The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Politicians of all time. This list of famous 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 Politicians.
With an HPI of 77.64, Tomyris is the most famous Politician. Her biography has been translated into 45 different languages on wikipedia.
Tomyris (; Ancient Greek: Τόμυρις Tómuris; Latin: Tomyris) also called Thomyris, Tomris, or Tomiride, reigned over the Massagetae, a Iranian Saka people of Central Asia. Tomyris led her armies to defend against an attack by Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Empire, and, according to Herodotus, defeated and killed him in 530 BC.
With an HPI of 76.59, Nursultan Nazarbayev is the 2nd most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 93 different languages.
Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev (Kazakh: Нұрсұлтан Әбішұлы Назарбаев, romanized: Nūrsūltan Äbışūly Nazarbaev, pronounced [nʊrsʊɫˈtɑn æbɪ̞ɕʊˈlʊ nɑzɑɾˈbɑjɪf]; born 6 July 1940) is a Soviet and Kazakh politician who served as the first President of Kazakhstan, in office from country’s independence in 1991 until his formal resignation in 2019, and as the Chairman of the Security Council of Kazakhstan from 1991 to 2022. He held the special title as Elbasy (meaning "Leader of the Nation", Kazakh pronunciation: [jelˈbasɯ]) from 2010 to 2022. Nazarbayev was one of the longest-ruling non-royal leaders in the world, having led Kazakhstan for nearly three decades, excluding chairmanship in the Security Council after the end of his presidency. He was named First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR in 1989 and was elected as the nation's first president shortly before its independence from the Soviet Union. In 1962, while working as a factory steel worker, Nazarbayev joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) where he was a prominent member of the Komsomol and a full-time worker for the party. From 1984, Nazarbayev was the Prime Minister of the Kazakh SSR. During his tenure, he was appointed as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan (QKP), the most powerful position in 1989. In April 1990, Nazarbayev was appointed as Kazakhstan's first president by the Supreme Soviet. From there, he supported Russian President Boris Yeltsin against the attempted coup in August 1991 by the Soviet hardliners. The Soviet Union then fell apart after 1991 Soviet coup d'etat failed, though Nazarbayev went to great lengths to maintain close economic ties with Russia by introducing Kazakhstan into the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and eventually the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Nazarbayev ruled a dictatorship in Kazakhstan, as human rights abuses were severe, dissent was suppressed, and elections were not free and fair. In the country's first open direct presidential election, held in 1991, he appeared alone on the ballot with no opposing candidates and won 98% of the vote. An April 1995 referendum extended Nazarbayev's term until 2000 and in August of that year, a constitutional referendum was held which allowed for a new draft for the Constitution of Kazakhstan that greatly strengthened presidential powers. In 1999, Nazarbayev was re-elected for a second term and again in 2005 and 2011 after a constitutional amendment had granted him to run as president indefinitely. In 2010, he announced reforms to encourage a multi-party system in an attempt to counter the ruling Nur Otan's one-party control of the lower house Mazhilis from 2007. This led to the reinstatement of various parties in Parliament following the 2012 legislative elections, although having little influence and opposition as the parties supported and voted with the government while Nur Otan still had dominant-party control of the Mazhilis. In 2015, Nazarbayev was re-elected for the last time for a fifth term with almost 98% of the vote while in a middle of an economic crisis, as he ran virtually unopposed. In January 2017, Nazarbayev proposed constitutional reforms that would delegate powers to the Parliament of Kazakhstan. In May 2018, the Parliament approved a constitutional amendment allowing Nazarbayev to lead the Security Council for life. In March 2019, he resigned from the presidency amid anti-government rallies and was succeeded by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, a close ally of Nazarbayev, who overwhelmingly won the following snap presidential elections in June 2019. He was immune from any criminal prosecution until being stripped from privileges following the 2022 constitutional referendum and continued to serve as the chairman of both the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan and Nur Otan until 2021. Nazarbayev is also a member of the Constitutional Council and an honorary member of the Senate of Kazakhstan, and was chairman of the Security Council until his dismissal from that post in response to the 2022 unrest.
With an HPI of 74.33, Baibars is the 3rd most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.
