List of Famous Dictators People

List of Famous Dictators

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This list of the most notable and famous dictators in the world is ordered by their level of importance and notoriety. From ruthless dictators (many of which are considered the worst dictators ever) to lesser known tinpot dictators in history - this list of dictators should help answer the question, "who are the most famous dictators in the world?"

Dictators of the world are often though of as tyrants - leaders who rule with iron fists, cruelty, unflinching authority, and a lack of opposition. This world dictators list has everyone from Adolf Hitler to Kim Jong Un to many lesser-known rulers. Many of the dictators on this list are considered some of the worst people in the history of the world.

Read on to learn about the top dictators from history and today.


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  1. 1

    Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party. He was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and Führer of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As effective dictator of Nazi Germany, Hitler was at the centre of World War II in Europe, and the Holocaust. Hitler was ...more

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    • Age: Died at 56 (1889-1945)
    • Birthplace: Braunau am Inn, Austria
    • Profession: Politician, Soldier, Writer, Artist
  2. 2
    Joseph Stalin
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Joseph Stalin or Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stalin was appointed general secretary of the party's Central Committee in 1922. He ...more

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    • Age: Died at 75 (1878-1953)
    • Birthplace: Gori, Georgia
    • Profession: Politician, Soldier
  3. 3
    Mao Zedong
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese Communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People's Republic of China, which he governed as Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976.more

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    • Age: Died at 83 (1893-1976)
    • Birthplace: China, Shaoshan, Eurasia
    • Profession: Librarian, Politician
  4. 4
    Benito Mussolini
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    Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician, journalist, and leader of the National Fascist Party, ruling the country as Prime Minister from 1922 until his ousting in 1943. He ruled constitutionally until 1925, when he dropped all pretense of democracy and set up a legal dictatorship.more

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    • Age: Died at 62 (1883-1945)
    • Birthplace: Predappio, Italy
    • Profession: Politician, Journalist, Writer
  5. 5
    Kim Jong-il
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Kim Jong-il was the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea, from 1994 to 2011. By the early 1980s Kim had become the heir apparent for the leadership of the country and assumed important posts in the party and army organs. He succeeded his father ...more

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    • Age: Died at 70 (1941-2011)
    • Birthplace: Vyatskoye, Khabarovsk Krai, Russia
    • Profession: Politician
  6. 6

    Pol Pot, born Saloth Sar, was a Cambodian socialist revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge from 1963 until 1997. From 1963 to 1981, he served as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. As such, he became the leader of Cambodia on 17 April 1975, when his forces captured Phnom Penh. From ...more

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    • Age: Died at 73 (1925-1998)
    • Birthplace: Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia
    • Profession: Politician, Teacher
  7. 7
    Saddam Hussein
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    Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. A leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and later, the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party and its regional organization Ba'ath Party – Iraq ...more

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    • Age: Died at 69 (1937-2006)
    • Birthplace: Al-Awja, Iraq
    • Profession: Politician, Party leader, Writer
  8. 8
    Robert Mugabe
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the current President of Zimbabwe, serving since 31 December 1987. As one of the leaders of the rebel groups against white minority rule, he was elected as Prime Minister, head of government, in 1980, and served in that office until 1987, when he became the country's first ...more

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    • Age: age 91
    • Birthplace: Zvimba District
    • Profession: Politician
  9. 9
    Chiang Kai-shek
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Chiang Kai-shek was a Chinese political and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975. He is known as Chiang Chung-cheng or Chiang Chieh-shih in Standard Chinese. Chiang was an influential member of the Kuomintang, the Chinese Nationalist Party, and was a ...more

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    • Age: Died at 88 (1887-1975)
    • Birthplace: China, Eurasia, Zhejiang, Xikou
    • Profession: Politician, Soldier, Warlord, Generalissimo
  10. 10
    Fidel Castro
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    Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban politician and revolutionary who served as Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and President from 1976 to 2008. Politically a Marxist-Leninist and Cuban nationalist, he also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011.more

