The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from United States

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This page contains a list of the greatest American Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,710 Politicians, 1,207 of which were born in United States. This makes United States the birth place of the most number of Politicians.

Top 10

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

Photo of Donald Trump

1. Donald Trump (1946 - )

With an HPI of 94.95, Donald Trump is the most famous American Politician.  His biography has been translated into 213 different languages on wikipedia.

Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American politician, media personality, and businessman who served as the 45th president of the United States from 2017 to 2021. Born and raised in Queens, New York City, Trump graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in 1968. He became the president of his father Fred Trump's real estate business in 1971 and renamed it The Trump Organization. Trump expanded the company's operations to building and renovating skyscrapers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses. He later started various side ventures, mostly by licensing his name. Trump and his businesses have been involved in more than 4,000 state and federal legal actions, including six bankruptcies. He owned the Miss Universe brand of beauty pageants from 1996 to 2015. From 2004 to 2015, he co-produced and hosted the reality television series The Apprentice. Trump's political positions have been described as populist, protectionist, isolationist, and nationalist. He entered the 2016 presidential race as a Republican and was elected in an upset victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton while losing the popular vote, becoming the first U.S. president without prior military or government service. His election and policies sparked numerous protests. Trump made many false and misleading statements during his campaigns and presidency, to a degree unprecedented in American politics, and promoted conspiracy theories. Many of his comments and actions have been characterized as racially charged or racist, and many as misogynistic. Trump ordered a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, diverted funding towards building a wall on the U.S.–Mexico border, and implemented a policy of family separations for apprehended migrants. He signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which cut taxes for individuals and businesses and rescinded the individual health insurance mandate penalty of the Affordable Care Act. He appointed more than 200 federal judges, including three to the Supreme Court: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. In foreign policy, Trump pursued an America First agenda: he renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement as the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement and withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Iran nuclear deal. He imposed import tariffs that triggered a trade war with China. Trump met three times with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un but made no progress on denuclearization. He reacted slowly to the COVID-19 pandemic, ignored or contradicted many recommendations from health officials in his messaging, and promoted misinformation about unproven treatments and the availability of testing. The special counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller established that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to benefit the Trump campaign but not that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russian election interference activities. Mueller also investigated Trump for obstruction of justice and neither indicted nor exonerated him. After Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden, the House of Representatives impeached him for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December 2019. The Senate acquitted him of both charges in February 2020. Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to Biden but refused to concede. He falsely claimed that there was widespread electoral fraud and attempted to overturn the results, pressuring government officials, mounting scores of unsuccessful legal challenges, and obstructing the presidential transition. On January 6, 2021, Trump urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, which hundreds then attacked, resulting in multiple deaths and interrupting the electoral vote count. On January 13, the House of Representatives impeached Trump a second time, for incitement of insurrection, making him the only federal officeholder in American history to be impeached twice. The Senate acquitted Trump again on February 13, after he had already left office. Scholars and historians rank Trump as one of the worst presidents in American history.

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2. Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

With an HPI of 92.69, Thomas Jefferson is the 2nd most famous American Politician.  His biography has been translated into 143 different languages.

