The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Estonia

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This page contains a list of the greatest Estonian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,710 Politicians, 55 of which were born in Estonia. This makes Estonia the birth place of the 45th 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 Estonian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Estonian 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 Estonian Politicians.

Photo of Catherine I of Russia

1. Catherine I of Russia (1684 - 1727)

With an HPI of 82.81, Catherine I of Russia is the most famous Estonian Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 67 different languages on wikipedia.

Catherine I (Russian: Екатери́на I Алексе́евна Миха́йлова, tr. Yekaterína I Alekséyevna Mikháylova; born Polish: Marta Helena Skowrońska, Russian: Ма́рта Самуи́ловна Скавро́нская, tr. Márta Samuílovna Skavrónskaya; 15 April [O.S. 5 April] 1684 – 17 May [O.S. 6 May] 1727) was the second wife and Empress consort of Peter the Great, and Empress Regnant of Russia from 1725 until her death in 1727.

Photo of Alfred Rosenberg

2. Alfred Rosenberg (1893 - 1946)

With an HPI of 80.00, Alfred Rosenberg is the 2nd most famous Estonian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.

Alfred Ernst Rosenberg (12 January [O.S. 31 December 1892] 1893 – 16 October 1946) was a Baltic German Nazi theorist and ideologue. Rosenberg was first introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart and he held several important posts in the Nazi government. He was the head of the NSDAP Office of Foreign Affairs during the entire rule of Nazi Germany (1933–1945), and led Amt Rosenberg ("Rosenberg's bureau"), an official Nazi body for cultural policy and surveillance, between 1934 and 1945. During World War II, Rosenberg was the head of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories (1941–1945). After the war, he was convicted of crimes against peace; planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression; war crimes; and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials in 1946. He was sentenced to death and executed on 16 October 1946. The author of a seminal work of Nazi ideology, The Myth of the Twentieth Century (1930), Rosenberg is considered one of the main authors of key Nazi ideological creeds, including its racial theory, persecution of the Jews, Lebensraum, abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, and opposition to what was considered "degenerate" modern art. He is known for his rejection of and hatred for Christianity, having played an important role in the development of German nationalist Positive Christianity.

Photo of Konstantin Päts

3. Konstantin Päts (1874 - 1956)

With an HPI of 72.80, Konstantin Päts is the 3rd most famous Estonian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.

Konstantin Päts (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈkons.tɑnʲ.tin ˈpætʲs]; 23 February [O.S. 11 February] 1874 – 18 January 1956) was the most influential politician of interwar Estonia, and served five times as the country's head of government. He was one of the first Estonians to become active in politics and started an almost 40-year political rivalry with Jaan Tõnisson, first through journalism with his newspaper Teataja, later through politics. He was condemned to death during the 1905 Revolution, but managed to flee first to Switzerland, then to Finland, where he continued his literary work. He returned to Estonia, but had to spend time in prison in 1910–1911. In 1917, Päts headed the provincial government of the Autonomous Governorate of Estonia, but was forced to go underground after the October Revolution. On 19 February 1918, Päts became one of the three members of the Estonian Salvation Committee that issued the Estonian Declaration of Independence on 24 February. Konstantin Päts headed the Estonian Provisional Government (1918–1919), although he was imprisoned during the second half of the German Occupation. In the provisional government, Päts also served as Minister of Internal Affairs (1918) and Minister of War (1918–1919) that left him organizing Estonian troops for the War of Independence. During the 1920s and early 1930s, Päts led the most right-wing party of the major political parties of the time – the conservative Farmers' Assemblies that eventually merged with the Union of Settlers and Smallholders in 1932. Päts was the speaker of the Riigikogu (1922–1923) and served five times as State Elder, a post equivalent to that of president in Estonia's radically parliamentarian system (1921–1922, 1923–1924, 1931–1932, 1932–1933, and 1933–1934). During his last term as State Elder, he organized a self-coup to neutralise the right-wing populist Vaps Movement. He was supported by the army and the parliament. During the authoritarian regime ("Era of Silence"), many reforms were made and the economy grew, while he prolonged the return of constitutional order. Largely supported by General Johan Laidoner, Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, Päts ruled as Prime Minister in duties of the State Elder (1934–1937) and President-Regent (1937–1938) until a new constitution was adopted in 1938, after which Päts became the first President of Estonia. During his presidency, the Soviet Union occupied Estonia in 1940. As President, he was forced to sign decrees for over a month, until he was finally arrested and deported to the Soviet Union, where he died in 1956.

