The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Georgian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Georgian 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 Georgian Politicians.
With an HPI of 92.61, Joseph Stalin is the most famous Georgian Politician. His biography has been translated into 182 different languages on wikipedia.
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (18 December [O.S. 6 December] 1878 – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian revolutionary and the ruler of the Soviet Union from 1927 until 1953. He served as both General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union (1941–1953). Despite initially governing the country as part of a collective leadership, he ultimately consolidated power to become the Soviet Union's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin formalised these ideas as Marxism–Leninism while his own policies are known as Stalinism. Born to a poor family in Gori in the Russian Empire (now Georgia), as a youth Stalin joined the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He went on to edit the party's newspaper, Pravda, and raised funds for Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik faction via robberies, kidnappings and protection rackets. Repeatedly arrested, he underwent several internal exiles. After the Bolsheviks seized power during the October Revolution and created a one-party state under Lenin's newly renamed Communist Party in 1917, Stalin joined its governing Politburo. Serving in the Russian Civil War before overseeing the Soviet Union's establishment in 1922, Stalin assumed leadership over the country following Lenin's 1924 death. Under Stalin, socialism in one country became a central tenet of the party's dogma. Through the Five-Year Plans, the country underwent agricultural collectivisation and rapid industrialisation, creating a centralised command economy. This led to severe disruptions of food production that contributed to the famine of 1932–33. To eradicate accused "enemies of the working class", Stalin instituted the Great Purge, in which over a million were imprisoned and at least 700,000 executed between 1934 and 1939. By 1937, he had complete personal control over the party and state. Stalin's government promoted Marxism–Leninism abroad through the Communist International and supported European anti-fascist movements during the 1930s, particularly in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, it signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, resulting in the Soviet invasion of Poland. Germany ended the pact by invading the Soviet Union in 1941. Despite initial setbacks, the Soviet Red Army repelled the German incursion and captured Berlin in 1945, ending World War II in Europe. The Soviets annexed the Baltic states and helped establish Soviet-aligned governments throughout Central and Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged from the war as global superpowers. The tensions that arose between the Soviet-backed Eastern Bloc and U.S.-backed Western Bloc became known as the Cold War. Stalin led his country through the post-war reconstruction, during which it developed a nuclear weapon in 1949. In these years, the country experienced another major famine and an antisemitic campaign peaking in the doctors' plot. After Stalin's death in 1953, he was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced him and initiated the de-Stalinisation of Soviet society. Widely considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Stalin was the subject of a pervasive personality cult within the international Marxist–Leninist movement, which revered him as a champion of the working class and socialism. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Stalin has retained popularity in Russia and Georgia as a victorious wartime leader who established the Soviet Union as a major world power. Conversely, his totalitarian government has been widely condemned for overseeing mass repression, ethnic cleansing, wide-scale deportation, hundreds of thousands of executions, and famines that killed millions.
With an HPI of 85.83, Darius the Great is the 2nd most famous Georgian Politician. His biography has been translated into 81 different languages.
Darius I (Old Persian: 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁, romanized: Dārayava(h)uš; New Persian: داریوش; Hebrew: דָּרְיָוֶשׁ, Modern: Darəyaveš, Tiberian: Dārǝyāweš; c. 550 – 486 BCE), commonly known as Darius the Great, was the third Persian King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, reigning from 522 BCE until his death in 486 BCE. He ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, parts of the Caucasus, parts of the Balkans (Thrace-Macedonia, and Paeonia), most of the Black Sea coastal regions, Central Asia, as far as the Indus Valley in the far east and portions of north and northeast Africa including Egypt (Mudrâya), eastern Libya, and coastal Sudan.Darius ascended the throne by overthrowing the legitimate Achaemenid monarch Bardiya, whom he later fabricated to be an imposter named Gaumata. The new king met with rebellions throughout his kingdom and quelled them each time. A major event in Darius's life was his expedition to punish Athens and Eretria for their aid in the Ionian Revolt and subjugate Greece. Although ultimately ending in failure at the Battle of Marathon, Darius succeeded in the re-subjugation of Thrace, expansion of the empire through the conquest of Macedon, the Cyclades and the island of Naxos and the sacking of the city of Eretria. Darius organized the empire by dividing it into provinces and placing satraps to govern it. He organized Achaemenid coinage as a new uniform monetary system, along with making Aramaic the official language of the empire. He also put the empire in better standing by building roads and introducing standard weights and measures. Through these changes, the empire was centralized and unified. Darius also worked on construction projects throughout the empire, focusing on Susa, Pasargadae, Persepolis, Babylon, and Egypt. He had the cliff-face Behistun Inscription carved to record his conquests, an important testimony of the Old Persian language. Darius is mentioned in the biblical books of Haggai, Zechariah, and Ezra–Nehemiah.
