The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Hungarian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Hungarian 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 Hungarian Politicians.
With an HPI of 90.29, Attila is the most famous Hungarian Politician. His biography has been translated into 102 different languages on wikipedia.
Attila (, ; fl. c. 406–453), frequently called Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453. He was also the leader of a tribal empire consisting of Huns, Ostrogoths, Alans and Bulgars, among others, in Central and Eastern Europe. During his reign, he was one of the most feared enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. He crossed the Danube twice and plundered the Balkans, but was unable to take Constantinople. His unsuccessful campaign in Persia was followed in 441 by an invasion of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, the success of which emboldened Attila to invade the West. He also attempted to conquer Roman Gaul (modern France), crossing the Rhine in 451 and marching as far as Aurelianum (Orléans) before being stopped in the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. He subsequently invaded Italy, devastating the northern provinces, but was unable to take Rome. He planned for further campaigns against the Romans, but died in 453. After Attila's death, his close adviser, Ardaric of the Gepids, led a Germanic revolt against Hunnic rule, after which the Hunnic Empire quickly collapsed. Attila would live on as a character in Germanic heroic legend.
With an HPI of 80.76, Louis II of Hungary is the 2nd most famous Hungarian Politician. His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.
Louis II (Czech: Ludvík, Croatian: Ludovik, Hungarian: Lajos, Slovak: Ľudovít; 1 July 1506 – 29 August 1526) was King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia from 1516 to 1526. He was killed during the Battle of Mohács fighting the Ottomans, whose victory led to the Ottoman annexation of large parts of Hungary.
With an HPI of 80.25, Miklós Horthy is the 3rd most famous Hungarian Politician. His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.
Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya (Hungarian: Vitéz nagybányai Horthy Miklós; Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈviteːz ˈnɒɟbaːɲɒi ˈhorti ˈmikloːʃ]; English: Nicholas Horthy; German: Nikolaus Horthy Ritter von Nagybánya; 18 June 1868 – 9 February 1957) was a Hungarian admiral and statesman who served as the regent of the Kingdom of Hungary between the two World Wars and throughout most of World War II from 1 March 1920 to 15 October 1944. Horthy started his career as a sub-lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian Navy in 1896 and attained the rank of rear admiral in 1918. He saw action in the Battle of the Strait of Otranto and became commander-in-chief of the Navy in the last year of World War I; he was promoted to vice admiral and commander of the Fleet when the previous admiral was dismissed from his post by Emperor-King Charles following mutinies. During the revolutions and interventions in Hungary (1918–1920) from Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia, Horthy returned to Budapest with the National Army and was subsequently invited to become regent of the kingdom by parliament. Horthy led a national conservative and antisemitic government through the interwar period, banning the Hungarian Communist Party as well as the Arrow Cross Party, and pursuing an irredentist foreign policy in the face of the Treaty of Trianon. Charles, the former king, unsuccessfully attempted twice to return to Hungary until the Hungarian government caved in to Allied threats to renew hostilities in 1921. Charles was then escorted out of Hungary into exile. In the late 1930s, Horthy's foreign policy led him into a reluctant alliance with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union. With the grudging support of Adolf Hitler, Hungary was able to redeem certain areas ceded to neighboring countries by the Treaty of Trianon. Under Horthy's leadership, Hungary gave support to Polish refugees in 1939 and participated in a supportive, as opposed to front-line, role in Operation Barbarossa in 1941. Horthy's reluctance to contribute to the German war effort and the Holocaust in Hungary, as well as refusing to hand over more than 600,000 of the 825,000 Hungarian Jews to German authorities, coupled with several attempts to strike a secret deal with the Allies of World War II after it had become obvious that the Axis powers would lose the war, eventually led the Germans to invade and take control of the country in March 1944 in Operation Margarethe. In October 1944, Horthy announced that Hungary had declared an armistice with the Allies and withdrawn from the Axis. He was forced to resign, placed under arrest by the Germans, and taken to Bavaria. At the end of the war, he came under the custody of American troops.After appearing as a witness at the Ministries Trial of war crimes in 1948, Horthy settled and lived out his remaining years in exile in Portugal. His memoirs, Ein Leben für Ungarn (A Life for Hungary), were first published in 1953. He is perceived as a controversial historical figure in contemporary Hungary.
