The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Egyptian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Egyptian 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 Egyptian Politicians.
With an HPI of 89.49, Tutankhamun is the most famous Egyptian Politician. His biography has been translated into 99 different languages on wikipedia.
Tutankhamun (, Ancient Egyptian: twt-ꜥnḫ-jmn), Egyptological pronunciation Tutankhamen () (c. 1342 – c. 1325 BC), commonly referred to as King Tut, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who was the last of his royal family to rule during the end of the 18th Dynasty (ruled c. 1334 – 1325 BC in the conventional chronology) during the New Kingdom of Egyptian history. His father was the pharaoh Akhenaten, believed to be the mummy found in the tomb KV55. His mother is his father's sister, identified through DNA testing as an unknown mummy referred to as "The Younger Lady" who was found in KV35.Tutankhamun took the throne at eight or nine years of age under the unprecedented viziership of his eventual successor, Ay, to whom he may have been related. He married his half sister Ankhesenamun. During their marriage they lost two daughters, one at 5–6 months of pregnancy and the other shortly after birth at full-term. His names—Tutankhaten and Tutankhamun—are thought to mean "Living image of Aten" and "Living image of Amun", with Aten replaced by Amun after Akhenaten's death. A small number of Egyptologists, including Battiscombe Gunn, believe the translation may be incorrect and closer to "The-life-of-Aten-is-pleasing" or, as Professor Gerhard Fecht believes, reads as "One-perfect-of-life-is-Aten". Tutankhamun restored the Ancient Egyptian religion after its dissolution by his father, enriched and endowed the priestly orders of two important cults and began restoring old monuments damaged during the previous Amarna period. He moved his father's remains to the Valley of the Kings as well as moving the capital from Akhetaten to Thebes. Tutankhamun was physically disabled with a deformity of his left foot along with bone necrosis that required the use of a cane, several of which were found in his tomb. He had other health issues including scoliosis and had contracted several strains of malaria. The 1922 discovery by Howard Carter of Tutankhamun's nearly intact tomb, in excavations funded by Lord Carnarvon, received worldwide press coverage. With over 5,000 artifacts, it sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt, for which Tutankhamun's mask, now in the Egyptian Museum, remains a popular symbol. The deaths of a few involved in the discovery of Tutankhamun's mummy have been popularly attributed to the curse of the pharaohs. He has, since the discovery of his intact tomb, been referred to colloquially as "King Tut". Some of his treasure has traveled worldwide with unprecedented response. The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities allowed tours beginning in 1962 with the exhibit at the Louvre in Paris, followed by the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art in Tokyo, Japan. The exhibits drew in millions of visitors. The 1972–1979 exhibit was shown in United States, Soviet Union, Japan, France, Canada, and West Germany. There were no international exhibitions again until 2005–2011. This exhibit featured Tutankhamun's predecessors from the 18th Dynasty, including Hatshepsut and Akhenaten, but did not include the golden death mask. The treasures 2019–2022 tour began in Los Angeles and will end in 2022 at the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, which, for the first time, will be displaying the full Tutankhamun collection, gathered from all of Egypt's museums and storerooms.
With an HPI of 87.37, Akhenaten is the 2nd most famous Egyptian Politician. His biography has been translated into 84 different languages.
Akhenaten (pronounced ), also spelled Echnaton, Akhenaton, Ikhnaton, and Khuenaten (Ancient Egyptian: ꜣḫ-n-jtn, meaning "Effective for the Aten"), was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh reigning c. 1353–1336 or 1351–1334 BC, the tenth ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Before the fifth year of his reign, he was known as Amenhotep IV (Ancient Egyptian: jmn-ḥtp, meaning "Amun is satisfied", Hellenized as Amenophis IV). Akhenaten is noted for abandoning Egypt's traditional polytheistic religion and introducing Atenism, worship centered on Aten. The views of Egyptologists differ whether Atenism should be considered as absolute monotheism, or whether it was monolatry, syncretism, or henotheism. This culture shift away from traditional religion was not widely accepted. After his death, Akhenaten's monuments were dismantled and hidden, his statues were destroyed, and his name excluded from lists of rulers compiled by later pharaohs. Traditional religious practice was gradually restored, notably under his close successor Tutankhamun, who changed his name from Tutankhaten early in his reign. When some dozen years later rulers without clear rights of succession from the Eighteenth Dynasty founded a new dynasty, they discredited Akhenaten and his immediate successors, referring to Akhenaten himself as "the enemy" or "that criminal" in archival records.Akhenaten was all but lost to history until the late 19th century discovery of Amarna, or Akhetaten, the new capital city he built for the worship of Aten. Furthermore, in 1907, a mummy that could be Akhenaten's was unearthed from the tomb KV55 in the Valley of the Kings by Edward R. Ayrton. Genetic testing has determined that the man buried in KV55 was Tutankhamun's father, but its identification as Akhenaten has since been questioned.Akhenaten's rediscovery and Flinders Petrie's early excavations at Amarna sparked great public interest in the pharaoh and his queen Nefertiti. He has been described as "enigmatic", "mysterious", "revolutionary", "the greatest idealist of the world", and "the first individual in history", but also as a "heretic", "fanatic", "possibly insane", and "mad". The interest comes from his connection with Tutankhamun, the unique style and high quality of the pictorial arts he patronized, and ongoing interest in the religion he attempted to establish.
