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 87.99, David is the most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 96 different languages on wikipedia.
David (; Hebrew: דָּוִד, Modern: Davīd, Tiberian: Dāwīḏ) is described in the Hebrew Bible as the third king of the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah. In the Books of Samuel, David is a young shepherd and harpist who gains fame by slaying the giant Goliath, a champion of the Philistines in southern Canaan. David becomes a favorite of the first king of united Israel, Saul, and forges a close friendship with Jonathan, a son of Saul. Paranoid that David is seeking to usurp the throne, Saul attempts to kill David, forcing the latter to go into hiding and operate as a fugitive for several years. After Saul and Jonathan are both killed in battle against the Philistines, a 30-year-old David is anointed king over all of Israel and Judah, following which he conquers the city of Jerusalem, establishes it as Israel's capital, and takes the Ark of the Covenant into the city to be the centre-point of worship in the Israelite religion. According to the biblical narrative, David commits adultery with Bathsheba, leading him to arrange the death of her husband, Uriah the Hittite. David's son Absalom later schemes to overthrow him and, during the ensuing rebellion, David flees Jerusalem, but returns after Absalom's death to continue his reign over Israel and Judah. He desires to construct a temple to Yahweh in which to house the Ark but, because he shed much blood, Yahweh denies David the opportunity to do so. David rules as king of the Israelites until his death at age 70, prior to which he chooses Solomon, a son born to him and Bathsheba, to be his successor instead of Adonijah, his eldest surviving son. He is honored in prophetic literature as an ideal king and the forefather of the future Hebrew Messiah, and many psalms are ascribed to him.Historians of the Ancient Near East agree that David probably lived around 1000 BCE, but there is little else that is agreed on about him as a historical figure. The Tel Dan stele, a Canaanite-inscribed stone erected by a king of Aram-Damascus in the late-9th/early-8th centuries BCE to commemorate his victory over two enemy kings, contains the Hebrew-language phrase Beit David (ביתדוד), which most scholars translate as "House of David". The Mesha stele, erected by king Mesha of Moab in the 9th century BCE, may also refer to the "House of David", but this is disputed. Apart from this, all that is known of David comes from biblical literature, the historicity of which is doubtful, and there is little detail about David that is concrete and undisputed.David is richly represented in post-biblical Jewish written and oral tradition, and is discussed in the New Testament. The early Christians interpreted the life of Jesus in light of references to the Hebrew Messiah and to David; Jesus is described as being descended from David in the gospels of Matthew and of Luke. The biblical character of David has inspired many interpretations in art and literature over centuries. In the Quran and hadith, David is mentioned as a prophet-king of Allah.
With an HPI of 76.12, Zacchaeus is the 2nd most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.
Zacchaeus (sometimes spelled Zaccheus; Ancient Greek: Ζακχαῖος, Zakkhaîos; Hebrew: זכי, "pure, innocent") was a chief tax-collector at Jericho in the Bible. He is known primarily for his faith in climbing a sycamore tree to see Jesus, and also his generosity in giving half of all he possessed. A descendant of Abraham, he was an example of Jesus's personal, earthly mission to bring salvation to the lost. Tax collectors were despised as traitors (working for the Roman Empire, not for their Jewish community), and as being corrupt. His story is found in the Gospel of Luke.Because the lucrative production and export of balsam was centered in Jericho, his position would have carried both importance and wealth. In the account, he arrived before the crowd who were later to meet with Jesus, who was passing through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. He was short in stature and so was unable to see Jesus through the crowd (Luke 19:3). Zacchaeus then ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree along Jesus's path. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up at the sycamore tree (actually a sycamore-fig Ficus sycomorus), addressed Zacchaeus by name, and told him to come down, for he intended to visit his house. The crowd was shocked that Jesus, a religious teacher/prophet, would sully himself by being a guest of a sinner.
With an HPI of 75.16, Herod Archelaus is the 3rd most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 34 different languages.