With an HPI of 79.63, Gaiseric is the 4th most famous Hungarian Politician. His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.
Gaiseric (c. 389 – 25 January 477), also known as Geiseric or Genseric (Latin: Gaisericus, Geisericus; reconstructed Vandalic: *Gaisarīx) was King of the Vandals and Alans (428–477), a kingdom he established, and was one of the key players in the difficulties faced by the Western Roman Empire during the 5th century. Through his nearly 50 years of rule, he raised a relatively insignificant Germanic tribe to the status of a major Mediterranean power. His most famous exploit, however, was the capture and plundering of Rome in June 455. He also defeated two major efforts by the Romans to overthrow him, the first one by the emperor Majorian in 460 or 461, and another by Basiliscus at the Battle of Cape Bon in 468. After dying in Carthage, Gaiseric was succeeded by his son Huneric.
With an HPI of 79.49, Imre Nagy is the 5th most famous Hungarian Politician. His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.
Imre Nagy (Hungarian: [ˈimrɛ ˈnɒɟ]; 7 June 1896 – 16 June 1958) was a Hungarian communist politician who served as Chairman of the Council of Ministers (de facto Prime Minister) of the Hungarian People's Republic from 1953 to 1955. In 1956 Nagy became leader of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 against the Soviet-backed government, for which he was sentenced to death and executed two years later. Nagy was a committed communist from soon after the Russian Revolution, and through the 1920s he engaged in underground party activity in Hungary. Living in the Soviet Union from 1930, he served the Soviet NKVD secret police as an informer from 1933 to 1941, denouncing over 200 colleagues, who were then purged and arrested and 15 of whom were executed. Nagy returned to Hungary shortly before the end of World War II, and served in various offices as the Hungarian Working People's Party (MDP) took control of Hungary in the late 1940s and the country entered the Soviet sphere of influence. He played a key role in the deportation of hundreds of thousands of German-speaking Hungarians from 1945 to 1946 as Interior Minister of Hungary. Nagy became prime minister in 1953 and attempted to relax some of the harshest aspects of Mátyás Rákosi's Stalinist regime, but was subverted and eventually forced out of the government in 1955 by Rákosi's continuing influence as General Secretary of the MDP. Nagy remained popular with writers, intellectuals, and the common people, who saw him as an icon of reform against the hard-line elements in the Soviet-backed regime. The outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution on 23 October 1956 saw Nagy elevated to the position of Prime Minister on 24 October as a central demand of the revolutionaries and common people. Nagy's reformist faction gained full control of the government, admitted non-communist politicians, dissolved the ÁVH secret police, promised democratic reforms, and unilaterally withdrew Hungary from the Warsaw Pact on 1 November. The Soviet Union launched a massive military invasion of Hungary on 4 November, forcibly deposing Nagy, who fled to the Embassy of Yugoslavia in Budapest. Nagy was lured out of the Embassy under false promises on 22 November, but was arrested and deported to Romania. On 16 June 1958, Nagy was tried and executed for treason alongside his closest allies, and his body was buried in an unmarked grave. In June 1989, Nagy and other prominent figures of the 1956 Revolution were rehabilitated and reburied with full honours, an event that played a key role in the collapse of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party regime.
With an HPI of 79.44, Stephen I of Hungary is the 6th most famous Hungarian Politician. His biography has been translated into 60 different languages.