With an HPI of 85.46, Cleopatra is the 3rd most famous Egyptian Politician. Her biography has been translated into 127 different languages.
Cleopatra VII Philopator (Koinē Greek: Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ; 69 BC – 10 August 30 BC) was queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, and its last active ruler. A member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, she was a descendant of its founder Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian Greek general and companion of Alexander the Great. After the death of Cleopatra, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire, marking the end of the second to last Hellenistic state and the age that had lasted since the reign of Alexander (336–323 BC). Her native language was Koine Greek, and she was the only Ptolemaic ruler to learn the Egyptian language.In 58 BC, Cleopatra presumably accompanied her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes, during his exile to Rome after a revolt in Egypt (a Roman client state) allowing his daughter Berenice IV to claim the throne. Berenice was killed in 55 BC when Ptolemy returned to Egypt with Roman military assistance. When he died in 51 BC, the joint reign of Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy XIII began, but a falling-out between them led to open civil war. After losing the 48 BC Battle of Pharsalus in Greece against his rival Julius Caesar (a Roman dictator and consul) in Caesar's Civil War, the Roman statesman Pompey fled to Egypt. Pompey had been a political ally of Ptolemy XII, but Ptolemy XIII, at the urging of his court eunuchs, had Pompey ambushed and killed before Caesar arrived and occupied Alexandria. Caesar then attempted to reconcile the rival Ptolemaic siblings, but Ptolemy's chief adviser Potheinos viewed Caesar's terms as favoring Cleopatra, so his forces besieged her and Caesar at the palace. Shortly after the siege was lifted by reinforcements, Ptolemy XIII died in the 47 BC Battle of the Nile; Cleopatra's half-sister Arsinoe IV was eventually exiled to Ephesus for her role in carrying out the siege. Caesar declared Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy XIV joint rulers but maintained a private affair with Cleopatra that produced a son, Caesarion. Cleopatra traveled to Rome as a client queen in 46 and 44 BC, where she stayed at Caesar's villa. After the assassinations of Caesar and (on her orders) Ptolemy XIV in 44 BC, she named Caesarion co-ruler. In the Liberators' civil war of 43–42 BC, Cleopatra sided with the Roman Second Triumvirate formed by Caesar's grandnephew and heir Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. After their meeting at Tarsos in 41 BC, the queen had an affair with Antony. He carried out the execution of Arsinoe at her request, and became increasingly reliant on Cleopatra for both funding and military aid during his invasions of the Parthian Empire and the Kingdom of Armenia. The Donations of Alexandria declared their children Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II, and Ptolemy Philadelphus rulers over various erstwhile territories under Antony's triumviral authority. This event, their marriage, and Antony's divorce of Octavian's sister Octavia Minor led to the Final War of the Roman Republic. Octavian engaged in a war of propaganda, forced Antony's allies in the Roman Senate to flee Rome in 32 BC, and declared war on Cleopatra. After defeating Antony and Cleopatra's naval fleet at the 31 BC Battle of Actium, Octavian's forces invaded Egypt in 30 BC and defeated Antony, leading to Antony's suicide. When Cleopatra learned that Octavian planned to bring her to his Roman triumphal procession, she killed herself by poisoning, contrary to the popular belief that she was bitten by an asp. Cleopatra's legacy survives in ancient and modern works of art. Roman historiography and Latin poetry produced a generally critical view of the queen that pervaded later Medieval and Renaissance literature. In the visual arts, her ancient depictions include Roman busts, paintings, and sculptures, cameo carvings and glass, Ptolemaic and Roman coinage, and reliefs. In Renaissance and Baroque art, she was the subject of many works including operas, paintings, poetry, sculptures, and theatrical dramas. She has become a pop culture icon of Egyptomania since the Victorian era, and in modern times, Cleopatra has appeared in the applied and fine arts, burlesque satire, Hollywood films, and brand images for commercial products.
