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The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Thailand

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This page contains a list of the greatest Thai Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,577 Politicians, 59 of which were born in Thailand. This makes Thailand the birth place of the 54th most number of Politicians behind Latvia and Belarus.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Thai Politicians of all time. This list of famous Thai 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 Thai Politicians.

Photo of Vajiralongkorn

1. Vajiralongkorn (1952 - )

With an HPI of 68.43, Vajiralongkorn is the most famous Thai Politician.  His biography has been translated into 91 different languages on wikipedia.

Vajiralongkorn (Thai: วชิราลงกรณ; RTGS: Wachiralongkon, pronounced [wá.tɕʰí.rāː.lōŋ.kɔ̄ːn]; born 28 July 1952) is the King of Thailand. He is the only son of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. In 1972, at the age of 20, he was made crown prince by his father. After his father's death on 13 October 2016, he was expected to ascend to the throne of Thailand but asked for time to mourn before taking the throne. He accepted the throne on the night of 1 December 2016. His coronation took place from 4–6 May 2019. The Thai government retroactively declared his reign to have begun on 13 October 2016, upon his father's death. As the tenth monarch of the Chakri dynasty, he is also styled as Rama X. Aged 64 at that time, Vajiralongkorn became the oldest Thai monarch to ascend to the throne.He is the wealthiest monarch in the world, with a net worth estimated to be between US$30 billion and US$70 billion.

Photo of Chulalongkorn

2. Chulalongkorn (1853 - 1910)

With an HPI of 66.87, Chulalongkorn is the 2nd most famous Thai Politician.  His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Chulalongkorn (Thai: จุฬาลงกรณ์, 20 September 1853 – 23 October 1910) was the fifth monarch of Siam under the House of Chakri, titled Rama V. He was known to the Siamese of his time as Phra Phuttha Chao Luang (พระพุทธเจ้าหลวง, the Royal Buddha). Chulalongkorn's reign was characterised by the modernisation of Siam, governmental and social reforms, and territorial concessions to the British and French. As Siam was surrounded by European colonies, Chulalongkorn, through his policies and acts, ensured the independence of Siam. All his reforms were dedicated to ensuring Siam's independence given the increasing encroachment of Western powers, so that Chulalongkorn earned the epithet Phra Piya Maharat (พระปิยมหาราช, the Great Beloved King).

Photo of Mongkut

3. Mongkut (1804 - 1868)

With an HPI of 65.54, Mongkut is the 3rd most famous Thai Politician.  His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.

Mongkut (Thai: มงกุฏ; 18 October 1804 – 1 October 1868) was the fourth monarch of Siam (Thailand) under the House of Chakri, titled Rama IV. He ruled from 1851 to 1868. His full title in Thai was Phra Bat Somdet Phra Menthora Ramathibodi Sri Sinthara Mahamakut Phra Mongkut Phra Siam Deva Mahamakut Wittaya Maharaj (พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรเมนทรรามาธิบดีศรีสินทรมหามงกุฎ พระจอมเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว พระสยามเทวมหามกุฏวิทยมหาราช). Outside Thailand, Mongkut is best known as the king in the 1951 musical and 1956 film The King and I, based on the 1946 film Anna and the King of Siam—in turn based on a 1944 novel by an American author about Anna Leonowens' years at his court, from 1862 to 1867, drawn from Leonowens’ memoir.Siam first felt the pressure of Western expansionism during Mongkut's reign. Mongkut embraced Western innovations and initiated the modernization of his country, both in technology and culture—earning him the nickname "The Father of Science and Technology" in Siam. Mongkut was also known for appointing his younger brother, Prince Chutamani, as Second King, crowned in 1851 as King Pinklao. Mongkut told the country that Pinklao should be respected with equal honor to himself (as King Naresuan had done with his brother Ekathotsarot in 1583). During Mongkut's reign, the power of the House of Bunnag reached its zenith: It became the most powerful noble family of Siam.

Photo of Rama I

4. Rama I (1736 - 1809)

With an HPI of 63.82, Rama I is the 4th most famous Thai Politician.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok Maharaj (Thai: พระพุทธยอดฟ้าจุฬาโลกมหาราช, 20 March 1737 – 7 September 1809), personal name Thongduang (ทองด้วง), also known as Rama I, was the founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom and the first monarch of the reigning Chakri dynasty of Siam (now Thailand). His full title in Thai is Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paramoruracha Mahachakkriborommanat Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok (พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรโมรุราชามหาจักรีบรมนารถ พระพุทธยอดฟ้าจุฬาโลก). He ascended the throne in 1782, following the deposition of King Taksin of Thonburi. He was also celebrated as the founder of Rattanakosin (now Bangkok) as the new capital of the reunited kingdom. Rama I was born from a Mon male line descent family, great grandson of Kosa Pan. His father served in the royal court of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, and had served King Taksin in wars against the Burmese Konbaung dynasty and helped him in the reunification of Siam. During this time he emerged as Siam's most powerful military leader. Thongduang was the first Somdet Chao Phraya, the highest rank the nobility could attain, equaled to that of royalty. In 1782, he took control of Siam and crowned himself as the monarch. The most famous event in his reign was the Burmese–Siamese War of 1785–86, which was the last major Burmese assault on Siam.