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He had previously served as the second vice president of the United States under John Adams between 1797 and 1801, and as the first United States secretary of state under George Washington between 1790 and 1793. The principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights for certain categories of people, motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation; he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national levels. During the American Revolution, Jefferson represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration of Independence. As a Virginia legislator, he drafted a state law for religious freedom. He served as the second Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781, during the American Revolutionary War. In 1785, Jefferson was appointed the United States Minister to France, and subsequently, the nation's first Secretary of State under President George Washington from 1790 to 1793. Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System. With Madison, he anonymously wrote the provocative Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 and 1799, which sought to strengthen states' rights by nullifying the federal Alien and Sedition Acts. As president, Jefferson pursued the nation's shipping and trade interests against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies. Starting in 1803, Jefferson promoted a western expansionist policy, organizing the Louisiana Purchase which doubled the nation's land area. To make room for settlement, Jefferson began a controversial process of Indian tribal removal from the newly acquired territory. As a result of peace negotiations with France, his administration reduced military forces. Jefferson was reelected in 1804. His second term was beset with difficulties at home, including the trial of former vice president Aaron Burr. In 1807, American foreign trade was diminished when Jefferson implemented the Embargo Act in response to British threats to U.S. shipping. The same year, Jefferson signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves. Jefferson, while primarily a planter, lawyer and politician, mastered many disciplines, which ranged from surveying and mathematics to horticulture and mechanics. He was an architect in the classical tradition. Jefferson's keen interest in religion and philosophy led to his presidency of the American Philosophical Society; he shunned organized religion but was influenced by Christianity, Epicureanism, and deism. A philologist, Jefferson knew several languages. He was a prolific letter writer and corresponded with many prominent people, including Edward Carrington, John Taylor of Caroline and James Madison. Among his books is Notes on the State of Virginia (1785), considered perhaps the most important American book published before 1800. Jefferson championed the ideals, values, and teachings of the Enlightenment. During his lifetime, Jefferson owned over 600 slaves, who were kept in his household and on his plantations. Since Jefferson's time, controversy has revolved around his relationship with Sally Hemings, a mixed-race enslaved woman, and his late wife's half-sister. According to DNA evidence from surviving descendants and oral history, Jefferson fathered at least six children with Hemings, including four that survived to adulthood. Evidence suggests that Jefferson started the relationship with Hemings when they were in Paris, where she arrived at the age of 14 when Jefferson was 44. By the time she returned to the United States at 16, she was pregnant.After retiring from public office, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Jefferson and his colleague John Adams both died on Independence Day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Presidential scholars and historians generally praise Jefferson's public achievements, including his advocacy of religious freedom and tolerance in Virginia. Jefferson ranks highly among the U.S. presidents, usually in the top five.

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3. Jimmy Carter (1924 - )

With an HPI of 90.85, Jimmy Carter is the 3rd most famous American Politician.  His biography has been translated into 135 different languages.

James Earl Carter Jr. (born October 1, 1924) is an American philanthropist, author, and former politician who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 76th governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975 and as a Georgia State senator from 1963 to 1967. Since leaving office, Carter has remained engaged in political and social projects. Born and raised in Plains, Georgia, Carter graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science degree and joined the United States Navy, serving on numerous submarines. After the death of his father in 1953, Carter left his naval career and returned home to Georgia, where he assumed control of his family's peanut-growing business. During this time, he was encouraged to support the civil rights movement. From 1963 to 1967, Carter served in the Georgia State Senate, and in 1970 was elected as the governor of Georgia, defeating former Governor Carl Sanders in the Democratic primary. Carter remained as governor until 1975. Despite being a dark-horse candidate who was generally unknown outside of Georgia at the start of his campaign, Carter won the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination. In the 1976 presidential election, Carter ran as an outsider and narrowly defeated incumbent Republican president Gerald Ford. On his second day in office, Carter pardoned all Vietnam War draft evaders by issuing Proclamation 4483. During his term, two new cabinet-level departments—the Department of Energy and the Department of Education—were established. He created a national energy policy that included conservation, price control, and new technology. Carter pursued the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties, the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II), and the return of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama. On the economic front, he confronted stagflation, a persistent combination of high inflation, high unemployment and slow growth. The end of his presidential tenure was marked by the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the Nicaraguan Revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In response to the invasion, Carter escalated the Cold War when he ended détente, imposed a grain embargo against the Soviets, enunciated the Carter Doctrine, and led a 1980 Summer Olympics boycott in Moscow. In the 1980 Democratic party presidential primaries, Carter was challenged by Senator Ted Kennedy, but won re-nomination at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Carter lost the 1980 presidential election in an electoral landslide to Republican nominee Ronald Reagan. Carter is the only U.S. President to have served a full term in office and not have appointed a justice to the Supreme Court. Polls of historians and political scientists generally rank Carter as a below-average president. His post-presidential activities have been viewed more favorably than his presidency. In 1982, Carter established The Carter Center to promote and expand human rights. In 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the center. Carter has traveled extensively to conduct peace negotiations, monitor elections, and advance disease prevention and eradication in developing nations. He is considered a key figure in the charity Habitat for Humanity. He has written over 30 books, ranging from political memoirs to poetry, while continuing to actively comment on ongoing American and global affairs, including the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. As of 2021, Carter is both the oldest living and longest lived president, as well as the one with the longest post-presidency, and his 75-year-long marriage makes him the longest married president. He is also the sixth oldest living person to have served as a world leader.

