The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Lebanese Politicians of all time. This list of famous Lebanese 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 Lebanese Politicians.
With an HPI of 74.94, Dido is the most famous Lebanese Politician. Her biography has been translated into 49 different languages on wikipedia.
Dido ( DY-doh; Ancient Greek: Διδώ Greek pronunciation: [diː.dɔ̌ː], Latin pronunciation: [ˈdiːdoː]), also known as Elissa ( ə-LISS-ə, Ἔλισσα), was the legendary founder and first queen of the Phoenician city-state of Carthage (located in modern Tunisia), in 814 BC. In most accounts, she was the queen of the Phoenician city-state of Tyre (today in Lebanon) who fled tyranny to found her own city in northwest Africa. Known only through ancient Greek and Roman sources, all of which were written well after Carthage's founding, her historicity remains uncertain. The oldest references to Dido are attributed to Timaeus, who was active around 300 BC, or about five centuries after the date given for the foundation of Carthage. Details about Dido's character, life, and role in the founding of Carthage are best known from the account given in Virgil's epic poem, the Aeneid, written around 20 BC, which tells the legendary story of the Trojan hero Aeneas. Dido is described as a clever and enterprising woman who flees her ruthless and autocratic brother, Pygmalion, after discovering that he was responsible for her husband's death. Through her wisdom and leadership, the city of Carthage is founded and made prosperous. Dido remains an enduring figure in Western culture and arts since the early Renaissance and into the 21st century. In the early 20th century, she was also chosen as a national symbol in Tunisian nationalism and so Tunisian women can be poetically referred to as "Daughters of Dido". Dido (Elissa) has also been represented on Tunisian currency in 2006.
With an HPI of 74.24, Severus Alexander is the 2nd most famous Lebanese Politician. His biography has been translated into 72 different languages.
Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander (1 October 208 – 21/22 March 235), also known as Alexander Severus, was a Roman emperor, who reigned from 222 until 235. He was the last emperor from the Severan dynasty. He succeeded his slain cousin Elagabalus in 222. Alexander himself was eventually assassinated, and his death marked the beginning of the events of the Crisis of the Third Century, which included nearly fifty years of civil war, foreign invasion, and the collapse of the monetary economy. Alexander was the heir to his cousin, the 18-year-old Emperor Elagabalus. The latter had been murdered along with his mother Julia Soaemias by his own guards, who, as a mark of contempt, had their remains cast into the Tiber river. Alexander and his cousin were both grandsons of Julia Maesa, who was the sister of empress Julia Domna and had arranged for Elagabalus's acclamation as emperor by the Third Gallic Legion. Alexander's 13-year reign was the longest reign of a sole emperor since Antoninus Pius. He was also the youngest sole legal Roman emperor during the existence of the united empire. Alexander's peacetime reign was prosperous. However, Rome was militarily confronted with the rising Sassanid Empire and growing incursions from the tribes of Germania. He managed to check the threat of the Sassanids. But when campaigning against Germanic tribes, Alexander attempted to bring peace by engaging in diplomacy and bribery. This alienated many in the Roman army, leading to a conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of Alexander, his mother Julia Avita Mamaea, and his advisors. After their deaths, the accession of Maximinus Thrax followed. Alexander's death marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century.
With an HPI of 72.42, Ahab is the 3rd most famous Lebanese Politician. His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.
Ahab (; Hebrew: אַחְאָב, Modern: ʾAḥʾav, Tiberian: ʾAḥʾāḇ; Akkadian: 𒀀𒄩𒀊𒁍 Aḫâbbu; Koinē Greek: Ἀχαάβ Achaáb; Latin: Achab) was the seventh king of Israel, the son and successor of King Omri and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon, according to the Hebrew Bible. He was widely criticized for causing "moral decline" in Israel, according to the Yahwists. Scholars consider him to have been a Yahweh-worshipper.The existence of Ahab is historically supported outside the Bible. Shalmaneser III of Assyria documented in 853 BC that he defeated an alliance of a dozen kings in the Battle of Qarqar; one of these was Ahab. He is also mentioned on the inscriptions of the Mesha Stele.Ahab became king of Israel in the thirty-eighth year of King Asa of Judah, and reigned for twenty-two years, according to 1 Kings. William F. Albright dated his reign to 869–850 BC, while Edwin R. Thiele offered the dates 874–853 BC. Most recently, Michael Coogan has dated Ahab's reign to 871–852 BC.