Stephen I, also known as King Saint Stephen (Hungarian: Szent István király [ˌsænt ˈiʃtvaːn kiraːj]; Latin: Sanctus Stephanus; Slovak: Štefan I. or Štefan Veľký; c. 975 – 15 August 1038), was the last Grand Prince of the Hungarians between 997 and 1000 or 1001, and the first King of Hungary from 1000 or 1001, until his death in 1038. The year of his birth is uncertain, but many details of his life suggest that he was born in, or after, 975, in Esztergom. At his birth, he was given the pagan name Vajk. The date of his baptism is unknown. He was the only son of Grand Prince Géza and his wife, Sarolt, who was descended from a prominent family of gyulas. Although both of his parents were baptized, Stephen was the first member of his family to become a devout Christian. He married Gisela of Bavaria, a scion of the imperial Ottonian dynasty. After succeeding his father in 997, Stephen had to fight for the throne against his relative, Koppány, who was supported by large numbers of pagan warriors. He defeated Koppány with the assistance of foreign knights including Vecelin, Hont and Pázmány, and native lords. He was crowned on 25 December 1000 or 1 January 1001 with a crown sent by Pope Sylvester II. In a series of wars against semi-independent tribes and chieftains—including the Black Hungarians and his uncle, Gyula the Younger—he unified the Carpathian Basin. He protected the independence of his kingdom by forcing the invading troops of Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor, to withdraw from Hungary in 1030. Stephen established at least one archbishopric, six bishoprics and three Benedictine monasteries, leading the Church in Hungary to develop independently from the archbishops of the Holy Roman Empire. He encouraged the spread of Christianity by meting out severe punishments for ignoring Christian customs. His system of local administration was based on counties organized around fortresses and administered by royal officials. Hungary enjoyed a lasting period of peace during his reign, and became a preferred route for pilgrims and merchants traveling between Western Europe, the Holy Land and Constantinople. He survived all of his children, dying on 15 August 1038, and was buried in his new basilica, built in Székesfehérvár and dedicated to the Holy Virgin. His death was followed by civil wars which lasted for decades. He was canonized by Pope Gregory VII, together with his son, Emeric, and Bishop Gerard of Csanád, in 1083. Stephen is a popular saint in Hungary and neighboring territories. In Hungary, his feast day (celebrated on 20 August) is also a public holiday commemorating the foundation of the state, known as State Foundation Day.
With an HPI of 79.14, Louis I of Hungary is the 7th most famous Hungarian Politician. His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.
Louis I, also Louis the Great (Hungarian: Nagy Lajos; Croatian: Ludovik Veliki; Slovak: Ľudovít Veľký); or Louis the Hungarian (Polish: Ludwik Węgierski; 5 March 1326 – 10 September 1382), was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1342 and King of Poland from 1370. He was the first child of Charles I of Hungary and his wife, Elizabeth of Poland, to survive infancy. A 1338 treaty between his father and Casimir III of Poland, Louis's maternal uncle, confirmed Louis's right to inherit the Kingdom of Poland if his uncle died without a son. In exchange, Louis was obliged to assist his uncle to reoccupy the lands that Poland had lost in previous decades. He bore the title of Duke of Transylvania between 1339 and 1342 but did not administer the province. Louis was of age when he succeeded his father in 1342, but his deeply religious mother exerted a powerful influence on him. He inherited a centralized kingdom and a rich treasury from his father. During the first years of his reign, Louis launched a crusade against the Lithuanians and restored royal power in Croatia; his troops defeated a Tatar army, expanding his authority towards the Black Sea. When his brother, Andrew, Duke of Calabria, husband of Queen Joanna I of Naples, was assassinated in 1345, Louis accused the queen of his murder and punishing her became the principal goal of his foreign policy. He launched two campaigns to the Kingdom of Naples between 1347 and 1350. His troops occupied large territories on both occasions, and Louis adopted the styles of Neapolitan sovereigns (including the title of King of Sicily and Jerusalem), but the Holy See never recognized his claim. Louis's arbitrary acts and atrocities committed by his mercenaries made his rule unpopular in Southern Italy. He withdrew all his troops from the Kingdom of Naples in 1351. Like his father, Louis administered Hungary with absolute power and used royal prerogatives to grant privileges to his courtiers. However, he also confirmed the liberties of the Hungarian nobility at the Diet of 1351, emphasizing the equal status of all noblemen. At the same Diet, he