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4. Ulysses S. Grant (1822 - 1885)

With an HPI of 89.27, Ulysses S. Grant is the 4th most famous American Politician.  His biography has been translated into 123 different languages.

Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; HY-rəm yoo-LIS-eez; April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American military officer and politician who served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877. As president, Grant was an effective civil rights executive who created the Justice Department and worked with the Radical Republicans to protect African Americans during Reconstruction. As Commanding General, he led the Union Army to victory in the American Civil War in 1865 and thereafter briefly served as Secretary of War. Raised in Ohio, Grant possessed an exceptional ability with horses. Admitted to West Point, Grant graduated 21st in the class of 1843 and served with distinction in the Mexican–American War. In 1848, he married Julia Dent, and together they had four children. Grant resigned from the army in 1854 and returned to his family but lived in poverty. He joined the Union Army after the Civil War broke out in 1861 and rose to prominence after winning several early Union victories on the Western Theater. In 1863 he led the Vicksburg campaign, which gained control of the Mississippi River. President Abraham Lincoln promoted him to lieutenant general after his victory at Chattanooga. For thirteen months, Grant fought Robert E. Lee during the high-casualty Overland Campaign and at Petersburg. After Lee fled Petersburg, Grant defeated him at Appomattox. On April 9, 1865, Lee formally surrendered to Grant. A week later, Lincoln was assassinated and was succeeded by President Andrew Johnson, who promoted Grant to General of the Army in 1866. Later Grant openly broke with Johnson over Reconstruction policies; Grant used the Reconstruction Acts, which had been passed over Johnson's veto, to enforce civil rights for recently freed African Americans. A war hero, drawn in by his sense of duty, Grant was unanimously nominated by the Republican Party and was elected president in 1868. As president, Grant stabilized the post-war national economy, supported Congressional Reconstruction, ratification of the 15th Amendment, and crushed the Ku Klux Klan. Under Grant, the Union was completely restored. He appointed African Americans and Jewish Americans to prominent federal offices. In 1871, Grant created the first Civil Service Commission, advancing civil service more than any prior president. The Liberal Republicans and Democrats united behind Grant's opponent in the presidential election of 1872, but Grant was handily re-elected. Grant's Native American policy was to assimilate Indians into the White culture; the Great Sioux War was fought during his term. Grant's foreign policy was mostly peaceful, without war, the Alabama Claims against Great Britain skillfully resolved, but his prized Caribbean Dominican Republic annexation was rejected by the Senate. The Grant administration is traditionally known for prevalent scandals including the Gold Ring and the Whiskey Ring. However, modern scholarship has better appreciated Grant's appointed reformers and prosecutions. Grant appointed John Brooks Henderson and David Dyer, who prosecuted the Whiskey Ring. Grant appointed Benjamin Bristow and Edwards Pierrepont, who served as Grant's anti-corruption team. Grant appointed Zachariah Chandler, who cleaned up corruption in the Interior. Grant prosecuted Mormon polygamists (1871), pornographers, and abortionists (1873–1877). The Panic of 1873 plunged the nation into a severe economic depression that allowed the Democrats to win the House majority. In the intensely disputed presidential election of 1876, Grant facilitated the approval by Congress of a peaceful compromise. In his retirement, Grant was the first president to circumnavigate the world on his tour, dining with Queen Victoria and meeting many prominent foreign leaders. In 1880, Grant was unsuccessful in obtaining the Republican presidential nomination for a third term. In the final year of his life, facing severe financial reversals and dying of throat cancer, he wrote his memoirs, which proved to be a major critical and financial success. At the time of his death, he was memorialized as a symbol of national unity. Grant was a modern general and "a skillful leader who had a natural grasp of tactics and strategy". Historical assessments of his presidency have ranked him low, 38th in 1994 and 1996, but Grant has moved up in recent years, to 21st in 2018 and 20th in 2021. Although critical of scandals, modern historians have emphasized his two-term presidential accomplishments. These included the prosecution of the Klan, treatment of blacks as both human and American, an innovative Native American policy, and the peaceful settlements of the Alabama Claims and controversial 1876 presidential election.

Photo of Abraham Lincoln

5. Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

With an HPI of 89.14, Abraham Lincoln is the 5th most famous American Politician.  His biography has been translated into 184 different languages.

