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The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Uruguay

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This page contains a list of the greatest Uruguayan Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,577 Politicians, 56 of which were born in Uruguay. This makes Uruguay the birth place of the 58th most number of Politicians behind Morocco and Australia.

Top 10

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

Photo of José Mujica

1. José Mujica (1935 - )

With an HPI of 74.28, José Mujica is the most famous Uruguayan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 81 different languages on wikipedia.

José Alberto "Pepe" Mujica Cordano (Spanish: [xoˈse muˈxika]; born 20 May 1935) is a Uruguayan politician, former revolutionary and farmer who served as the 40th president of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015. A former guerrilla with the Tupamaros, he was tortured and imprisoned for 14 years during the military dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s. A member of the Broad Front coalition of left-wing parties, Mujica was Minister of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries from 2005 to 2008 and a Senator afterwards. As the candidate of the Broad Front, he won the 2009 presidential election and took office as president on 1 March 2010. He was the Second Gentleman of Uruguay from 13 September 2017 to 1 March 2020, when his wife Lucia Topolansky was vice president under his immediate predecessor and successor, Tabaré Vázquez. Mujica has been described as "the world's humblest head of state" due to his austere lifestyle and his donation of around 90 percent of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs. An outspoken critic of capitalism's focus on stockpiling material possessions which do not contribute to human happiness, he has been praised by the media and journalists for his philosophical ideologies; the Times Higher Education referred to him as the "philosopher president" in 2015, a play on words of Plato's conception of the philosopher king.

Photo of Tabaré Vázquez

2. Tabaré Vázquez (1940 - 2020)

With an HPI of 65.63, Tabaré Vázquez is the 2nd most famous Uruguayan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 63 different languages.

Tabaré Ramón Vázquez Rosas (Spanish pronunciation: [taβaˈɾe raˈmom ˈbaskes ˈrosas]; 17 January 1940 – 6 December 2020) was a Uruguayan politician and oncologist who served as the 39th and 41st President of Uruguay from 2005 to 2010 and from 2015 to 2020. During his political career, Vázquez was a member of the Broad Front coalition. Before his first presidential term, Vázquez was president of the Club Progreso team and made two unsuccessful presidential bids in 1994 and 1999. He served as Intendant of Montevideo between 1990 and 1994 shortly before his first presidential campaign. Vázquez was first elected president on 31 October 2004 and took office on 1 March 2005. He was the first socialist president of the country. His first presidency was remembered for his diplomatic relationships with Brazil and Argentina while being criticized by his party over his anti-abortion views. After leaving the presidency in 2010, Vázquez successfully ran for a second term in 2014. After leaving office for a second time in March 2020, he later died of lung cancer in December of that year at the age of 80.

Photo of José Gervasio Artigas

3. José Gervasio Artigas (1764 - 1850)

With an HPI of 59.53, José Gervasio Artigas is the 3rd most famous Uruguayan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

José Gervasio Artigas Arnal (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse xeɾˈβa.sjo aɾˈti.ɣas aɾˈnal]; June 19, 1764 – September 23, 1850) was a soldier and statesman who is regarded as a national hero in Uruguay and the father of Uruguayan nationhood. Born in Montevideo, Artigas enlisted in the Spanish military in 1797 and fought the British in the Anglo-Spanish War. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American wars of independence, Artigas supported the Primera Junta in Buenos Aires against Spain. He defeated the Spanish royalists at Las Piedras and laid siege to Montevideo, but was forced to withdraw in the face of Portuguese intervention. Artigas subsequently broke with the centralist government of Buenos Aires and took over Montevideo in 1815. He then oversaw the creation of the Federal League, an alliance of six provinces under a federal style of government. In 1816, the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves invaded the Banda Oriental, eventually annexing it as a province. Artigas was driven into Paraguay, where he lived in exile until his death in 1850. His remains were re-interred at the Central Cemetery of Montevideo in 1855, and in 1977 they were transferred to the Artigas Mausoleum.

Photo of Juan María Bordaberry

4. Juan María Bordaberry (1928 - 2011)

With an HPI of 55.91, Juan María Bordaberry is the 4th most famous Uruguayan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Juan María Bordaberry Arocena (Spanish: [boɾðaβeˈri aɾoˈsena]; 17 June 1928 – 17 July 2011), also referred to by his initials JMB, was an Uruguayan politician and cattle rancher who served as the 34th President of Uruguay from 1972 until his resignation in 1976 and the 1st President of the Civic-Military Dictatorship from 1973 to 1976. Previously, he was the Minister of Agriculture from 1969 to 1972. He came to office following the Presidential elections of late 1971. In 1973, Bordaberry dissolved the General Assembly and was widely regarded as ruling by decree as a military-sponsored dictator until disagreements with the military led to his being overthrown before his original term of office had expired. On 17 November 2006 he was arrested in a case involving four deaths, including two of members of the General Assembly during the period of civilian-military rule in the 1970s.