With an HPI of 68.25, Michel Aoun is the 4th most famous Lebanese Politician. His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.
Michel Naim Aoun (Arabic: ميشال نعيم عون, Lebanese Arabic: [miˈʃɛl naˈʕiːm ʕaʊ̯n]; born 30 September 1933) is a Lebanese politician and former military general who served as the President of Lebanon from 31 October 2016 until 30 October 2022.Born in Haret Hreik to a Maronite Christian family, Aoun joined the Military Academy in 1955 and graduated as an artillery officer in the Lebanese Army. In 1984, he became the youngest Commander of the Army, at the age of 49 years. On 22 September 1988 during the fourth phase of the Lebanese Civil War, the departing President Amine Gemayel appointed him as the interim Prime Minister of a Military Government, after the parliament failed to elect a new president, and dismissed the current government headed by the Acting Prime Minister Selim Hoss. This controversial decision saw the rise of two rival governments contending for power at that time, with Aoun being supported mainly by Christians and Iraq, while the other being supported by Muslims and Syria. He declared the War of Liberation against Syrian Army forces on 14 March 1989, opposed the Taif Agreement, refused to recognize the newly elected presidents René Moawad and Elias Hrawi, clashed with the Lebanese Forces led by Samir Geagea, and survived an assassination attempt on 12 October 1990. On 13 October, the Syrian forces launched a decisive operation against Aoun, invading his strongholds including the Presidential Palace in Baabda and killing hundreds of Lebanese soldiers and civilians. Aoun fled to the French Embassy in Beirut where he declared his surrender and was later granted asylum in France where he lived in exile for 15 years. In exile, Aoun founded the Free Patriotic Movement, and advocated for the Syria Accountability Act by testifying in the US Congress. In 2005, a chain of widespread demonstrations triggered by the assassination of Rafic Hariri erupted in Lebanon, resulted in the withdrawal of Syrian troops from the country. On 7 May, Aoun returned to Lebanon. Aoun was elected to the Parliament for the first time in the same year, while his party won 21 seats in the parliament, forming the largest Christian bloc, and second biggest bloc in the Parliament. In 2006, he signed a memorandum of understanding with Hezbollah, starting a major alliance that has remained ever since. Despite the bloody history with the regime of Hafez al-Assad, father of Bashar al-Assad, Aoun visited Syria in 2008, ending his long rivalry with Damascus. In 2016, Aoun reconciled with Geagea after signing the Maarab Agreement, and was endorsed by the Lebanese Forces, Future Movement, Progressive Socialist Party as well as Hezbollah to become the thirteenth President of Lebanon. He is the oldest president, taking office at the age of 83 years. After his election, he was sworn in and succeeded Michel Suleiman. In 2019, the country descended into chaos with a popular uprising, bringing millions of Lebanese in Lebanon and abroad to take to the streets, mainly caused by the liquidity crisis, political corruption and sectarianism.
With an HPI of 65.62, Rafic Hariri is the 5th most famous Lebanese Politician. His biography has been translated into 60 different languages.