Abraham Lincoln (; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American lawyer and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War and succeeded in preserving the Union, abolishing slavery, bolstering the federal government, and modernizing the U.S. economy. Lincoln was born into poverty in a log cabin and was raised on the frontier primarily in Indiana. He was self-educated and became a lawyer, Whig Party leader, Illinois state legislator, and U.S. Congressman from Illinois. In 1849, he returned to his law practice but became vexed by the opening of additional lands to slavery as a result of the Kansas–Nebraska Act. He reentered politics in 1854, becoming a leader in the new Republican Party, and he reached a national audience in the 1858 debates against Stephen Douglas. Lincoln ran for President in 1860, sweeping the North in victory. Pro-slavery elements in the South equated his success with the North's rejection of their right to practice slavery, and southern states began seceding from the Union. To secure its independence, the new Confederate States fired on Fort Sumter, a U.S. fort in the South, and Lincoln called up forces to suppress the rebellion and restore the Union. Lincoln, a moderate Republican, had to navigate a contentious array of factions with friends and opponents from both the Democratic and Republican parties. His allies, the War Democrats and the Radical Republicans, demanded harsh treatment of the Southern Confederates. Anti-war Democrats (called "Copperheads") despised Lincoln, and irreconcilable pro-Confederate elements plotted his assassination. He managed the factions by exploiting their mutual enmity, carefully distributing political patronage, and by appealing to the American people. His Gettysburg Address appealed to nationalistic, republican, egalitarian, libertarian, and democratic sentiments. Lincoln scrutinized the strategy and tactics in the war effort, including the selection of generals and the naval blockade of the South's trade. He suspended habeas corpus in Maryland, and he averted British intervention by defusing the Trent Affair. He engineered the end to slavery with his Emancipation Proclamation, including his order that the Army and Navy liberate, protect, and recruit former slaves. He also encouraged border states to outlaw slavery, and promoted the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery across the country. Lincoln managed his own successful re-election campaign. He sought to heal the war-torn nation through reconciliation. On April 14, 1865, just days after the war's end at Appomattox, he was attending a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., with his wife Mary when he was fatally shot by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln is remembered as a martyr and hero of the United States and is consistently ranked as one of the greatest presidents in American history.

Photo of Martin Van Buren

6. Martin Van Buren (1782 - 1862)

With an HPI of 87.89, Martin Van Buren is the 6th most famous American Politician.  His biography has been translated into 124 different languages.

Martin Van Buren ( van BYUR-ən; born Maarten van Buren (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmaːrtə(ɱ) vɑm ˈbyːrə(n)]); December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862) was an American lawyer and statesman who served as the eighth president of the United States from 1837 to 1841. A founder of the Democratic Party, he had previously served as the ninth governor of New York, the tenth United States secretary of state, and the eighth vice president of the United States. He won the 1836 presidential election with the endorsement of popular outgoing President Andrew Jackson and the organizational strength of the Democratic Party. He was the third incumbent vice president to be elected president, and the last until 1988. He lost his 1840 reelection bid to the Whig nominee, William Henry Harrison, thanks in part to the poor economic conditions surrounding the Panic of 1837. Later in his life, Van Buren emerged as an elder statesman and an important anti-slavery leader who led the Free Soil Party ticket in the 1848 presidential election. Van Buren was born in Kinderhook, New York, where most residents were of Dutch descent and spoke Dutch as their primary language. He was the first president to have been born after the American Revolution—in which his father served as a patriot—and is the only president to have spoken English as a second language. Trained as a lawyer, he entered politics as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, won a seat in the New York State Senate, and was elected to the United States Senate in 1821. As the leader of the Bucktails faction, Van Buren emerged as the most influential politician from New York in the 1820s and established a political machine known as the Albany Regency. Following the 1824 presidential election, Van Buren sought to re-establish a two-party system with partisan differences based on ideology rather than personalities or sectional differences; he supported Jackson's candidacy in the 1828 presidential election with this goal in mind. He ran successfully for governor of New York to support Jackson's campaign, but resigned shortly after Jackson was inaugurated so that he could accept appointment as Jackson's secretary of state. In his cabinet position, Van Buren became a key Jackson advisor, and built the organizational structure for the coalescing Democratic Party. He ultimately resigned to help resolve the Petticoat affair, and briefly served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. At Jackson's behest, the 1832 Democratic National Convention nominated Van Buren for vice president of the United States, and he took office after the Democratic ticket won the 1832 presidential election. With Jackson's strong support, Van Buren won the presidential nomination at the 1835 Democratic National Convention, and he defeated several Whig opponents in the 1836 presidential election. However, his presidency soon eroded with his response to the Panic of 1837, which centered on his Independent Treasury system, a plan under which the Federal government of the United States would store its funds in vaults rather than in banks; more conservative Democrats and Whigs in Congress ultimately delayed his plan from being implemented until 1840. His presidency was further marred by the costly Second Seminole War (a result of continuing Jackson's Indian removal policy); and his refusal to admit Texas to the Union as a slave state, done as an attempt to avoid heightened sectional tensions. In 1840, a surge of new voters—who nicknamed him "Martin Van Ruin"—helped turn him out of office. Van Buren was initially the leading candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination again in 1844, but his continued opposition to the annexation of Texas angered Southern Democrats, leading to the nomination of James K. Polk. Van Buren was the newly formed Free Soil Party's presidential nominee in 1848, and his candidacy helped Whig nominee Zachary Taylor defeat Democrat Lewis Cass. Van Buren returned to the Democrats after 1848, but grew increasingly opposed to slavery, and became one of the party's outspoken abolitionists. He supported Abraham Lincoln's policies during the American Civil War. He died in Kinderhook in July 1862, aged 79. In historical rankings, historians and political scientists often rank Van Buren as an average or below-average U.S. president, due to his handling of the Panic of 1837. However, Van Buren is largely remembered today as a leader in the formation of the two-party system in the United States.