introduced an entail system and a uniform rent payable by the peasants to the landowners, and confirmed the right to free movement for all peasants. He waged wars against the Lithuanians, Serbia, and the Golden Horde in the 1350s, restoring the authority of Hungarian monarchs over territories along frontiers that had been lost during previous decades. He forced the Republic of Venice to renounce the Dalmatian towns in 1358. He also made several attempts to expand his suzerainty over the rulers of Bosnia, Moldavia, Wallachia, and parts of Bulgaria and Serbia. These rulers were sometimes willing to yield to him, either under duress or in the hope of support against their internal opponents, but Louis's rule in these regions was only nominal during most of his reign. His attempts to convert his pagan or Orthodox subjects to Catholicism made him unpopular in the Balkan states. Louis established a university in Pécs in 1367, but it was closed within two decades because he did not arrange for sufficient revenues to maintain it. Louis inherited Poland after his uncle's death in 1370. Since he had no sons, he wanted his subjects to acknowledge the right of his daughters to succeed him in both Hungary and Poland. For this purpose, he issued the Privilege of Koszyce in 1374 spelling out the liberties of Polish noblemen. However, his rule remained unpopular in Poland. In Hungary, he authorized the royal free cities to delegate jurors to the high court hearing their cases and set up a new high court. Suffering from a skin disease, Louis became even more religious during the last years of his life. At the beginning of the Western Schism, he acknowledged Urban VI as the legitimate pope. After Urban deposed Joanna and put Louis's relative Charles of Durazzo on the throne of Naples, Louis helped Charles occupy the kingdom. In Hungarian historiography, Louis was regarded for centuries as the most powerful Hungarian monarch who ruled over an empire "whose shores were washed by three seas".
With an HPI of 77.56, Árpád is the 8th most famous Hungarian Politician. His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.
Árpád (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈaːrpaːd]; c. 845 – c. 907) was the head of the confederation of the Magyar tribes at the turn of the 9th and 10th centuries. He might have been either the sacred ruler or kende of the Hungarians, or their military leader or gyula, although most details of his life are debated by historians, because different sources contain contradictory information. Despite this, many Hungarians refer to him as the "founder of our country", and Árpád's preeminent role in the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin has been emphasized by some later chronicles. The dynasty descending from Árpád ruled the Kingdom of Hungary until 1301.
With an HPI of 77.27, Mary, Queen of Hungary is the 9th most famous Hungarian Politician. Her biography has been translated into 41 different languages.
Mary, also known as Maria of Anjou (Hungarian: Anjou Mária, Croatian: Marija Anžuvinska, Polish: Maria Andegaweńska; 1371 – 17 May 1395), reigned as Queen of Hungary and Croatia between 1382 and 1385, and from 1386 until her death. She was the daughter of Louis the Great, King of Hungary and Poland, and his wife, Elizabeth of Bosnia. Mary's marriage to Sigismund of Luxembourg, a member of the imperial Luxembourg dynasty, was already decided before her first birthday. A delegation of Polish prelates and lords confirmed her right to succeed her father in Poland in 1379. Mary was crowned "king" of Hungary on 17 September 1382, seven days after Louis the Great's death. Her mother, who assumed regency, absolved the Polish noblemen from their oath of loyalty to Mary in favor of Mary's younger sister, Jadwiga, in early 1383. The idea of a female monarch remained unpopular among the Hungarian noblemen, the majority of whom regarded Mary's distant cousin, Charles III of Naples, as the lawful king. To strengthen Mary's position, the queen mother wanted her to marry Louis, the younger brother of Charles VI of France. Their engagement was announced in May 1385. Charles III of Naples landed in Dalmatia in September 1385. Sigismund of Luxembourg invaded Upper Hungary (now Slovakia), forcing the queen mother to give Mary in marriage to him in October. However, they could not prevent Charles from entering Buda. After Mary renounced the throne, Charles was crowned king on 31 December 1385, but he was murdered at the instigation of Mary's mother in February 1386. Mary was restored, but the murdered king's supporters captured her and her mother on 25 July. Queen Elizabeth was murdered in January 1387, but Mary was released on 4 June 1387. Mary officially remained the co-ruler with Sigismund, who had meanwhile been crowned king, but her influence on the government was minimal. She and her premature son died after falling from her horse during a hunting trip.