With an HPI of 78.62, Eduard Shevardnadze is the 3rd most famous Georgian Politician. His biography has been translated into 77 different languages.
Eduard Ambrosiyevich Shevardnadze (Georgian: ედუარდ ამბროსის ძე შევარდნაძე, Eduard Ambrosis dze Ševardnadze; 25 January 1928 – 7 July 2014) was a Georgian politician and diplomat. He served as First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party (GPC), the de facto leader of Soviet Georgia from 1972 to 1985 and as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. Shevardnadze was responsible for many key decisions in Soviet foreign policy during the Gorbachev Era including reunification of Germany. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he was President of Georgia (or in equivalent posts) from 1992 to 2003. He was forced to retire in 2003 as a consequence of the bloodless Rose Revolution. Shevardnadze started his political career in the late 1940s as a leading member of his local Komsomol organisation. He was later appointed its Second Secretary, then its First Secretary. His rise in the Georgian Soviet hierarchy continued until 1961 when he was demoted after he insulted a senior official. After spending two years in obscurity, Shevardnadze returned as a First Secretary of a Tbilisi city district, and was able to charge the Tbilisi First Secretary at the time with corruption. His anti-corruption work quickly garnered the interest of the Soviet government and Shevardnadze was appointed as First Deputy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Georgian SSR. He would later become the head of the internal affairs ministry and was able to charge First Secretary (leader of Soviet Georgia) Vasil Mzhavanadze with corruption. As First Secretary, Shevardnadze started several economic reforms, which would spur economic growth in the republic—an uncommon occurrence in the Soviet Union because the country was experiencing a nationwide economic stagnation. Shevardnadze's anti-corruption campaign continued until he resigned from his office as First Secretary. Mikhail Gorbachev appointed Shevardnadze to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs. From then on, with the exception of a brief period between 1990 and 1991, only Gorbachev would outrank Shevardnadze in importance in Soviet foreign policy. In the aftermath of the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, Shevardnadze returned to the newly independent Georgia. He became the country's head of state following the removal of the country's first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Shevardnadze was formally elected president in 1995. His presidency was marked by rampant corruption and accusations of nepotism. After allegations of electoral fraud during the 2003 legislative election that led to a series of public protests and demonstrations colloquially known as the Rose Revolution, Shevardnadze was forced to resign. He later lived in relative obscurity and published his memoirs.
With an HPI of 77.47, Lavrentiy Beria is the 4th most famous Georgian Politician. His biography has been translated into 58 different languages.
Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria (; Russian: Лавре́нтий Па́влович Бе́рия, IPA: [ˈbʲerʲiə]; Georgian: ლავრენტი ბერია, romanized: lavrent'i beria, IPA: [bɛriɑ]; 29 March [O.S. 17 March] 1899 – 23 December 1953) was a Georgian Bolshevik and Soviet politician, Marshal of the Soviet Union and state security administrator, chief of the Soviet security, and chief of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) under Joseph Stalin during World War II, and promoted to deputy premier under Stalin from 1941. He later officially joined the Politburo in 1946. Beria was the longest-lived and most influential of Stalin's secret police chiefs, wielding his most substantial influence during and after World War II. Following the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, he was responsible for organizing purges such as the Katyn massacre of 22,000 Polish officers and officials.Beria would later also orchestrate the ethnic cleansing of minorities from the Caucasus as head of NKVD; an act that declared as genocidal by various scholars, and in 2004 as concerning Chechens by the European parliament. He simultaneously administered vast sections of the Soviet state, and acted as the de facto Marshal of the Soviet Union in command of NKVD field units responsible for barrier troops and Soviet partisan intelligence and sabotage operations on the Eastern Front during World War II. Beria administered the vast expansion of the Gulag labour camps, and was primarily responsible for overseeing the secret detention facilities for scientists and engineers known as sharashkas. In 1945, Beria attended the Yalta Conference with Stalin, who introduced him to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as "our Himmler". After the war, he organised the communist takeover of the state institutions in central and eastern Europe. Beria's uncompromising ruthlessness in his duties and skill at producing results culminated in his success in overseeing the Soviet atomic bomb project. Stalin gave it absolute priority, and the project was completed in under five years.After Stalin's death in March 1953, Beria became First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers and head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In this dual capacity, he formed a troika with Georgy Malenkov and Vyacheslav Molotov, that briefly led the country in Stalin's place. A coup d'état by Nikita Khrushchev, with help from Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov in June 1953, removed Beria from power. After being arrested, he was tried for treason and other offenses, sentenced to death, and executed on 23 December 1953. During his trial, and after his death, numerous allegations arose of Beria being a serial sexual predator.