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    • Age: age 89
    • Birthplace: Cuba
    • Profession: Politician, Lawyer
  11. 11
    Idi Amin
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    Idi Amin Dada was the third President of Uganda, ruling from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King's African Rifles in 1946, serving in Kenya and Uganda. Eventually, Amin held the rank of major general in the post-colonial Ugandan Army and became its commander before seizing ...more

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    • Age: Died at 78 (1925-2003)
    • Birthplace: Koboko, Uganda
    • Profession: Politician, Soldier
  12. 12
    Bashar al-Assad
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    Bashar Hafez al-Assad is the President of Syria, commander-in-chief of Syrian Armed Forces, General Secretary of the ruling Ba'ath Party and Regional Secretary of the party's branch in Syria. He has served as President since 2000, when he succeeded his father, Hafez al-Assad, who led Syria for 30 years ...more

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    • Age: age 50
    • Birthplace: Damascus, Syria
    • Profession: Politician, Physician
  13. 13
    Ferdinand Marcos
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    Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos was a Filipino lawyer and politician who served as President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. In the earlier part of his presidency, he was known for his leadership that saw high economic growth in the country. However in 1972, he placed the entire country under ...more

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    • Age: Died at 72 (1917-1989)
    • Birthplace: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Region, Municipalities of the Philippines, Philippines, Sarrat
    • Profession: Politician, Soldier, Lawyer
  14. 14

    Kim Il-sung was the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea, for 46 years, from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to his death. He was also the leader of the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 82 (1912-1994)
    • Birthplace: Pyongyang, Pyongan, North Korea
    • Profession: Politician
  15. 15
    Francisco Franco
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    Francisco Franco Bahamonde was a Spanish general and the dictator of Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. Coming from a military background, he became the youngest general in Europe in the 1920s. A strong conservative, he was shocked when the monarchy was removed and replaced with a republic in ...more

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    • Age: Died at 83 (1892-1975)
    • Birthplace: Ferrol, Spain
    • Profession: Politician
  16. 16

    Hồ Chí Minh, born Nguyễn Sinh Côn, or Nguyễn Sinh Cung, also known as Nguyễn Tất Thành and Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of ...more

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    • Age: Died at 79 (1890-1969)
    • Birthplace: Indochina, Kim Lien, North Central Coast, Asia, Southeast Asia, + more
    • Profession: Politician
  17. 17
    Muammar al-Gaddafi
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    Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi, was a Libyan revolutionary and politician who governed Libya as its primary leader from 1969 to 2011. Taking power in a coup d'etat, he ruled as Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977 and then as the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 69 (1942-2011)
    • Birthplace: Qasr Abu Hadi
    • Profession: Politician, Soldier, Military Officer
  18. 18
    Nikita Khrushchev
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    Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was a Russian politician who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible ...more

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    • Age: Died at 77 (1894-1971)
    • Birthplace: Kalinovka, Russia
    • Profession: Politician
  19. 19
    Hideki Tōjō
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    Hideki Tojo was a general of the Imperial Japanese Army, the leader of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, and the 40th Prime Minister of Japan during much of World War II, from October 17, 1941 to July 22, 1944. As Prime Minister, he was responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor, which initiated ...more

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    • Age: Died at 64 (1884-1948)
    • Birthplace: Kōjimachi, Tokyo
    • Profession: Politician, Military Officer
  20. 20
    Pervez Musharraf
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    Pervez Musharraf, is a Pakistani politician and a retired four-star rank army general who tenured as the tenth President of Pakistan from 2001 until tendering resignation to avoid impeachment in 2008. Prior to seizing the control of the government through a military coup d'état in 1999, Musharraf was ...more

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    • Age: age 72
    • Birthplace: Delhi, India
    • Profession: Politician, Military Officer
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