Photo of Sirikit

5. Sirikit (1932 - )

With an HPI of 62.93, Sirikit is the 5th most famous Thai Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Queen Sirikit (Thai: สิริกิติ์; Thai pronunciation: [sì.rì.kìt]; listen ; born Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara (Thai: สิริกิติ์ กิติยากร; RTGS: Sirikit Kitiyakon; 12 August 1932) is the queen mother of Thailand. She was Queen of Thailand as the wife of Bhumibol Adulyadej (or King Rama IX) and is the mother of the current King Vajiralongkorn (or King Rama X). She met Bhumibol in Paris, where her father was Thai ambassador. They married in 1950, shortly before Bhumibol's coronation. Sirikit was appointed queen regent in 1956, when the king entered the Buddhist monkhood for a period of time. Sirikit has one son and three daughters with the king. Consort of the monarch who was the world's longest-reigning head of state, she was also the world's longest-serving queen consort. Sirikit suffered a stroke on 21 July 2012 and has since refrained from public appearances.

Photo of Prajadhipok

6. Prajadhipok (1893 - 1941)

With an HPI of 62.60, Prajadhipok is the 6th most famous Thai Politician.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Prajadhipok (Thai: ประชาธิปก, RTGS: Prachathipok, 8 November 1893 – 30 May 1941), also Rama VII, was the seventh monarch of Siam of the Chakri dynasty. His reign was a turbulent time for Siam due to political and social changes during the Revolution of 1932. He is to date the only Siamese monarch of the Chakri Dynasty to abdicate.

Photo of Thaksin Shinawatra

7. Thaksin Shinawatra (1949 - )

With an HPI of 62.50, Thaksin Shinawatra is the 7th most famous Thai Politician.  His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.

Thaksin Shinawatra (Thai: ทักษิณ ชินวัตร; RTGS: Thaksin Chinnawat; pronounced [tʰák.sǐn t͡ɕʰīn.nā.wát]; Chinese: 丘達新; Montenegrin: Taksin Šinavatra; born 26 July 1949), is a Thai businessman, politician and visiting professor. He served in the Thai Police from 1973 to 1987, and was the Prime Minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006. Thaksin founded the mobile phone operator Advanced Info Service and the IT and telecommunications conglomerate Shin Corporation in 1987, ultimately making him one of the richest people in Thailand. He founded the Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT) in 1998 and, after a landslide electoral victory, became prime minister in 2001. He was the first democratically elected prime minister of Thailand to serve a full term and was re-elected in 2005 by an overwhelming majority. Thaksin declared a "war on drugs" in which more than 2,500 people were killed. Thaksin's government launched programs to reduce poverty, expand infrastructure, promote small and medium-sized enterprises, and extend universal healthcare coverage. Thaksin took a strong-arm approach against the separatist insurgency in the Muslim southern provinces. His decision to sell shares in his corporation for more than a billion tax-free dollars generated considerable controversy. A citizens' movement against Thaksin, called People's Alliance for Democracy or "Yellow Shirts", launched mass protests, accusing him of corruption, abuse of power, and autocratic tendencies. Thaksin called snap elections that were boycotted by the opposition and invalidated by the Constitutional Court. Thaksin was overthrown in a military coup on 19 September 2006. His party was outlawed and he was barred from political activity. Thaksin has since lived in self-imposed exile except for a brief visit to Thailand in 2008. He was sentenced in absentia to two years in jail for abuse of power. From abroad he has continued to influence Thai politics, through the People's Power Party that ruled in 2008, and its successor organisation Pheu Thai Party, as well as the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship or "Red Shirt" movement. His younger sister Yingluck Shinawatra was the prime minister of Thailand from 2011 to 2014.

Photo of Taksin

8. Taksin (1734 - 1782)

With an HPI of 62.37, Taksin is the 8th most famous Thai Politician.  His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.