Photo of John F. Kennedy

7. John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)

With an HPI of 87.77, John F. Kennedy is the 7th most famous American Politician.  His biography has been translated into 156 different languages.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from 1961 until his assassination near the end of his third year in office. Kennedy served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his work as president concerned relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba. A Democrat, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in both houses of the U.S. Congress prior to his presidency. Born into the prominent Kennedy family in Brookline, Massachusetts, Kennedy graduated from Harvard University in 1940 before joining the U.S. Naval Reserve the following year. During World War II, he commanded a series of PT boats in the Pacific theater and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his service and war heroism. After a brief stint in journalism, Kennedy represented a working-class Boston district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953. He was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate and served as the junior senator for Massachusetts from 1953 to 1960. While in the Senate, Kennedy published his book, Profiles in Courage, which won a Pulitzer Prize. In the 1960 presidential election, he narrowly defeated Republican opponent Richard Nixon, who was the incumbent vice president. Kennedy's humor, charm, and youth in addition to his father's money and contacts were great assets in the campaign. Kennedy's campaign gained momentum after the first televised presidential debates in American history. Kennedy was the first Catholic elected president. Kennedy's administration included high tensions with communist states in the Cold War. As a result, he increased the number of American military advisers in South Vietnam. The Strategic Hamlet Program began in Vietnam during his presidency. In April 1961, he authorized an attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro in the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. Kennedy authorized the Cuban Project in November 1961. He rejected Operation Northwoods (plans for false flag attacks to gain approval for a war against Cuba) in March 1962. However, his administration continued to plan for an invasion of Cuba in the summer of 1962. The following October, U.S. spy planes discovered Soviet missile bases had been deployed in Cuba; the resulting period of tensions, termed the Cuban Missile Crisis, nearly resulted in the breakout of a global thermonuclear conflict. He also signed the first nuclear weapons treaty in October 1963. Kennedy presided over the establishment of the Peace Corps, Alliance for Progress with Latin America, and the continuation of the Apollo program with the goal of landing a man on the Moon before 1970. He also supported the civil rights movement, but was only somewhat successful in passing his New Frontier domestic policies. On November 22, 1963, he was assassinated in Dallas. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson assumed the presidency upon Kennedy's death. Marxist and former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the state crime, but he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby two days later. The FBI and the Warren Commission both concluded Oswald had acted alone in the assassination, but various groups contested the Warren Report and believed that Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy. After Kennedy's death, Congress enacted many of his proposals, including the Civil Rights Act and the Revenue Act of 1964. Despite his truncated presidency, Kennedy ranks highly in polls of U.S. presidents with historians and the general public. His personal life has also been the focus of considerable sustained interest following public revelations in the 1970s of his chronic health ailments and extramarital affairs. Kennedy was the most recent U.S. president to have been assassinated as well as the most recent U.S. president to die in office.