Photo of Lennart Meri

4. Lennart Meri (1929 - 2006)

With an HPI of 72.00, Lennart Meri is the 4th most famous Estonian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Lennart Georg Meri (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈlenˑɑrt ˈgeorg ˈmeri]; 29 March 1929 – 14 March 2006) was an Estonian politician, writer, and film director. He served as the second president of Estonia from 1992 to 2001. Meri was among the leaders of the movement to restore Estonian independence from the Soviet Union.

Photo of Arnold Rüütel

5. Arnold Rüütel (1928 - )

With an HPI of 70.36, Arnold Rüütel is the 5th most famous Estonian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.

Arnold Rüütel OIH (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈɑrnold ˈryːtel]) (born 10 May 1928) is an Estonian politician and agricultural scientist. He has served as the last chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR from April 8, 1983, to March 29, 1990, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR (from May 8, 1990: Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia) from March 29, 1990, to October 6, 1992, and was the third president of Estonia from October 8, 2001, to October 9, 2006. He was the second president since Estonia regained independence in 1991. Rüütel also served as one of fifteen Deputy Chairmen of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

Photo of Jacob De la Gardie

6. Jacob De la Gardie (1583 - 1652)

With an HPI of 70.03, Jacob De la Gardie is the 6th most famous Estonian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Field Marshal and Count Jacob Pontusson De la Gardie (Reval, 20 June 1583 – Stockholm, 22 August 1652) was a statesman and a soldier of the Swedish Empire, and a Marshal from 1620 onward.He was Privy Councilor from 1613 onward, Governor of Swedish Estonia in 1619–1622, Governor-General of Livonia in 1622–1628 (conquered by the Swedish Empire in 1621, and referred to as Swedish Livonia in 1629–1721), and Lord High Constable from 1620. He introduced reforms based on the then novel Dutch military doctrine into the Swedish army. He commanded the Swedish forces in Russia and against the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. He also served as one of the five regents jointly ruling Sweden during the minority of Queen Christina.

Photo of Felix Kersten

7. Felix Kersten (1898 - 1960)

With an HPI of 69.39, Felix Kersten is the 7th most famous Estonian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Eduard Alexander Felix Kersten (30 September 1898 – 16 April 1960) was the personal physical therapist of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. He also became a confidant and adviser to him and used his contacts with Himmler to help people persecuted by Nazi Germany.

Photo of Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie

8. Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie (1622 - 1686)

With an HPI of 68.45, Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie is the 8th most famous Estonian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Count Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie (15 October 1622 – 26 April 1686) was a Swedish statesman and military man. He became a member of the Swedish Privy Council in 1647 and came to be the holder of three of the five offices counted as the Great Officers of the Realm, namely Lord High Treasurer, Lord High Chancellor and Lord High Steward. He also served as Governor-General in the Swedish dominion of Livonia.

Photo of Neeme Järvi

9. Neeme Järvi (1937 - )

With an HPI of 67.88, Neeme Järvi is the 9th most famous Estonian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Neeme Järvi (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈneːme ˈjærʋi]; born 7 June 1937) is an Estonian American conductor.

Photo of Kersti Kaljulaid

10. Kersti Kaljulaid (1969 - )

With an HPI of 67.63, Kersti Kaljulaid is the 10th most famous Estonian Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 71 different languages.

Kersti Kaljulaid (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈkersti ˈkɑljuˈlɑi̯d]; born 30 December 1969) is an Estonian politician who served as the fifth president of Estonia, from 2016 to 2021. She was the first female head of state of Estonia since the country declared independence in 1918, as well as the youngest president, age 46 at the time of her election.Kaljulaid is a former state official, serving as Estonia's representative in the European Court of Auditors from 2004 until 2016. After several unsuccessful rounds of Estonian presidential elections in 2016, Kaljulaid was nominated on 30 September 2016 by the majority of parliamentary parties as a joint candidate for president, as the only official candidate for that round. Kaljulaid was voted president on 3 October 2016, with 81 votes and 17 abstentions.

Pantheon has 55 people classified as politicians born between 1583 and 1981. Of these 55, 25 (45.45%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Arnold Rüütel, Neeme Järvi, and Kersti Kaljulaid. The most famous deceased politicians include Catherine I of Russia, Alfred Rosenberg, and Konstantin Päts. As of October 2020, 6 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Jüri Jaakson, Ene Ergma, and Marina Kaljurand.

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.