King Taksin the Great (Thai: สมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช, RTGS: Somdet Phra Chao Taksin Maharat, listen ) or the King of Thonburi (Thai: สมเด็จพระเจ้ากรุงธนบุรี, RTGS: Somdet Phra Chao Krung Thon Buri; simplified Chinese: 郑昭; traditional Chinese: 鄭昭; pinyin: Zhèng Zhāo; Teochew: Dên Chao; April 17, 1734 – April 7, 1782) was the only king of the Thonburi Kingdom. He had been an aristocrat in the Ayutthaya Kingdom and then was a major leader during the liberation of Siam from Burmese occupation after the Second Fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, and the subsequent unification of Siam after it fell under various warlords. He established the city of Thonburi as the new capital, as the city of Ayutthaya had been almost completely destroyed by the invaders. His reign was characterized by numerous wars; he fought to repel new Burmese invasions and to subjugate the northern Thai kingdom of Lanna, the Laotian principalities, and a threatening Cambodia. Although warfare occupied most of Taksin's reign, he paid a great deal of attention to politics, administration, economy, and the welfare of the country. He promoted trade and fostered relations with foreign countries. He had roads built and canals dug. Apart from restoring and renovating temples, the king attempted to revive literature, and various branches of the arts such as drama, painting, architecture and handicrafts. He also issued regulations for the collection and arrangement of various texts to promote education and religious studies. He was taken in a coup d'état and executed, and succeeded by his long-time friend Maha Ksatriyaseuk, who then assumed the throne, founding the Rattanakosin Kingdom and the Chakri dynasty, which has since ruled Thailand. In recognition for what he did for the Thais, he was later awarded the title of Maharaj (The Great).

Photo of Vajiravudh

9. Vajiravudh (1880 - 1925)

With an HPI of 62.18, Vajiravudh is the 9th most famous Thai Politician.  His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.

Vajiravudh (Thai: วชิราวุธ, RTGS: Wachirawut, 1 January 1881 – 26 November 1925) was the sixth monarch of Siam under the Chakri dynasty as Rama VI. He ruled from 23 October 1910 until his death in 1925. King Vajiravudh is best known for his efforts to create and promote Siamese nationalism. His reign was characterized by Siam's movement further towards democracy and minimal participation in World War I. He had keen interests in Siamese history, archaeology, and literature, as well as economics, politics and world affairs, and founded the country's first university, Chulalongkorn University.

Photo of Plaek Phibunsongkhram

10. Plaek Phibunsongkhram (1897 - 1964)

With an HPI of 62.04, Plaek Phibunsongkhram is the 10th most famous Thai Politician.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram (Thai: แปลก พิบูลสงคราม [plɛ̀ːk pʰí.būːn.sǒŋ.kʰrāːm]; alternatively transcribed as Pibulsongkram or Pibulsonggram; 14 July 1897 – 11 June 1964), locally known as Marshal P. (Thai: จอมพล ป.;[tɕɔ̄ːm.pʰōn.pɔ̄ː]), contemporarily known as Phibun (Pibul) in the West, was a Thai military officer and politician who served as the Prime Minister of Thailand from 1938 to 1944 and 1948 to 1957. Phibunsongkhram was a member of the Royal Siamese Army wing of Khana Ratsadon, the first political party in Thailand, and a leader of the Siamese revolution of 1932, transforming Thailand from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. Phibun became the third Prime Minister of Thailand in 1938 as Commander of the Royal Siamese Army, established a de facto military dictatorship inspired by the Italian fascist Benito Mussolini, promoted Thai nationalism and sinophobia, and allied Thailand with Imperial Japan in World War II. Phibun launched a modernization campaign known as the Thai Cultural Revolution that included a series of cultural mandates, changing the country's name from "Siam" to "Thailand", and promoting the common Thai language. Phibun was ousted as prime minister by the National Assembly in 1944 and replaced by members of the Free Thai Movement, until returning to power in the Siamese coup d'état of 1947, led by the Coup Group. Phibun aligned Thailand with anti-communism in the Cold War, entered the Korean War under the United Nations Command, and abandoned fascism for a façade of democracy. Phibun's second term as prime minister was plagued by political instability and was subject to several attempted coup d'etats to remove him, including the Army General Staff plot in 1948, the Palace Rebellion in 1949, and the Manhattan Rebellion in 1951. Phibun attempted to transform Thailand into an electoral democracy from the mid-1950s but was overthrown in 1957 and entered exile in Japan, where he died in 1964. Phibun is the longest-serving Prime Minister of Thailand to date, at fifteen years and one month.

Pantheon has 59 people classified as politicians born between 1188 and 2005. Of these 59, 24 (40.68%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Vajiralongkorn, Sirikit, and Thaksin Shinawatra. The most famous deceased politicians include Chulalongkorn, Mongkut, and Rama I. As of April 2022, 5 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Wan Waithayakon, Damrong Rajanubhab, and Wiradech Kothny.

Living Politicians

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Deceased Politicians

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Newly Added Politicians (2022)

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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.