With an HPI of 85.11, Yasser Arafat is the 4th most famous Egyptian Politician. His biography has been translated into 112 different languages.
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini ( ARR-ə-fat, also US: AR-ə-FAHT; Arabic: محمد ياسر عبد الرحمن عبد الرؤوف عرفات القدوة الحسيني; 4 / 24 August 1929 – 11 November 2004), popularly known as Yasser Arafat (Arabic: ياسر عرفات, romanized: Yāsir ʿArafāt) or by his kunya Abu Ammar (Arabic: أبو عمار, romanized: ʾAbū ʿAmmār), was a Palestinian political leader. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from 1969 to 2004 and President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) from 1994 to 2004. Ideologically an Arab nationalist, he was a founding member of the Fatah political party, which he led from 1959 until 2004. Arafat was born to Palestinian parents in Cairo, Egypt, where he spent most of his youth and studied at the University of King Fuad I. While a student, he embraced Arab nationalist and anti-Zionist ideas. Opposed to the 1948 creation of the State of Israel, he fought alongside the Muslim Brotherhood during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Returning to Cairo, he served as president of the General Union of Palestinian Students from 1952 to 1956. In the latter part of the 1950s he co-founded Fatah, a paramilitary organisation seeking the removal of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian state. Fatah operated within several Arab countries, from where it launched attacks on Israeli targets. In the latter part of the 1960s Arafat's profile grew; in 1967 he joined the PLO and in 1969 was elected chair of the Palestinian National Council (PNC). Fatah's growing presence in Jordan resulted in military clashes with King Hussein's Jordanian government and in the early 1970s it relocated to Lebanon. There, Fatah assisted the Lebanese National Movement during the Lebanese Civil War and continued its attacks on Israel, resulting in it becoming a major target of Israel's 1978 and 1982 invasions. From 1983 to 1993, Arafat based himself in Tunisia, and began to shift his approach from open conflict with the Israelis to negotiation. In 1988, he acknowledged Israel's right to exist and sought a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. In 1994 he returned to Palestine, settling in Gaza City and promoting self-governance for the Palestinian territories. He engaged in a series of negotiations with the Israeli government to end the conflict between it and the PLO. These included the Madrid Conference of 1991, the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2000 Camp David Summit. In 1994, Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize, together with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, for the negotiations in Oslo. At the time, Fatah's support among the Palestinians declined with the growth of Hamas and other militant rivals. In late 2004, after effectively being confined within his Ramallah compound for over two years by the Israeli army, Arafat fell into a coma and died. While the cause of Arafat's death has remained the subject of speculation, investigations by Russian and French teams determined no foul play was involved.Arafat remains a controversial figure. Palestinians generally view him as a martyr who symbolized the national aspirations of his people. Israelis regarded him as a terrorist. Palestinian rivals, including Islamists and several PLO leftists, frequently denounced him for being corrupt or too submissive in his concessions to the Israeli government.
With an HPI of 84.54, Hatshepsut is the 5th most famous Egyptian Politician. Her biography has been translated into 74 different languages.
Hatshepsut (; also Hatchepsut; Egyptian: ḥꜣt-šps.wt "Foremost of Noble Ladies"; 1507–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh, the first being Sobekneferu. (Various other women may have also ruled as pharaohs regnant or at least regents before Hatshepsut, as early as Neithhotep around 1,600 years prior.) Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. Her rise to power was noteworthy as it required her to utilize her bloodline, education, and an understanding of religion. Her bloodline was impeccable as she was the daughter, sister, and wife of a king. Hatshepsut's understanding of religion allowed her to establish herself as the God's Wife of Amun. Officially, she ruled jointly with Thutmose III, who had ascended to the throne the previous year as a child of about two years old. Hatshepsut was the chief wife of Thutmose II, Thutmose III's father. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty. According to Egyptologist James Henry Breasted, she is also known as "the first great woman in history of whom we are informed."Hatshepsut was the daughter and only child of Thutmose I and his primary wife, Ahmose. Her husband Thutmose II was the son of Thutmose I and a secondary wife who was named Mutnofret, who carried the title King's daughter and was probably a child of Ahmose I. Hatshepsut and Thutmose II had a daughter named Neferure. After having their daughter, Hatshepsut could not bear any more children. Thutmose II with Iset, a secondary wife, would father Thutmose III, who would succeed Hatshepsut as pharaoh.
With an HPI of 84.28, Amenhotep III is the 6th most famous Egyptian Politician. His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.