Al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn al-Din Baybars al-Bunduqdari (Arabic: الملك الظاهر ركن الدين بيبرس البندقداري, al-Malik al-Ẓāhir Rukn al-Dīn Baybars al-Bunduqdārī) (1223/1228 – 1 July 1277), of Turkic Kipchak origin, commonly known as Baybars (Arabic: بيبرس, Baybars) – nicknamed Abu al-Futuh (أبو الفتوح; English: Father of Conquests, referring to his victories) – was the fourth Mamluk sultan of Egypt in the Bahri dynasty, succeeding Qutuz. He was one of the commanders of the Egyptian forces that inflicted a defeat on the Seventh Crusade of King Louis IX of France. He also led the vanguard of the Egyptian army at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, which marked the first substantial defeat of the Mongol army and is considered a turning point in history.The reign of Baybars marked the start of an age of Mamluk dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean and solidified the durability of their military system. He managed to pave the way for the end of the Crusader presence in the Levant and reinforced the union of Egypt and Syria as the region's pre-eminent Muslim state, able to fend off threats from both Crusaders and Mongols, and even managed to subdue the kingdom of Makuria, which was famous for being unconquerable by previous Muslim empire invasion attempts. As sultan, Baybars also engaged in a combination of diplomacy and military action, allowing the Mamluks of Egypt to greatly expand their empire.
With an HPI of 68.90, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is the 4th most famous Politician. Her biography has been translated into 68 different languages.
Kassym-Jomart Kemeluly Tokayev (Kazakh: Қасым-Жомарт Кемелұлы Тоқаев, romanized: Qasym-Jomart Kemelūly Toqaev [qɑˈsɯm ʑɔˈmɑrt keˌmelʊˈɫɯ tɔˈqɑjɪf] born 17 May 1953) is a Kazakh politician and diplomat who is currently serving as the President of Kazakhstan since 12 June 2019. Shortly before that, he served as acting president after the resignation of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who previously held the presidential post for nearly three decades.Born in Alma-Ata (now Almaty), Tokayev attended the Moscow State Institute of International Relations where after graduating in 1975, he worked as a diplomat in Singapore and China. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Tokayev became the Deputy Foreign Minister of a newly independent Kazakhstan in 1992, where he was involved on the issues of nuclear disarmament within the former Soviet republics. In 1999, Tokayev became the Deputy Prime Minister, and in October of that year with the endorsement of the Parliament, he was appointed as a Prime Minister by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. From 2002, Tokayev served as Foreign Minister and State Secretary, where he continued to play an active role in the field of nuclear non-proliferation. He was the Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva from 2011 to 2013 and served twice as a Chairman of the Kazakh Senate from 2007 to 2011 and 2013 to 2019.In 2019, Tokayev assumed office as the acting president after Nursultan Nazarbayev's resignation. Being a member of the ruling Amanat party, he won a non-democratic snap election in June of that year with the support of Nazarbayev as the nominee for the party. After being fully sworn to office, Tokayev pledged to continue Nazarbayev's policies. During his presidency, he has enacted several reforms including increasing workers' salaries, reducing corruption, abolishing capital punishment, and decentralizing the local government. From 2020, Tokayev had endured the economic downturn and troubles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and War in Afghanistan and has sought to solve Kazakhstan's rising inflation, domestic terrorism, illegal migration, drug trafficking, nuclear energy development and power shortages caused by crypto mining, as well as the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. In 2022, Tokayev announced constitutional reforms that would limit his powers and grant more authority to the Parliament. As a result, he initiated a constitutional referendum upon which was backed by an overwhelming number of voters and led to the complete stripping of Nazarbayev's post-presidential privileges regarding policymaking.Since becoming president, Tokayev's political influence and role in Kazakhstan had steadily grown apart from Nazarbayev as he assumed various other powerful positions which were previously held by Nazarbayev starting with the chairmanship of the Assembly of People in 2021. In January 2022, he imposed nationwide state of emergency, sacked the entirety of Asqar Mamin's government, and ordered for security forces to use deadly force following a two-week long violent unrest that had broken out on early January of that year. Shortly thereafter, Tokayev took leadership role in the powerful Security Council and ruling Amanat party from Nazarbayev and along with his relatives, dismissed several officials who held a close relationship with Nazarbayev. While managing to maintain the country's stability, ensuring political transition, and enacting new reforms, Tokayev's governance has remained authoritarian with human rights abuses. The 2022 Suisse secrets leaks revealed that the Tokayev family had maintained an elaborate network of secretive offshore wealth assets since at least 1998.
