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The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Denmark

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This page contains a list of the greatest Danish Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,577 Politicians, 173 of which were born in Denmark. This makes Denmark the birth place of the 21st most number of Politicians behind Iran and Hungary.

Top 10

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

Photo of Ivar the Boneless

1. Ivar the Boneless (900 - 873)

With an HPI of 78.69, Ivar the Boneless is the most famous Danish Politician.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages on wikipedia.

Ivar the Boneless (Old Norse: Ívarr hinn Beinlausi [ˈiːˌwɑrː ˈhinː ˈbɛinˌlɔuse]; died c. 873), also known as Ivar Ragnarsson, was a Viking leader who invaded England and Ireland. According to the Tale of Ragnar Lodbrok, he was the son of Ragnar Loðbrok and his wife Aslaug, as his brothers Björn Ironside, Hvitserk, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye and Ubba, however, this is not sure to be historically accurate. Ivar is probably the same person as Ímar, a Viking king of Dublin between 870-873.The origin of the nickname is not certain. "Ívarr beinlausi" could be translated to "Ivar legless", but "beinlausi" could also be translated as "boneless", since "bone" and "leg" translates to the same word, "bein", in Old Norse. Several of the sagas describe him as lacking legs/bones or having a skeletal condition such as osteogenesis imperfecta, while a passage in Ragnarssona þáttr (also known as the tale of Ragnar's sons) suggest it refers to male impotence.

Photo of Björn Ironside

2. Björn Ironside (800 - 876)

With an HPI of 76.83, Björn Ironside is the 2nd most famous Danish Politician.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Björn Ironside, according to Norse legends, was a Norse Viking chief and Swedish king. According to the 12th- and 13th-century Scandinavian histories, he was the son of notorious Viking king Ragnar Lodbrok and lived in the 9th century, between 855 and 858. Björn Ironside is said to have been the first ruler of the Swedish Munsö dynasty. In the early 18th century, a barrow on the island of Munsö was claimed by antiquarians to be Björn Järnsidas hög or Björn Ironside's barrow.Medieval sources refer to Björn Ironside's sons and grandsons, including Erik Björnsson and Björn at Haugi. Icelandic sagas claim that Björn was the ancestor of the house of Munsö, the line of kings that ruled in Sweden until c. 1060.

Photo of Cnut the Great

3. Cnut the Great (995 - 1035)

With an HPI of 73.29, Cnut the Great is the 3rd most famous Danish Politician.  His biography has been translated into 72 different languages.

Cnut (; Old English: Cnut cyning; Old Norse: Knútr inn ríki [ˈknuːtr ˈɪnː ˈriːkʲɪ]; died 12 November 1035), also known as Cnut the Great and Canute, was King of England from 1016, King of Denmark from 1018, and King of Norway from 1028 until his death in 1035. The three kingdoms united under Cnut's rule are referred to together as the North Sea Empire. As a Danish prince, Cnut won the throne of England in 1016 in the wake of centuries of Viking activity in northwestern Europe. His later accession to the Danish throne in 1018 brought the crowns of England and Denmark together. Cnut sought to keep this power-base by uniting Danes and English under cultural bonds of wealth and custom. After a decade of conflict with opponents in Scandinavia, Cnut claimed the crown of Norway in Trondheim in 1028. The Swedish city Sigtuna was held by Cnut. (He had coins struck there that called him king, but there is no narrative record of his occupation.) In 1031, Malcolm II of Scotland also submitted to him, though Anglo-Norse influence over Scotland was weak and ultimately did not last by the time of Cnut's death.Dominion of England lent the Danes an important link to the maritime zone between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, where Cnut, like his father before him, had a strong interest and wielded much influence among the Norse–Gaels. Cnut's possession of England's dioceses and the continental Diocese of Denmark—with a claim laid upon it by the Holy Roman Empire's Archdiocese of Hamburg-Bremen—was a source of great prestige and leverage within the Catholic Church and among the magnates of Christendom. (Gaining notable concessions such as one on the price of the pallium of his bishops, though they still had to travel to obtain the pallium, as well as on the tolls his people had to pay on the way to Rome.) After his 1026 victory against Norway and Sweden, and on his way back from Rome where he attended the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor, Cnut deemed himself "King of all England and Denmark and the Norwegians and of some of the Swedes" in a letter written for the benefit of his subjects. The Anglo-Saxon kings used the title "king of the English". Cnut was ealles Engla landes cyning—"king of all England". Medieval historian Norman Cantor called him "the most effective king in Anglo-Saxon history".