Rafic Bahaa El Deen al-Hariri (Arabic: رفيق بهاء الدين الحريري, romanized: Rafīq Bahāʾ ad-Dīn al-Ḥarīrī; Lebanese Arabic pronunciation: [ɾafiːʔ lˈħaɾiːɾiː] 1 November 1944 – 14 February 2005), also known as Rafiq al-Hariri, was a Lebanese business tycoon and politician, who served as the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until he resigned on 20 October 2004 (2004-10-20) and assassination in 2005. Hariri headed five cabinets during his tenure. He was widely credited for his role in constructing the Taif Agreement that ended the 15-year Lebanese Civil War. He also played a huge role in reconstructing the Lebanese capital, Beirut. He was the first post-civil war prime minister and the most influential and wealthiest Lebanese politician until his assassination. Hariri was assassinated on 14 February 2005 by a suicide truck bomb in Beirut. Four Hezbollah members were indicted for the assassination and are being tried in absentia by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, but others have linked the assassination to the Syrian government. The outcome of a 15-year investigation led to the guilty verdict of multiple people in Hezbollah's party taking part; however, the only one left alive would be Salim Ayyash, a well-connected, mid-level operative in Hezbollah. The assassination was a catalyst for dramatic political change in Lebanon. The massive protests of the Cedar Revolution helped achieve the withdrawal of Syrian troops and security forces from Lebanon and a change in governments. At one point, Hariri was one of the world's 100 wealthiest men and the fourth-richest politician.
With an HPI of 61.44, Hiram I is the 6th most famous Lebanese Politician. His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.
Hiram I (Phoenician: 𐤇𐤓𐤌 Ḥirōm "my brother is exalted"; Hebrew: חִירָם Ḥīrām, Modern Arabic: حيرام, also called Hirom or Huram) was the Phoenician king of Tyre according to the Hebrew Bible. His regnal years have been calculated by some as 980 to 947 BC, in succession to his father, Abibaal. Hiram was succeeded as king of Tyre by his son Baal-Eser I. Hiram is also mentioned in the writings of Menander of Ephesus (early 2nd century BC), as preserved in Josephus's Against Apion, which adds to the biblical account. According to Josephus, Hiram lived for 53 years and reigned 34.
With an HPI of 60.97, Bachir Gemayel is the 7th most famous Lebanese Politician. His biography has been translated into 34 different languages.
Bachir Pierre Gemayel (Arabic: بشير بيار الجميّل [baˈʃiːr ʒɪ'ma.jjɪl]; 10 November 1947 – 14 September 1982) was a Lebanese militia commander who led the Lebanese Forces, the military wing of the Kataeb Party in the Lebanese Civil War and was elected President of Lebanon in 1982. He founded and later became the supreme commander of the Lebanese Forces, uniting major Christian militias by force under the slogan of "Uniting the Christian Rifle". Gemayel allied with Israel and his forces fought the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Syrian Army. He was elected president on 23 August 1982, but he was assassinated before taking office on 14 September, via a bomb explosion by Habib Shartouni, a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.Gemayel is described as the most controversial figure in the history of Lebanon. He remains popular among Maronite Christians, where he is seen as a "martyr" and an "icon". Conversely, he has been criticized for committing alleged war crimes and accused of treason for his relations with Israel.
With an HPI of 59.62, Émile Lahoud is the 8th most famous Lebanese Politician. His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.
Émile Jamil Lahoud (born 12 January 1936) is a Lebanese politician who served as the 16th president of Lebanon from 1998 to 2007. His main foreign policy achievement was to end the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon in May 2000, which had been occupied since 1982. He downplayed sectarianism and rearmed the Lebanese army, with help from Syria. However, factionalism and Lebanon's politics undermined his strength.
With an HPI of 59.50, Hassan Nasrallah is the 9th most famous Lebanese Politician. His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.
Hassan Nasrallah (Arabic: حسن نصر الله [ħasan nasˤrɑɫɫɑh]; born 31 August 1960) is a Lebanese cleric and the secretary-general of Hezbollah, a Shia Islamist political party and militant group. Born into a Shia family in the suburbs of Beirut in 1960, Nasrallah finished his education in Tyre, when he briefly joined the Amal Movement, and afterwards at a Shia seminary in Baalbek. He later studied and taught at an Amal school. Nasrallah joined Hezbollah after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. After a brief period of religious studies in Iran, Nasrallah returned to Lebanon and became Hezbollah's leader after his predecessor was assassinated by an Israeli airstrike in 1992.Under Nasrallah's leadership, Hezbollah acquired rockets with a longer range, which allowed them to strike at northern Israel. After Israel suffered heavy casualties during its 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon, it withdrew its forces in 2000, which greatly increased Hezbollah's popularity in the region, and bolstered Hezbollah's position within Lebanon. However, Hezbollah's role in ambushing an Israeli border patrol unit leading up to the 2006 Lebanon War, was subject to local and regional criticism. During the Syrian civil war, Hezbollah fought on the side of the Syrian army in the strategic Syrian town of Qusair against what Nasrallah termed "Islamist extremists".