Photo of Julio María Sanguinetti

5. Julio María Sanguinetti (1936 - )

With an HPI of 55.53, Julio María Sanguinetti is the 5th most famous Uruguayan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Julio María Sanguinetti Coirolo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxuljo maˈɾia saŋɡiˈneti kojˈɾolo]; born 6 January 1936) often known by his initials JMS, is a Uruguayan former lawyer, journalist and politician of the Colorado Party (PC) who twice served as President of Uruguay from 1985 to 1990, and from 1995 to 2000. He was the first democratically elected president after twelve years of military dictatorship. Born in Montevideo, Sanguinetti graduated from the University of the Republic in 1961 with a law degree. He later combined his legal practice with work as a journalist. He had already been writing for the press, first in the weekly Canelones and later, since 1955, as a columnist for Acción, a newspaper established by the then-President, Luis Batlle Berres, for which he covered events such as the Cuban Revolution and the OAS Foreign Ministers' summit that censured Cuba for its decision to establish relations with the Soviet Union. In the 1962 general election he was elected National Representative for the Montevideo Department, and re-elected in 1966. In 1969 the then president Jorge Pacheco Areco appointed him Minister of Industry and Commerce. From March to October 1972 he served as Minister of Education and Culture under Juan María Bordaberry. He publicly opposed the 1973 coup d'état and the subsequent civil-military dictatorship. He participated in the Naval Club Pact that made the democratic transition possible. In the 1984 general election he was elected President of Uruguay as the most voted candidate of the most voted political party, according to the Ley de Lemas system. Major government initiatives he undertook during his first term consisted of measures to disarm the previous regime, and included an amnesty law in favor of people who were still detained, convicted by military justice for political crimes and the Law on the Expiration of the Punitive Claims of the State. In foreign policy, Sanguinetti's government recognized and established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, and signed the Alvorada Act, which added Uruguay to the regional integration process, which later led to the creation of the Southern Common Market.

Photo of Luis Alberto Lacalle

6. Luis Alberto Lacalle (1941 - )

With an HPI of 55.38, Luis Alberto Lacalle is the 6th most famous Uruguayan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 34 different languages.

Luis Alberto Lacalle de Herrera, GCMG (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlwis alˈβeɾto laˈkaʝe ðe eˈreɾa]; Lacalle locally [laˈkaʒe] or [laˈkaʃe]; born 13 July 1941) is a Uruguayan politician and lawyer who served as the 36th president of Uruguay from 1990 to 1995. A member of the National Party, he previously served as National Representative from 1959 to 1967, and as Senator of the Republic from 1985 to 1990.

Photo of Jorge Batlle

7. Jorge Batlle (1927 - 2016)

With an HPI of 54.56, Jorge Batlle is the 7th most famous Uruguayan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

Jorge Luis Batlle Ibáñez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxoɾxe ˈlwis ˈbaʝe iˈβaɲes]; Batlle locally [ˈbaʒe] or [ˈbaʃe]; 25 October 1927 – 24 October 2016) was a Uruguayan politician and lawyer, who served as the 38th president of Uruguay from 2000 to 2005. A member of the Colorado Party, he previously served as National Representative from 1959 to 1967, and as Senator of the Republic from 1985 to 1990 and from 1990 to 1999. The eldest son of the 30th president Luis Batlle Berres and a member of the Batlle family, he was the fourth member of the family to serve as president of the country. He graduated from the University of the Republic in 1959 with a law degree, and then began a career as a journalist in El Día newspaper. He began his political career in the 1950s, being elected National Representative in the 1958 general election. During the civil-military dictatorship he was banned and in the 1984 general election that led to the democratic transition he was prevented from running for president, he could only run for the Senate. His presidency was marked by the worsening of a banking crisis and a foot-and-mouth epidemic that affected the country's economy. Some of his initiatives consisted of the creation of the Comisión para la Paz (Spanish for 'Commission for Peace'), an investigative body on human rights with the purpose of determining the situation of those detained-disappeared during the civil-military dictatorship. In foreign policy, Batlle's government strengthened Uruguay's ties with the United States and broke diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Photo of Fructuoso Rivera

8. Fructuoso Rivera (1784 - 1854)

With an HPI of 54.37, Fructuoso Rivera is the 8th most famous Uruguayan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

José Fructuoso Rivera y Toscana (17 October 1784 – 13 January 1854) was an Uruguayan general and patriot who fought for the liberation of Banda Oriental from Brazilian rule, thrice served as President of Uruguay and was one of the instigators of the long Uruguayan Civil War. He is also considered to be the founder of the Colorado Party, which ruled Uruguay without interruption from 1865 until 1958. He made a controversial decision to almost completely eliminate the native Charrúa during the 1831 Massacre of Salsipuedes.

Photo of Gregorio Conrado Álvarez

9. Gregorio Conrado Álvarez (1925 - 2016)

With an HPI of 53.44, Gregorio Conrado Álvarez is the 9th most famous Uruguayan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Gregorio Conrado Álvarez Armelino (26 November 1925 – 28 December 2016), also known as El Goyo, was an Uruguayan Army general who served as president of Uruguay from 1981 until 1985 and was the last surviving president of the civic-military dictatorship.

Photo of Venancio Flores

10. Venancio Flores (1808 - 1868)

With an HPI of 53.34, Venancio Flores is the 10th most famous Uruguayan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Venancio Flores Barrios (18 May 1808 – 19 February 1868) was a Uruguayan political leader and general who served as President of Uruguay from 1854 to 1855 (interim) and from 1865 to 1868.

Pantheon has 56 people classified as politicians born between 1764 and 1989. Of these 56, 11 (19.64%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include José Mujica, Julio María Sanguinetti, and Luis Alberto Lacalle. The most famous deceased politicians include Tabaré Vázquez, José Gervasio Artigas, and Juan María Bordaberry. As of April 2022, 17 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Alfredo Baldomir, Juan Lindolfo Cuestas, and Lorenzo Latorre.

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.