Photo of Christian VII of Denmark

4. Christian VII of Denmark (1749 - 1808)

With an HPI of 73.22, Christian VII of Denmark is the 4th most famous Danish Politician.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Christian VII (29 January 1749 – 13 March 1808) was a monarch of the House of Oldenburg who was King of Denmark–Norway and Duke of Schleswig and Holstein from 1766 until his death in 1808. For his motto he chose: "Gloria ex amore patriae" ("Glory through love of the fatherland").Christian VII's reign was marked by mental illness and for most of his reign, Christian was only nominally king. His royal advisers changed depending on who won power struggles around the throne. From 1770 to 1772, his court physician Johann Friedrich Struensee was the de facto ruler of the country and introduced progressive reforms signed into law by Christian VII. Struensee was deposed by a coup in 1772, after which the country was ruled by Christian's stepmother, Juliane Marie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, his half-brother Frederick, and the Danish politician Ove Høegh-Guldberg. From 1784 until Christian VII's death in 1808, Christian's son, later Frederick VI, acted as unofficial regent.

Photo of Margaret I of Denmark

5. Margaret I of Denmark (1353 - 1412)

With an HPI of 72.43, Margaret I of Denmark is the 5th most famous Danish Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 55 different languages.

Margaret I (Danish: Margrete Valdemarsdatter; March 1353 – 28 October 1412) was Queen regnant of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (which included Finland) from the late 1380s until her death, and the founder of the Kalmar Union that joined the Scandinavian kingdoms together for over a century. She had been queen consort of Norway from 1363 to 1380 and of Sweden from 1363 to 1364 by marriage to Haakon VI of Norway. Margaret was known as a wise, energetic and capable leader, who governed with "farsighted tact and caution," earning the nickname "Semiramis of the North". She was derisively called "King Breechless", one of several derogatory nicknames invented by her rival Albert of Mecklenburg, but was also known by her subjects as "Lady King", which became widely used in recognition of her capabilities. Knut Gjerset calls her "the first great ruling queen in European history."The youngest daughter of Valdemar IV of Denmark, Margaret was born at Søborg Castle. She was a practical, patient administrator and diplomat, albeit one of high aspirations and a strong will, who intended to unite Scandinavia forever into one single entity with the strength to resist and compete against the might of the Hanseatic League. In 1363, aged ten, Margaret married Haakon VI. They had a son, Olaf. Following the deaths of her husband and son, Margaret was proclaimed queen of the Scandinavian kingdoms. She was ultimately succeeded by a grandnephew, Eric of Pomerania. Although Eric came of age in 1401, Margaret continued for the remaining 11 years of her life to be sole ruler in all but name. Her regency marked the beginning of a Dano-Norwegian union which was to last for more than four centuries.Some Norwegian and Swedish historians have criticized Margaret for favouring Denmark and being too autocratic, though she is generally thought to have been highly regarded in Norway and respected in Denmark and Sweden. She was painted in a negative light in contemporary religious chronicles, as she had no qualms suppressing the Church to promote royal power. Margaret is known in Denmark as "Margrethe I" to distinguish her from the current queen, who chose to be known as Margrethe II in recognition of her predecessor.

Photo of Frederick IX of Denmark

6. Frederick IX of Denmark (1899 - 1972)

With an HPI of 72.23, Frederick IX of Denmark is the 6th most famous Danish Politician.  His biography has been translated into 58 different languages.

Frederick IX (Danish: Christian Frederik Franz Michael Carl Valdemar Georg; 11 March 1899 – 14 January 1972) was King of Denmark from 1947 to 1972. Born into the House of Glücksburg, Frederick was the elder son of King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine of Denmark. He became crown prince when his father succeeded as king in 1912. As a young man, he was educated at the Royal Danish Naval Academy. In 1935, he was married to Princess Ingrid of Sweden and they had three daughters, Margrethe, Benedikte and Anne-Marie. During Nazi Germany's occupation of Denmark, Frederick acted as regent on behalf of his father from 1942 until 1943. Frederick became king on his father's death in early 1947. During Frederick IX's reign Danish society changed rapidly, the welfare state was expanded and, as a consequence of the booming economy of the 1960s, women entered the labour market. The modernization brought new demands on the monarchy and Frederick's role as a constitutional monarch. Frederick IX died in 1972, and was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Queen Margrethe II.

Photo of Gorm the Old

7. Gorm the Old (900 - 958)

With an HPI of 72.22, Gorm the Old is the 7th most famous Danish Politician.  His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.

Gorm the Old (Danish: Gorm den Gamle; Old Norse: Gormr gamli; Latin: Gormus Senex), also called Gorm the Languid (Danish: Gorm Løge, Gorm den Dvaske), was ruler of Denmark, reigning from c.  936 to his death c.  958 or a few years later. He ruled from Jelling, and made the oldest of the Jelling Stones in honour of his wife Thyra. Gorm was born before 900 and died perhaps around 958 or possibly 963 or 964.