With an HPI of 59.34, Amine Gemayel is the 10th most famous Lebanese Politician. His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.
Amine Pierre Gemayel (Arabic: أمين بيار الجميٌل, Lebanese Arabic pronunciation: [ʔæmiːn ɪlʒmaj.jɪl]; born 22 January 1942) is a Lebanese politician who served as President of Lebanon from 1982 to 1988. Born in Bikfaya, his father was Pierre Gemayel, the founder of the Christian Kataeb Party (Also known as the "Phalanges"). He worked as a lawyer, then was elected as a deputy for Northern Metn in 1970 by-election, following the death of his uncle, Maurice Gemayel, and once again in the 1972 general election. At the start of the Lebanese Civil War, the Phalanges were a member of the Lebanese Front, allied with Syria against the leftist National Movement. However, Syria became their enemy, while they started receiving the support of Israel. This phase saw the rise of his brother, Bachir, who had disputes with Amine about the military leadership, such as uniting the Christian militias by force. In 1982, Bachir was elected to presidency, but was assassinated before taking office. Endorsed by the United States and Israel, he was elected on 23 September as the eighth president. At the age of 40 years, he was the youngest president to take office. He re-organized the Lebanese Army, receiving support from the Multinational Force in Lebanon and despite fierce internal opposition, he reached the May 17 Agreement with Israel in 1983, which stipulated the withdrawal of the Israeli forces and ending the state of war between the two countries, but didn't ratify it. Under his command, the army, allied with the Lebanese Forces, clashed with Jammoul, a Syrian-backed alliance led by the Druze Walid Jumblatt, in what is known as the Mountain War. By the end of the conflict, the government suffered heavy defeat, and lost control over wide areas of Mount Lebanon. It was followed by February 6 Intifada, where the army was expelled out of West Beirut, and disintegrated into sectarian groups. As a result of heavy pressure, and the withdrawal of the multinational forces, Gemayel visited Damascus in 1984, and formed a national unity government, including members from the opposition, headed by Rashid Karami. He cancelled the May 17 Agreement, and appointed Michel Aoun as a Commander of the Armed Forces. In 1986, he helped Samir Geagea organize a coup against the leader of the Lebanese Forces Elie Hobeika, for signing the Tripartite Accord with Berri and Jumblatt. Following the assassination of Karami, he appointed Selim Hoss as acting Prime Minister. Right before his term expired, Gemayel dismissed the cabinet and formed a military government headed by Michel Aoun. Aoun then declared war on Syria but was defeated in 1990, marking the end of the civil war and the implementation of the Taef Agreement. Gemayel moved to Switzerland and later France, starting a self-imposed exile. In 2000, he returned to Lebanon, and organized opposition to Syria, and the leadership of the Phalangist Party. He joined the Qornet Shehwan Gathering, and participated in the Cedar Revolution following the assassination of Rafic Hariri. In 2006, Pierre Gemayel, his son, who was a deputy in the parliament, was assassinated. He ran in the by-election, but lost against a Free Patriotic candidate. His other son, Samy, succeeded him as president of the Phalangist Party.
Pantheon has 45 people classified as politicians born between 1000 BC and 1972. Of these 45, 16 (35.56%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Michel Aoun, Émile Lahoud, and Hassan Nasrallah. The most famous deceased politicians include Dido, Severus Alexander, and Ahab. As of April 2022, 5 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Abdalonymus, Selim Hoss, and Bashir Shihab II.
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879 BC - 759 BC
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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 21 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.