Huns in their own heartland. This action, accompanied by the famine and plague that broke out in northern Italy, allowed the Western Roman Empire to bribe Attila into retreating from the Italian peninsula. After Attila's death in 453, Marcian took advantage of the resulting fragmentation of the Hunnic confederation by settling Germanic tribes within Roman lands as foederati ("federates" providing military service in exchange for benefits). Marcian also convened the Council of Chalcedon, which declared that Jesus had two "natures": divine and human. This led to the alienation of the population of the eastern provinces of Syria and Egypt, as many of them were miaphysites, rejecting the new official Christology. Marcian died on 27 January 457, leaving the Eastern Roman Empire with a treasury surplus of seven million solidi coins, an impressive achievement considering the economic ruin inflicted upon the Eastern Roman Empire by the Huns and Theodosius' tribute payments. After his death, Aspar passed over Marcian's son-in-law, Anthemius, and had a military commander, Leo I, elected as emperor.

Photo of Simeon I of Bulgaria

9. Simeon I of Bulgaria (864 - 927)

With an HPI of 76.86, Simeon I of Bulgaria is the 9th most famous Bulgarian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 53 different languages.

Tsar Simeon (also Symeon) I the Great (Church Slavonic: цѣсар҄ь Сѷмеѡ́нъ А҃ Вели́къ, romanized: cěsarĭ Sỳmeonŭ prĭvŭ Velikŭ Bulgarian: цар Симеон I Велики, romanized: Simeon I Veliki [simɛˈɔn ˈpɤrvi vɛˈliki] Greek: Συμεών Αʹ ὁ Μέγας, romanized: Sumeṓn prôtos ho Mégas) ruled over Bulgaria from 893 to 927, during the First Bulgarian Empire. Simeon's successful campaigns against the Byzantines, Magyars and Serbs led Bulgaria to its greatest territorial expansion ever, making it the most powerful state in contemporary Eastern and Southeast Europe. His reign was also a period of unmatched cultural prosperity and enlightenment later deemed the Golden Age of Bulgarian culture.During Simeon's rule, Bulgaria spread over a territory between the Aegean, the Adriatic and the Black Sea. The newly independent Bulgarian Orthodox Church became the first new patriarchate besides the Pentarchy, and Bulgarian Glagolitic and Cyrillic translations of Christian texts spread all over the Slavic world of the time. It was at the Preslav Literary School in the 890s that the Cyrillic alphabet was developed. Halfway through his reign, Simeon assumed the title of Emperor (Tsar), having prior to that been styled Prince (Knyaz).

Photo of Todor Zhivkov

10. Todor Zhivkov (1911 - 1998)

With an HPI of 76.46, Todor Zhivkov is the 10th most famous Bulgarian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.

Todor Hristov Zhivkov (Bulgarian: Тодор Христов Живков [ˈtɔdor ˈxristof ˈʒifkof]; 7 September 1911 – 5 August 1998) was a Bulgarian communist statesman who served as the de facto leader of the People's Republic of Bulgaria (PRB) from 1954 until 1989 as General Secretary of the Bulgarian Communist Party. He was the second longest-serving leader in the Eastern Bloc after Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal, the longest-serving leader within the Warsaw Pact and the longest-serving non-royal ruler in Bulgarian history.He became First Secretary of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) in 1954 (General Secretary from April 1981), served as Prime Minister from 1962 to 1971 and from 1971 onwards as Chairman of the State Council, concurrently with his post as First Secretary. He remained in these positions for 35 years, until 1989, thus becoming the second longest-serving leader of any European Eastern Bloc nation after World War II, and one of the longest ruling non-royal leaders in modern history. His rule marked a period of unprecedented political and economic stability for Bulgaria, marked both by complete submission of Bulgaria to the Soviet Union and a desire to expand ties with the West. His rule remained unchallenged until the deterioration of East–West relations in the 1980s, when a stagnating economic situation, a worsening international image and growing careerism and corruption in the BCP weakened his position. He resigned on 10 November 1989, under pressure by senior BCP members due to his refusal to recognise problems and deal with public protests. Within a month of Zhivkov's ouster, communist rule in Bulgaria had effectively ended, and within a year the People's Republic of Bulgaria had formally ceased to exist.

Pantheon has 104 people classified as politicians born between 470 BC and 1979. Of these 104, 26 (25.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Boyko Borisov, and Rumen Radev. The most famous deceased politicians include Ahmed III, Galerius, and Aurelian. As of October 2020, 11 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Princess Eudoxia of Bulgaria, Andrey Toshev, and Pencho Zlatev.

Living Politicians

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Deceased Politicians

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Newly Added Politicians (2020)

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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.