Amenhotep III (Ancient Egyptian: imn-ḥtp(.w) "Amun is Satisfied"; Hellenized as Amenophis III), also known as Amenhotep the Magnificent, was the ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. According to different authors, he ruled Egypt from June 1386 to 1349 BC, or from June 1388 BC to December 1351 BC/1350 BC, after his father Thutmose IV died. Amenhotep III was Thutmose's son by a minor wife, Mutemwiya.His reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity and splendour, when Egypt reached the peak of its artistic and international power. When he died in the 38th or 39th year of his reign, his son initially ruled as Amenhotep IV, but then changed his own royal name to Akhenaten.
With an HPI of 83.95, Hosni Mubarak is the 7th most famous Egyptian Politician. His biography has been translated into 111 different languages.
Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak (4 May 1928 – 25 February 2020) was an Egyptian military and political leader who served as the fourth president of Egypt from 1981 to 2011. Before he entered politics, Mubarak was a career officer in the Egyptian Air Force. He served as its commander from 1972 to 1975 and rose to the rank of air chief marshal in 1973. He assumed the presidency after President Anwar Sadat's assassination in 1981. Mubarak's presidency lasted almost thirty years, making him Egypt's longest-serving ruler since Muhammad Ali Pasha, who ruled the country for 43 years from 1805 to 1848. Mubarak stepped down during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 after 18 days of demonstrations. On 11 February 2011, former Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak and he had resigned as president and vice president respectively and transferred authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.On 13 April 2011, a prosecutor ordered Mubarak and both of his sons (Alaa and Gamal) to be detained for 15 days of questioning about allegations of corruption and abuse of power. Mubarak was then ordered to stand trial on charges of negligence for failing to halt the killing of peaceful protesters during the revolution. These trials began on 3 August 2011. On 2 June 2012, an Egyptian court sentenced Mubarak to life imprisonment. After sentencing, he was reported to have suffered a series of health crises. On 13 January 2013, Egypt's Court of Cassation (the nation's high court of appeal) overturned Mubarak's sentence and ordered a retrial. On retrial, Mubarak and his sons were convicted on 9 May 2015 of corruption and given prison sentences. Mubarak was detained in a military hospital while his sons were freed 12 October 2015 by a Cairo court. He was acquitted on 2 March 2017 by the Court of Cassation and was released on 24 March 2017.Mubarak died on 25 February 2020, aged 91. He received a military burial at a family plot outside Cairo.
With an HPI of 83.26, Gamal Abdel Nasser is the 8th most famous Egyptian Politician. His biography has been translated into 95 different languages.
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein (15 January 1918 – 28 September 1970) was an Egyptian politician who served as the second President of Egypt from 1954 until his death in 1970. Nasser led the 1952 overthrow of the monarchy and introduced far-reaching land reforms the following year. Following a 1954 attempt on his life by a Muslim Brotherhood member, he cracked down on the organization, put President Mohamed Naguib under house arrest and assumed executive office. He was formally elected president in June 1956. Nasser's popularity in Egypt and the Arab world skyrocketed after his nationalization of the Suez Canal and his political victory in the subsequent Suez Crisis. Calls for pan-Arab unity under his leadership increased, culminating with the formation of the United Arab Republic with Syria from 1958 to 1961. In 1962, Nasser began a series of major socialist measures and modernization reforms in Egypt. Despite setbacks to his pan-Arabist cause, by 1963 Nasser's supporters gained power in several Arab countries, but he became embroiled in the North Yemen Civil War and eventually the much larger Arab Cold War. He began his second presidential term in March 1965 after his political opponents were banned from running. Following Egypt's defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, Nasser resigned, but he returned to office after popular demonstrations called for his reinstatement. By 1968, Nasser had appointed himself Prime Minister, launched the War of Attrition to regain lost territory, began a process of depoliticizing the military and issued a set of political liberalization reforms. After the conclusion of the 1970 Arab League summit, Nasser suffered a heart attack and died. His funeral in Cairo drew five million mourners and an outpouring of grief across the Arab world. Nasser remains an iconic figure in the Arab world, particularly for his strides towards social justice and Arab unity, modernization policies and anti-imperialist efforts. His presidency also encouraged and coincided with an Egyptian cultural boom and launched large industrial projects, including the Aswan Dam and Helwan city. Nasser's detractors criticize his authoritarianism, his human rights violations and his dominance of the military over civil institutions, establishing a pattern of military and dictatorial rule in Egypt.
With an HPI of 82.94, Anwar Sadat is the 9th most famous Egyptian Politician. His biography has been translated into 98 different languages.
Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat (25 December 1918 – 6 October 1981) was an Egyptian politician who served as the third President of Egypt, from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981. Sadat was a senior member of the Free Officers who overthrew King Farouk in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and a close confidant of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, under whom he served as Vice President twice and whom he succeeded as president in 1970. In 1978, Sadat and Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, signed a peace treaty in cooperation with United States President Jimmy Carter, for which they were recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize. In his eleven years as president, he changed Egypt's trajectory, departing from many of the political and economic tenets of Nasserism, re-instituting a multi-party system, and launching the Infitah economic policy. As President, he led Egypt in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to regain Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967, making him a hero in Egypt and, for a time, the wider Arab World. Afterwards, he engaged in negotiations with Israel, culminating in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty; this won him and Menachem Begin the Nobel Peace Prize, making Sadat the first Muslim Nobel laureate. Although reaction to the treaty—which resulted in the return of Sinai to Egypt—was generally favorable among Egyptians, it was rejected by the country's Muslim Brotherhood and the left, which felt Sadat had abandoned efforts to ensure a Palestinian state. With the exception of Sudan, the Arab world and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) strongly opposed Sadat's efforts to make a separate peace with Israel without prior consultations with the Arab states. His refusal to reconcile with them over the Palestinian issue resulted in Egypt being suspended from the Arab League from 1979 to 1989. The peace treaty was also one of the primary factors that led to his assassination; on 6 October 1981, militants led by Khalid Islambouli opened fire on Sadat with automatic rifles during the 6 October parade in Cairo, killing him.
With an HPI of 82.81, Rudolf Hess is the 10th most famous Egyptian Politician. His biography has been translated into 68 different languages.
Rudolf Walter Richard Hess (Heß in German; 26 April 1894 – 17 August 1987) was a German politician and a leading member of the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany. Appointed Deputy Führer to Adolf Hitler in 1933, Hess served in that position until 1941, when he flew solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom during World War II. He was taken prisoner and eventually convicted of crimes against peace, serving a life sentence until his suicide in 1987. Hess enlisted as an infantryman in the Imperial German Army at the outbreak of World War I. He was wounded several times over the course of the war and was awarded the Iron Cross, 2nd Class, in 1915. Shortly before the war ended, Hess enrolled to train as an aviator, but he saw no action in that role. He left the armed forces in December 1918 with the rank of Leutnant der Reserve. In 1919 Hess enrolled in the University of Munich, where he studied geopolitics under Karl Haushofer, a proponent of the concept of Lebensraum ("living space"), which became one of the pillars of Nazi ideology. Hess joined the Nazi Party on 1 July 1920 and was at Hitler's side on 8 November 1923 for the Beer Hall Putsch, a failed Nazi attempt to seize control of the government of Bavaria. While serving time in jail for this attempted coup, he assisted Hitler with Mein Kampf, which became a foundation of the political platform of the Nazi Party. After Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933, Hess was appointed Deputy Führer of the Nazi Party in April. He was elected to the Reichstag in the March elections, was made a Reichsleiter of the Nazi Party in June and in December 1933 he became Minister without Portfolio in Hitler's cabinet. He was also appointed in 1938 to the Cabinet Council and in August 1939 to the Council of Ministers for Defense of the Reich. Hitler decreed on the outbreak of war on 1 September 1939 that Hermann Göring was his official successor, and named Hess as next in line. In addition to appearing on Hitler's behalf at speaking engagements and rallies, Hess signed into law much of the government's legislation, including the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which stripped the Jews of Germany of their rights in the lead-up to the Holocaust. On 10 May 1941, Hess made a solo flight to Scotland, where he hoped to arrange peace talks with the Duke of Hamilton, whom he believed to be a prominent opponent of the British government's war policy. The British authorities arrested Hess immediately on his arrival and held him in custody until the end of the war, when he was returned to Germany to stand trial at the Nuremberg trials of major war-criminals in 1946. During much of his trial, he claimed to be suffering from amnesia, but he later admitted this was a ruse. The Court convicted him of crimes against peace and of conspiracy with other German leaders to commit crimes. He served a life sentence in Spandau Prison; the Soviet Union blocked repeated attempts by family members and prominent politicians to win his early release. While still in custody in Spandau, he hanged himself in 1987 at the age of 93. After his death, the prison was demolished to prevent it from becoming a neo-Nazi shrine.
Pantheon has 208 people classified as politicians born between 3500 BC and 1980. Of these 208, 21 (10.10%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, and Nawal El Saadawi. The most famous deceased politicians include Tutankhamun, Akhenaten, and Cleopatra. As of October 2020, 10 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Jehan Sadat, Pentawer, and Iset.
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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.