With an HPI of 77.10, Jadwiga of Poland is the 10th most famous Hungarian Politician. Her biography has been translated into 56 different languages.
Jadwiga (Polish: [jadˈvʲiɡa] (listen); 1373 or 1374 – 17 July 1399), also known as Hedwig (Hungarian: Hedvig), was the first female monarch of the Kingdom of Poland, reigning from 16 October 1384 until her death. She was the youngest daughter of Louis the Great, King of Hungary and Poland, and his wife Elizabeth of Bosnia. Jadwiga was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou, but she had more close forebears among the Polish Piasts than among the Angevins. In 1997 she was canonized by the Catholic Church. In 1375 it was planned that she would eventually marry William of Austria, and would live in Vienna from 1378 to 1380. Jadwiga's father is thought to have regarded her and William as his favoured successors in Hungary after the 1379 death of her eldest sister, Catherine, since the Polish nobility had that same year pledged their homage to Louis' second daughter, Mary, and Mary's fiancé, Sigismund of Luxemburg. However, Louis died, and in 1382, at her mother's insistence, Mary was crowned "King of Hungary". Sigismund of Luxemburg tried to take control of Poland, but the Polish nobility countered that they would be obedient to a daughter of King Louis only if she settled in Poland. Queen Elizabeth then chose Jadwiga to reign there, but did not send her to Kraków to be crowned. During the interregnum, Siemowit IV, Duke of Masovia, became a candidate for the Polish throne. The nobility of Greater Poland favored him and proposed that he marry Jadwiga. However, Lesser Poland's nobility opposed him and persuaded Queen Elizabeth to send Jadwiga to Poland. Jadwiga was crowned "king" in Poland's capital, Kraków, on 16 October 1384. Her coronation either reflected the Polish nobility's opposition to her intended husband, William, becoming king without further negotiation, or simply emphasized her status as queen regnant. With her mother's consent, Jadwiga's advisors opened negotiations with Jogaila, Grand Duke of Lithuania, who was still a pagan, concerning his potential marriage to Jadwiga. Jogaila signed the Union of Krewo, pledging to convert to Catholicism and to promote his pagan subjects' conversion. Meanwhile, William hastened to Kraków, hoping to marry his childhood fiancée Jadwiga, but in late August 1385 the Polish nobles expelled him. Jogaila, who took the baptismal name Władysław, married Jadwiga on 15 February 1386. Legend says that she had agreed to marrying him only after lengthy prayer, seeking divine inspiration. Jogaila, now in Polish styled Władysław Jagiełło, was crowned King of Poland on 4 March 1386. As Jadwiga's co-ruler, Jagiełło worked closely with his wife. After rebellious nobles of the Kingdom of Hungary-Croatia had imprisoned her mother and sister, she marched into the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, which had been under Hungarian rule, and persuaded most of the inhabitants to become subjects of the Polish Crown. She mediated between her husband's quarreling kin, and between Poland and the Teutonic Knights. After her sister Mary died in 1395, Jadwiga and Jagiełło laid claim to Hungary against the widowed Sigismund of Luxemburg, but the Hungarian lords failed to support them.
Pantheon has 131 people classified as politicians born between 200 and 1981. Of these 131, 26 (19.85%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Viktor Orbán, János Áder, and Pál Schmitt. The most famous deceased politicians include Attila, Louis II of Hungary, and Miklós Horthy. As of October 2020, 7 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Tibor Szamuely, Kálmán Széll, and Anna Kéthly.
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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.