With an HPI of 76.46, Tamar of Georgia is the 5th most famous Georgian Politician. Her biography has been translated into 48 different languages.
Tamar the Great (Georgian: თამარ მეფე, romanized: tamar mepe, lit. "King Tamar") (c. 1160 – 18 January 1213) reigned as the Queen of Georgia from 1184 to 1213, presiding over the apex of the Georgian Golden Age. A member of the Bagrationi dynasty, her position as the first woman to rule Georgia in her own right was emphasized by the title mepe ("king"), afforded to Tamar in the medieval Georgian sources.Tamar was proclaimed heir and co-ruler by her reigning father George III in 1178, but she faced significant opposition from the aristocracy upon her ascension to full ruling powers after George's death. Tamar was successful in neutralizing this opposition and embarked on an energetic foreign policy aided by the decline of the hostile Seljuq Turks. Relying on a powerful military élite, Tamar was able to build on the successes of her predecessors to consolidate an empire which dominated the Caucasus until its collapse under the Mongol attacks within two decades after Tamar's death.Tamar was married twice, her first union being, from 1185 to 1187, to the Rus' prince Yuri, whom she divorced and expelled from the country, defeating his subsequent coup attempts. For her second husband Tamar chose, in 1191, the Alan prince David Soslan, by whom she had two children, George and Rusudan, the two successive monarchs on the throne of Georgia.Tamar's reign is associated with a period of marked political and military successes and cultural achievements. This, combined with her role as a female ruler, has contributed to her status as an idealized and romanticized figure in Georgian arts and historical memory. She remains an important symbol in Georgian popular culture.
With an HPI of 73.20, David IV of Georgia is the 6th most famous Georgian Politician. His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.
David IV, also known as David the Builder (Georgian: დავით აღმაშენებელი, Davit Aghmashenebeli) (1073– 24 January 1125), of the Bagrationi dynasty, was a king of Georgia from 1089 until his death in 1125.Popularly considered to be the greatest and most successful Georgian ruler in history and an original architect of the Georgian Golden Age, he succeeded in driving the Seljuk Turks out of the country, winning the Battle of Didgori in 1121. His reforms of the army and administration enabled him to reunite the country and bring most of the lands of the Caucasus under Georgia’s control. A friend of the church and a notable promoter of Christian culture, he was canonized by the Georgian Orthodox Church.
With an HPI of 72.66, Zviad Gamsakhurdia is the 7th most famous Georgian Politician. His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.
Zviad Gamsakhurdia (Georgian: ზვიად გამსახურდია, tr. Zviad K'onst'ant'ines dze Gamsakhurdia; Russian: Звиа́д Константи́нович Гамсаху́рдия, tr. Zviad Konstantinovich Gamsakhurdiya; March 31, 1939 – December 31, 1993) was a Georgian politician, dissident, scholar, and writer who became the first democratically elected President of Georgia in the post-Soviet era. Gamsakhurdia is the only Georgian President known to have died while formally in office.
With an HPI of 72.11, Sergo Ordzhonikidze is the 8th most famous Georgian Politician. His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.
Sergo Konstantinovich Ordzhonikidze, born Grigol Konstantines dze Orjonikidze (24 October [O.S. 12 October] 1886 – 18 February 1937), was a Georgian Bolshevik and Soviet politician. Born and raised in Georgia, Ordzhonikidze joined the Bolsheviks at an early age and quickly rose within the ranks to become an important figure within the group. Arrested and imprisoned several times by the Russian police, he was in Siberian exile when the February Revolution began in 1917. Returning from exile, Ordzhonikidze took part in the October Revolution that brought the Bolsheviks to power. During the subsequent Civil War he played an active role as the leading Bolshevik in the Caucasus, overseeing the invasions of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia. He backed their union into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (TSFSR), which helped form the Soviet Union in 1922, and served as the First Secretary of the TSFSR until 1926. Promoted to lead the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate (Rabkrin), Ordzhonikidze moved to Moscow and joined the inner circle of top Bolsheviks. Tasked with overseeing Soviet economic production, Ordzhonikidze led a massive overhaul of Rabkrin and its associated bodies, noting inefficiencies within the Supreme Soviet of the National Economy (Vesenkha). In 1930 he was transferred to lead Vesenkha, which was re-formed as the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry (NKTP) in 1932. While there, Ordzhonikidze oversaw the implementation of the five-year plans for economic development and helped create the Stakhanovite movement of model Soviet workers. At the same time, he was named to the Politburo, the leading political body in the Soviet Union. Ordzhonikidze was reluctant to take part in the campaigns against so-called wreckers and saboteurs that began in the early 1930s, which caused friction between Joseph Stalin and himself. Realizing the need for people experienced in their fields, Ordzhonikidze refused to purge older workers or disassociate himself from individuals deemed anti-Bolshevik. According to some theories, his relationship with Stalin deteriorated, and on the eve of a 1937 meeting where he was expected to denounce workers, Ordzhonikidze shot himself and died at his home, though this has been contested. He was posthumously honoured as a leading Bolshevik, and several towns and cities throughout the Soviet Union were named after him, although his family was severely punished, with several of his close relatives being executed.