Photo of George I of Greece

8. George I of Greece (1845 - 1913)

With an HPI of 72.08, George I of Greece is the 8th most famous Danish Politician.  His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.

George I (Greek: Γεώργιος Α΄, Geórgios I; 24 December 1845 – 18 March 1913) was King of Greece from 30 March 1863 until his assassination in 1913. Originally a Danish prince, he was born in Copenhagen, and seemed destined for a career in the Royal Danish Navy. He was only 17 years old when he was elected king by the Greek National Assembly, which had deposed the unpopular Otto. His nomination was both suggested and supported by the Great Powers: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Second French Empire and the Russian Empire. He married Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia in 1867, and became the first monarch of a new Greek dynasty. Two of his sisters, Alexandra and Dagmar, married into the British and Russian royal families. Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Alexander III of Russia were his brothers-in-law, and George V of the United Kingdom, Christian X of Denmark, Haakon VII of Norway, and Nicholas II of Russia were his nephews. George's reign of almost 50 years (the longest in modern Greek history) was characterized by territorial gains as Greece established its place in pre–World War I Europe. Britain ceded the Ionian Islands peacefully in 1864, while Thessaly was annexed from the Ottoman Empire after the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). Greece was not always successful in its territorial ambitions; it was defeated in the Greco-Turkish War (1897). During the First Balkan War, after Greek troops had captured much of Greek Macedonia, George was assassinated in Thessaloniki. Compared with his own long tenure, the reigns of his successors Constantine I, Alexander, and George II proved short and insecure.

Photo of Sweyn Forkbeard

9. Sweyn Forkbeard (960 - 1014)

With an HPI of 71.99, Sweyn Forkbeard is the 9th most famous Danish Politician.  His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.

Sweyn Forkbeard (Old Norse: Sveinn Haraldsson tjúguskegg [ˈswɛinː ˈhɑrˌɑldsˌson ˈtjuːɣoˌskeɡː]; Danish: Svend Tveskæg; 17 April 963 – 3 February 1014) was King of Denmark from 986 until his death, King of England for five weeks from December 1013 until his death, and King of Norway from 999/1000 until 1013/14. He was the father of King Harald II of Denmark, King Cnut the Great, and Queen Estrid Svendsdatter.In the mid-980s, Sweyn revolted against his father, Harald Bluetooth, and seized the throne. Harald was driven into exile and died shortly afterwards in November 986 or 987. In 1000, with the allegiance of Eric, Earl of Lade, Sweyn ruled most of Norway. In 1013, shortly before his death, he became the first Danish king of the English after a long effort.

Photo of Christian II of Denmark

10. Christian II of Denmark (1481 - 1559)

With an HPI of 71.91, Christian II of Denmark is the 10th most famous Danish Politician.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Christian II (1 July 1481 – 25 January 1559) was a Scandinavian monarch under the Kalmar Union who reigned as King of Denmark and Norway, from 1513 until 1523, and Sweden from 1520 until 1521. From 1513 to 1523, he was concurrently Duke of Schleswig and Holstein in joint rule with his uncle Frederick. As king, Christian tried to maintain the Kalmar Union between the Scandinavian countries which brought him to war with Sweden, lasting between 1518 and 1523. Though he captured the country in 1520, the subsequent slaughter of leading Swedish nobility, churchmen, and others, known as the Stockholm Bloodbath, caused the Swedes to rise against his rule. He was deposed in a rebellion led by the nobleman and later king of Sweden Gustav Vasa. He attempted to bring in a radical reform of the Danish state in 1521–22, which would have strengthened the rights of commoners at the expense of the nobles and clergy. The nobility rose against him in 1523, and he was exiled to the Netherlands, ceding the Danish throne to his uncle Frederick. After attempting to reclaim the thrones in 1531, he was arrested and held in captivity for the rest of his life, first in Sønderborg Castle and later at Kalundborg Castle. Supporters tried to restore him to power both during his exile and his imprisonment but they were defeated decisively during the Count's Feud in 1536. Christian died at Kalundborg in 1559. Christian married Isabella of Austria, granddaughter of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1515. Isabella died in 1526, after which her family took Christian's three children from him. His relationship with his mistress, Dyveke Sigbritsdatter, pre-dated his marriage and continued until her death in 1517. Christian's persecution of her supposed murderer contributed to his political isolation and downfall. Dyveke's mother, Sigbrit Willoms, became an influential councillor and followed Christian into exile.

Pantheon has 173 people classified as politicians born between 800 and 1995. Of these 173, 36 (20.81%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Princess Benedikte of Denmark, and Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. The most famous deceased politicians include Ivar the Boneless, Björn Ironside, and Cnut the Great. As of April 2022, 25 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Erik Axelsson Tott, Valdemar the Young, and August Philipp, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck.

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 25 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.