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8. Hillary Clinton (1947 - )

With an HPI of 87.74, Hillary Clinton is the 8th most famous American Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 133 different languages.

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (née Rodham; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker who served as the 67th United States secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, as a United States senator from New York from 2001 to 2009, and as first lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001 as the wife of President Bill Clinton. A member of the Democratic Party, she was the party's nominee for president in the 2016 presidential election, becoming the first woman to win a presidential nomination by a major U.S. political party. Clinton won the popular vote in the election, making her the first woman to do so. However, she failed to win the Electoral College. Raised in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Rodham graduated from Wellesley College in 1969 and earned a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1973. After serving as a congressional legal counsel, she moved to Arkansas and married future president Bill Clinton in 1975; the two had met at Yale. In 1977, Clinton co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. She was appointed the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978 and became the first female partner at Little Rock's Rose Law Firm the following year. The National Law Journal twice listed her as one of the hundred most influential lawyers in America. Clinton was the first lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and again from 1983 to 1992. As the first lady of the United States, Clinton advocated for healthcare reform. In 1994, her major initiative—the Clinton health care plan—failed to gain approval from Congress. In 1997 and 1999, Clinton played a leading role in advocating the creation of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and the Foster Care Independence Act. Clinton advocated for gender equality at the 1995 UN conference on women. Her marital relationship came under public scrutiny during the Lewinsky scandal, which led her to issue a statement that reaffirmed her commitment to the marriage. In 2000, Clinton was elected as the first female senator from New York and became the first First lady to simultaneously hold elected office, and then the first former First lady to serve in the Senate. She was re-elected in 2006 and chaired the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee from 2003 to 2007. During her Senate tenure, Clinton advocated for medical benefits for first responders whose health was damaged in the September 11 attacks. She supported the resolution authorizing the Iraq War in 2002 but opposed the surge of U.S. troops in 2007. In 2008, Clinton ran for president but was defeated by eventual winner Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries. Clinton was U.S. secretary of state in the first term of the Obama administration from 2009 to 2013. During her tenure, Clinton established the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. She responded to the Arab Spring by advocating military intervention in Libya but was harshly criticized by Republicans for the failure to prevent or adequately respond to the 2012 Benghazi attack. Clinton helped to organize a diplomatic isolation and a regime of international sanctions against Iran in an effort to force it to curtail its nuclear program; this effort eventually led to the multinational JCPOA nuclear agreement in 2015. Her use of a private email server when she was Secretary of State was the subject of intense scrutiny; while no charges were filed against Clinton, the email controversy was the single most covered topic during the 2016 presidential election. Clinton made a second presidential run in 2016. After winning the Democratic nomination, she ran in the general election with Virginia senator Tim Kaine as her running mate. Clinton lost the presidential election to Republican opponent Donald Trump in the Electoral College despite winning a plurality of the popular vote. Following her loss, she wrote her third memoir, What Happened, and launched Onward Together, a political action organization dedicated to fundraising for progressive political groups. Since January 2020, she has been the chancellor of Queen's University Belfast in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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9. Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

With an HPI of 87.09, Benjamin Franklin is the 9th most famous American Politician.  His biography has been translated into 121 different languages.

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1706] – April 17, 1790) was an American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher and political philosopher. Among the leading intellectuals of his time, Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and the first United States Postmaster General. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department, and the University of Pennsylvania. Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity, initially as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies. As the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, "In Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become."Franklin became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies, publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette at age 23. He became wealthy publishing this and Poor Richard's Almanack, which he authored under the pseudonym "Richard Saunders". After 1767, he was associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of the policies of the British Parliament and the Crown.He pioneered and was the first president of Academy and College of Philadelphia which opened in 1751 and later became the University of Pennsylvania. He organized and was the first secretary of the American Philosophical Society and was elected president in 1769. Franklin became a national hero in America as an agent for several colonies when he spearheaded an effort in London to have the Parliament of Great Britain repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was widely admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco–American relations. His efforts proved vital for the American Revolution in securing shipments of crucial munitions from France. He was promoted to deputy postmaster-general for the British colonies on August 10, 1753, having been Philadelphia postmaster for many years, and this enabled him to set up the first national communications network. He was active in community affairs and colonial and state politics, as well as national and international affairs. From 1785 to 1788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania. He initially owned and dealt in slaves but by the late 1750s, he began arguing against slavery, became an abolitionist, and promoted education and the integration of blacks into U.S. society. His life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and his status as one of America's most influential Founding Fathers, have seen Franklin honored more than two centuries after his death on the fifty-cent piece, the $100 bill, warships, and the names of many towns, counties, educational institutions, and corporations, as well as numerous cultural references and with a portrait in the Oval Office.