With an HPI of 71.00, Pharnavaz I of Iberia is the 9th most famous Georgian Politician. His biography has been translated into 62 different languages.
Pharnavaz I (; Georgian: ფარნავაზ I Georgian pronunciation: [pʰɑrnɑvɑz]) was a king of Kartli, an ancient Georgian kingdom known as Iberia in classical antiquity. The Georgian Chronicles credits him with being the first monarch founding the kingship of Kartli and the Pharnavazid dynasty, while other independent chronicles, such as The Conversion of Kartli make him the second Georgian monarch. Based on the medieval evidence, most scholars locate Pharnavaz's rule in the 3rd century BC: 302–237 BC according to Prince Vakhushti of Kartli, 299–234 BC according to Cyril Toumanoff and 284–219 BC according to Pavle Ingoroqva. Pharnavaz's rise, advent and imperial expansion of the Iberian monarchy was directly tied to the victory of Alexander the Great over the Achaemenid Empire. Pharnavaz ruled under the suzerainty of the Seleucid Empire.
With an HPI of 70.95, Sergei Witte is the 10th most famous Georgian Politician. His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.
Count Sergei Yulyevich Witte (Russian: Серге́й Ю́льевич Ви́тте, tr. Sergéy Yúlyevich Vítte, IPA: [sʲɪrˈɡʲej ˈjʉlʲjɪvʲɪt͡ɕ ˈvʲitʲːe]; 29 June [O.S. 17 June] 1849 – 13 March [O.S. 28 February] 1915), also known as Sergius Witte, was a Russian statesman who served as the first Prime Minister of the Russian Empire. He is widely considered to have been one of the key figures in Russian politics at the end of 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century. He was made a count (Russian: граф, romanized: graf) following his service to the government in negotiations over the end of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. Witte, neither a liberal nor a conservative, attracted foreign capital to boost Russia's industrialization. He served under the last two emperors of Russia, Alexander III (r. 1881–1894) and Nicholas II (r. 1894–1917). During the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78), he had risen to a position in which he controlled all the traffic passing to the front along the lines of the Odessa Railways. As Minister of Finance from 1892 to 1903 Witte presided over extensive industrialization and achieved government monopoly control over an expanded system of railroad lines. Following months of civil unrest and outbreaks of violence in what became known as the 1905 Russian Revolution, Witte framed the October Manifesto of 1905 and the accompanying government communication to establish constitutional government. He was not convinced it would solve Russia's problems with the Tsarist autocracy. On 20 October 1905 Witte was appointed as the first Chairman of the Russian Council of Ministers (effectively Prime Minister). Assisted by his Council, he designed Russia's first constitution. But within a few months Witte fell into disgrace as a reformer because of continuing court opposition to these changes. He resigned on 5 May [O.S. 22 April] 1906 before the First Duma assembled on 10 May [O.S. 27 April] 1906. Witte was fully confident that he had resolved the main problem: providing political stability to the regime, but according to him, the "peasant problem" would further determine the character of the Duma's activity.Orlando Figes has described Witte as the 'great reforming finance minister of the 1890s', 'one of Nicholas's most enlightened ministers', and as the architect of Russia's new parliamentary order in 1905.
Pantheon has 86 people classified as politicians born between 550 BC and 1989. Of these 86, 30 (34.88%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Mikheil Saakashvili, Aslan Abashidze, and Bidzina Ivanishvili. The most famous deceased politicians include Joseph Stalin, Darius the Great, and Eduard Shevardnadze. As of October 2020, 5 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Hovhannes Kajaznuni, Jaba Ioseliani, and Alimardan Topchubashov.
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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.