Herod Archelaus (Ancient Greek: Ἡρῴδης Ἀρχέλαος, Hērōidēs Archelaos; 23 BC – c. AD 18) was ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea, including the cities Caesarea and Jaffa, for a period of nine years (c. 4 BC to AD 6). Archelaus was removed by Roman emperor Augustus when Judaea province was formed under direct Roman rule, at the time of the Census of Quirinius. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, and was the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod II. Archelaus (a name meaning "leading the people") came to power after the death of his father Herod the Great in 4 BC, and ruled over one-half of the territorial dominion of his father.
With an HPI of 71.34, Abdullah Yusuf Azzam is the 4th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.
Abdullah Yusuf Azzam (Arabic: عبد الله يوسف عزام, romanized: ‘Abdu’llāh Yūsuf ‘Azzām; (1941-11-14)14 November 1941 – (1989-11-24)24 November 1989) was an influential Salafi jihadist, a Palestinian scholar, and theologian of Sunni Islam. During the Soviet–Afghan War of the 1980s, he advocated "defensive jihad" by Muslims worldwide to help the Afghan mujahideen fight against Soviet forces in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.Azzam was a teacher and mentor to Osama bin Laden, and was one of the key figures who persuaded bin Laden to go to Afghanistan and back the mujahideen fighters there. Together, they cofounded the Maktab al-Khidamat, an organization that was created for the purpose of drawing foreign Muslim fighters (known as Afghan Arabs) to fight in the war. Following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, he promoted militant jihadist activities on behalf of other Muslims in other countries, and subsequently became known as the "father of global jihad".Azzam was killed by a car bomb in Peshawar, Pakistan, on 24 November 1989.
With an HPI of 69.18, Pekahiah is the 5th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.
Pekahiah (; Hebrew: פְּקַחְיָה Pəqaḥyā; "YHWH has opened the eyes"; Latin: Phaceia) was the seventeenth and antepenultimate king of Israel and the son of Menahem, whom he succeeded, and the second and last king of Israel from the House of Gadi. He ruled from the capital of Samaria. Pekahiah became king in the fiftieth year of the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 738–736 BCE, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 742–740 BCE.Pekahiah continued the practices of Jeroboam, which are called the sins of Jeroboam.After a reign of two years, Pekahiah was assassinated in the royal citadel at Samaria by Pekah ben Remaliah - one of his own chief military officers - with the help of fifty men from Gilead. Pekah succeeded Pekahiah as king.
With an HPI of 66.83, Ismail Haniyeh is the 6th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.
Ismail Abdel Salam Ahmed Haniyeh (Arabic: إسماعيل عبد السلام أحمد هنية, romanized: Ismaʻīl Haniyya; sometimes transliterated as Haniya, Haniyah, or Hanieh; born 29 January 1962) is a senior political leader of Hamas and formerly one of two disputed Prime Ministers of the Palestinian National Authority. Haniyeh became prime minister after Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections of 2006. President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed Haniyeh from office on 14 June 2007 at the height of the Fatah–Hamas conflict, but Haniyeh did not acknowledge the decree and continued to exercise prime ministerial authority in the Gaza Strip. In September 2016, reports indicated Haniyeh would replace Khaled Mashal as Chief of Hamas's Political Bureau. He was elected as Hamas political chief on 6 May 2017.
With an HPI of 66.35, Khaled Mashal is the 7th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.
Khaled Mashal (Arabic: خالد مشعل, romanized: Khālid Mashʿal, Levantine Arabic: [xaːled meʃʕal], born 28 May 1956) is a former leader of the Palestinian organization Hamas. After the founding of Hamas in 1987, Mashal became the leader of the Kuwaiti branch of the organization. In 1992, he became a founding member of Hamas' politburo and its chairman. He became the recognized head of Hamas after Israel assassinated both Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and his successor Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi in the spring of 2004. Under his leadership, Hamas stunned the world by winning a majority of the seats in the Palestinian legislative election in 2006. Mashal stepped down as Hamas' politburo chairman at the end of his term limit in 2017.The Six-Day War in 1967 forced Mashal's family to flee the West Bank and he has since then lived in other parts of the Arab world exile. For that reason, he was considered part of Hamas' "external leadership."