Photo of Ronald Reagan

10. Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004)

With an HPI of 86.80, Ronald Reagan is the 10th most famous American Politician.  His biography has been translated into 249 different languages.

Ronald Wilson Reagan ( RAY-gən; February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 to 1975 after a career as a Hollywood actor and union leader. Reagan was born in to a low-income family in Tampico, Illinois. He graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and began to work as a radio sports commentator in Iowa. In 1937, Reagan moved to California, where he found work as an actor. He starred in several major productions. From 1947 to 1952, Reagan served as president of the Screen Actors Guild, during which time he worked to root out alleged communist influence within it. In the 1950s, he moved to a career in television and became a spokesman for General Electric. From 1959 to 1960, he again served as president of the Screen Actors Guild. In 1964, his speech "A Time for Choosing"—a campaign speech on behalf of Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater—earned him national attention as a new conservative figure. Building a network of supporters, Reagan was elected as governor of California in 1966. During his governorship, he raised taxes, turned the state budget deficit into a surplus, challenged the protesters at UC Berkeley, and ordered in National Guard troops during a period of protest movements. In November 1979, Reagan announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 1980 presidential election. He won the nomination and the election, defeating incumbent Democratic president Jimmy Carter. At 69 years, 349 days of age at the time of his first inauguration, Reagan was the oldest person to assume the U.S. presidency. Reagan ran for reelection in the 1984 presidential election, in which he was opposed by the Democratic nominee Walter Mondale, who had previously served as vice president under Carter. Reagan defeated him in an electoral landslide, winning the most electoral votes of any U.S. president: 525 (97.6% of the 538 votes in the Electoral College). It was the second-most lopsided presidential election in modern U.S. history.Early in his presidency, Reagan began implementing new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies—dubbed "Reaganomics"—advocated tax rate reduction to spur economic growth, economic deregulation, and reduction in government spending. In his first term, he survived an assassination attempt, spurred the War on Drugs, invaded Grenada, and fought public sector labor unions. Over his two terms, the economy saw a reduction of inflation from 12.5% to 4.4% and an average real GDP annual growth of 3.6%. Reagan enacted cuts in domestic discretionary spending, cut taxes, and increased military spending, which contributed to increased federal debt overall. Foreign affairs dominated his second term, including the bombing of Libya, the Iran–Iraq War, the Iran–Contra affair, and the ongoing Cold War. In a speech in June 1987 at the Brandenburg Gate, four years after he publicly described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire", Reagan challenged Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to open the Berlin Wall. He transitioned Cold War policy from détente to rollback by escalating an arms race with the USSR while engaging in talks with Gorbachev. The talks culminated in the INF Treaty, which shrank both countries' nuclear arsenals. Reagan began his presidency during the decline of the Soviet Union, which ultimately collapsed nearly three years after he left office. When Reagan left office in 1989, he held an approval rating of 68%, matching those of Franklin Roosevelt and later Bill Clinton as the highest ratings for departing presidents in the modern era. Although he had planned an active post-presidency, Reagan disclosed in November 1994 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier that year. His public appearances became more infrequent as his disease progressed. Reagan died at his home in Los Angeles on June 5, 2004. His tenure constituted a realignment toward conservative policies in the United States, and he is often considered a conservative icon. Evaluations of his presidency among historians and the general public often place him among the upper tier of American presidents.

Pantheon has 1,207 people classified as politicians born between 1639 and 1989. Of these 1,207, 584 (48.38%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Donald Trump, Jimmy Carter, and Hillary Clinton. The most famous deceased politicians include Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Abraham Lincoln. As of October 2020, 272 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Oliver Winchester, Clyde Tolson, and John Podesta.

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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.