With an HPI of 67.73, Seljuk is the 5th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Seljuk Beg (Turkish: Selçuk bey) Persian: سلجوق ﺑﯿﮓ Saljūq; also romanized Seldjuk, Seldjuq, Seljuq; Turkmen: Seljuk beg Dukag; Azerbaijani: Səlcuq bəy died c. 1007 or 1009) was an Oghuz Turkic warlord, eponymous founder of the Seljuk dynasty.
With an HPI of 66.10, Akhmad Kadyrov is the 6th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.
Akhmad-Khadzhi Abdulkhamidovich Kadyrov (Russian: Ахмат-Хаджи Абдулхамидович Кадыров, romanized: Akhmat-Khadzhi Abdulkhamidovich Kadyrov; Chechen: Къадири Ӏабдулхьамидан кӀант Ахьмад-Хьажи, romanized: Q̇adiri Jabdulẋamidan khant Aẋmad-Ẋaƶi; 23 August 1951 – 9 May 2004) was a Chechen politician and revolutionary who served as Chief Mufti of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in the 1990s during and after the First Chechen War. At the outbreak of the Second Chechen War he switched sides, offering his service to the Russian government, and later became the President of the Chechen Republic from 5 October 2003, acting as head of administration since July 2000. On 9 May 2004, he was assassinated by Chechen Islamists in Grozny, using a bomb blast during a Victory Day memorial victory parade. His son, Ramzan Kadyrov, who led his father's militia, became one of his successors in March 2007 as the President of the Chechen Republic.
With an HPI of 66.05, Aslan Maskhadov is the 7th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 53 different languages.
Aslan (Khalid) Aliyevich Maskhadov (Russian: Асла́н (Хали́д) Али́евич Масха́дов; Chechen: Масхадан Али-воӀ Аслан (Халид), romanized: Maskhadan Alivol Aslan (Khalid); 21 September 1951 – 8 March 2005) was a Soviet and Chechen politician who served as the third president of the unrecognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. He was credited by many with the Chechen victory in the First Chechen War, which allowed for the establishment of the de facto independent Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Maskhadov was elected President of Chechnya in January 1997. Following the start of the Second Chechen War in August 1999, he returned to leading the guerrilla resistance against the Russian army. De facto Ichkeria ceased to exist at the beginning of 2000. Until his death, Maskhadov was President in exile. He was killed in Tolstoy-Yurt, a village in northern Chechnya, in March 2005.
With an HPI of 65.28, Vladimir Zhirinovsky is the 8th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.
Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky (25 April 1946 – 6 April 2022) was a Russian ultranationalist politician and the leader of the populist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) from its creation in 1992 until his death. He had been a member of the State Duma since 1993 and leader of the LDPR group in the State Duma from 1993 to 2000, and from 2011 to 2022.He served as a deputy chairman of the State Duma from 2000 until 2011. He also worked as a delegate in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1996 to 2008. During his lifetime, Zhirinovsky ran in every single Russian presidential election apart from in 2004. He was known for many controversies, as well as staunch advocacy for Russian military action against NATO.
With an HPI of 59.04, Ablai Khan is the 9th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.
Wāli-ūllah Abū'l-Mansūr Khan (Kazakh: Уәлиұллаh Әбілмансұр хан, ولي الله أبو المنصور خان, romanized: Uäliūllah Äbılmansūr Han), better known as Abylai Khan (May 23, 1711 — May 23, 1781) was a Kazakh khan of the Middle jüz (central region) of the Kazakh Khanate.
With an HPI of 59.04, Dinmukhamed Kunaev is the 10th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.
Dinmukhamed Akhmetuly "Dimash" Kunaev (also spelled Kunayev; Kazakh: Дінмұхаммед (Димаш) Ахметұлы Қонаев, romanized: Dınmūhammed (Dimaş) Ahmetūly Qonaev, Russian: Динмухаме́д Ахме́дович (Минлиахмедович) Куна́ев, romanized: Dinmukhamed Akhmedovich (Minliakhmedovich) Kunaev; 12 January 1912 [O.S. 31 December 1911] – 22 August 1993) was a Kazakh Soviet communist politician who served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan.
Pantheon has 41 people classified as politicians born between 600 BC and 1984. Of these 41, 22 (53.66%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The most famous deceased politicians include Tomyris, Baibars, and Seljuk. As of April 2022, 11 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Akhmet Baitursynov, Tughlugh Timur, and Saken Seifullin.
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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 13 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.