With an HPI of 64.71, Ahmed Qurei is the 8th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.
Ahmed Ali Mohammed Qurei (or Qureia; Arabic: أحمد علي محمد قريع, Aḥmad ʿAlī Muḥammad Qurayʿ), also known by his Arabic kunya Abu Alaa (أبو علاء, Abū ʿAláʾ) (born March 26, 1937) is a former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority. First appointed to the position in October 2003, he tendered his resignation on January 26, 2006, following the defeat of the Fatah party in the 2006 Palestinian legislative election, and remained in office in a caretaker capacity until 19 February when he was succeeded by Ismail Haniyeh. During his tenure as prime minister, he has also had responsibility for security matters. He has previously served as speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council and held a variety of significant positions within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from the 1970s on.
With an HPI of 62.68, Salam Fayyad is the 9th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.
Salam Fayyad (Arabic: سلام فياض, Salām Fayāḍ; born 2 April 1951) is a Jordanian-Palestinian politician and former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority and Finance Minister. He was Finance Minister from June 2002 to November 2005 and from March 2007 to May 2012. Fayyad was Prime Minister between June 2007 and June 2013. Fayyad resigned from the cabinet in November 2005 to run as founder and leader of the new Third Way party for the legislative elections of 2006. The party was not successful, and Fayyad returned as Finance Minister in the March 2007 Unity Government. Fayyad's first appointment as Prime Minister on 15 June 2007, which was justified by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on the basis of "national emergency", was not confirmed by the Palestinian Legislative Council. His successor, Rami Hamdallah, was named on 2 June 2013.Fayyad is a visiting senior scholar and the Daniella Lipper Coules '95 Distinguished Visitor in Foreign Affairs at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
With an HPI of 60.15, Marwan Barghouti is the 10th most famous Politician. His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.
Marwan Hasib Ibrahim Barghouti (also transliterated al-Barghuthi; Arabic: مروان حسيب ابراهيم البرغوثي; born 6 June 1959) is a Palestinian political figure convicted and imprisoned for murder by an Israeli court. He is regarded as a leader of the First and Second Intifadas. Barghouti at one time supported the peace process, but later became disillusioned, and after 2000 went on to become a leader of the Second Intifada from the West Bank. Barghouti was a leader of Tanzim, a paramilitary offshoot of Fatah.Israeli authorities have called Barghouti a terrorist, accusing him of directing numerous attacks, including suicide bombings, against civilian and military targets alike. Barghouti was arrested by Israel Defense Forces in 2002 in Ramallah. He was tried and convicted on charges of murder, and sentenced to five life sentences. Marwan Barghouti refused to present a defense to the charges brought against him, maintaining throughout that the trial was illegal and illegitimate. Barghouti still exerts great influence in Fatah from within prison. With popularity reaching further than that, there has been some speculation whether he could be a unifying candidate in a bid to succeed Mahmud Abbas.In the negotiations over the exchange of Palestinian prisoners for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Hamas insisted on including Barghouti in the deal with Israel. However, Israel was unwilling to concede to that demand and despite initial reports that he indeed was to be released in the 11 October 2011 deal between Israel and Hamas, it was soon denied by Israeli sources.In November 2014, Barghouti urged the Palestinian Authority to immediately end security cooperation with Israel and called for a Third Intifada against Israel.
Pantheon has 11 people classified as politicians born between 1010 BC and 1962. Of these 11, 5 (45.45%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Ismail Haniyeh, Khaled Mashal, and Ahmed Qurei. The most famous deceased politicians include David, Zacchaeus, and Herod Archelaus.