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 includes photos, when available. Most prominent dictators worldwide can be found on this list ordered by their level of importance and notoriety. From ruthless dictators (many of which are considered the worst dictators ever) to lesser known 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. This world dictators list has everyone from Adolf Hitler to Kim Jung Un. Many of the dictators on this list are considered some of the worst people in the history of the world. They left their mark on world history, but in almost every case it's been a horrible lasting impact.

Among the infamous dictators below you'll find female dictators, asian dictators, and dictator names from all eras of history and all corners of the globe. Dictatorships in the world are still prevalent, and many modern dictators may even look to historical dictators for inspiration. Read on to learn about the top dictators from history and today.


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  1. 41

    Sani Abacha was a Nigerian Army general and politician who served as the de facto President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. Abacha's regime is controversial: although it saw dramatic economic growth, it also witnessed widespread human rights abuses.more

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    • Age: Died at 55 (1943-1998)
    • Birthplace: Nigeria, Kano, Africa
    • Profession: Politician
  2. 42
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    Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is an Equatoguinean politician who has been President of Equatorial Guinea since 1979. He ousted his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, in an August 1979 military coup and has overseen Equatorial Guinea's emergence as an important oil producer, beginning in the 1990s. Obiang ...more

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    • Age: age 73
    • Birthplace: Acoacán, Equatorial Guinea
    • Profession: Politician
  3. 43

    Hissène Habré, also spelled Hissen Habré, is a former Chadian dictator who was the leader of Chad from 1982 until he was deposed in 1990.more

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    • Age: age 73
    • Birthplace: Faya-Largeau, Chad
    • Profession: Politician
  4. 44
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    Than Shwe
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Senior General Than Shwe is a Burmese strongman politician who was chairman of the State Peace and Development Council from 1992 to 2011. During the period, he held key positions of power including commander-in-chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces and head of Union Solidarity and Development Association.more

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    • Age: age 82
    • Birthplace: Kyaukse, Myanmar
    • Profession: Politician
  5. 45
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    António de Oliveira Salazar
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    António de Oliveira Salazar GCSE, GCIC, GCTE, GColIH was a Portuguese professor and politician who served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. His Council of Ministers briefly served as acting President of the Republic in 1951; he was never President of the Republic, but was the virtual ...more

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    • Age: Died at 81 (1889-1970)
    • Birthplace: Santa Comba Dão, Portugal
    • Profession: Politician, Economist
  6. 46
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    Mahathir Mohamad
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad was the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. He held the post for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, making him Malaysia's longest-serving Prime Minister. His political career spanned almost 40 years. Born and raised in Alor Setar, Kedah, Mahathir excelled at school and became a ...more

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    • Age: age 90
    • Birthplace: Alor Setar, Malaysia
    • Profession: Politician, Physician, Writer
  7. 47
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    Alberto Fujimori
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Alberto Fujimori Fujimori is a former Peruvian politician. He was President of Peru from 28 July 1990 to 17 November 2000. A controversial figure, Fujimori ended his presidency by fleeing Peru for Japan amid a major corruption scandal and allegations of human rights violations. Despite this, some ...more

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    • Age: age 77
    • Birthplace: Lima, Peru
    • Profession: Politician
  8. 48
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    Slobodan Milošević
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Slobodan Milošević was a Serbian and Yugoslav politician who was the President of Serbia from 1989 to 1997 and President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. Among his supporters, Milošević was known by the nickname of "Sloba". He also led the Socialist Party of Serbia from its ...more

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    • Age: Died at 65 (1941-2006)
    • Birthplace: Požarevac, Serbia
    • Profession: Politician
  9. 49
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    Gustavo Rojas Pinilla
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Gustavo Rojas Pinilla was the 19th President of Colombia from June 1953 to May 1957. An Army General, he mounted a successful coup d'état against the incumbent President, Laureano Gómez Castro, imposing martial law and establishing a dictatorship-style government in Colombia.more

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    • Age: Died at 75 (1900-1975)
    • Birthplace: Tunja, Colombia
    • Profession: Politician, Military Officer
  10. 50
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    Plaek Phibunsongkhram
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram, contemporarily known as Luang Pibulsonggram, often as Phibunsongkhram or simply Phibun in the West, was Prime Minister and virtual military dictator of Thailand from 1938 to 1944 and 1948 to 1957.more

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    • Age: Died at 67 (1897-1964)
    • Birthplace: Nonthaburi, Thailand
    • Profession: Politician, Soldier
  11. 51
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    Getúlio Vargas
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Getúlio Dornelles Vargas served as President of Brazil, first as dictator, from 1930 to 1945, and in a democratically elected term from 1951 until his suicide in 1954. Vargas led Brazil for 18 years, the longest of any President, and second in Brazilian history only to Emperor Pedro II among heads of ...more

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    • Age: Died at 72 (1882-1954)
    • Birthplace: São Borja, Brazil
    • Profession: Politician, Lawyer
  12. 52
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    Leopoldo Galtieri
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri Castelli was an Argentine general and President of Argentina from 22 December 1981 to 18 June 1982, during the last military dictatorship. The death squad, Intelligence Battalion 601, directly reported to him. He was removed from power soon after the British re-took the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 77 (1926-2003)
    • Birthplace: Caseros, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  13. 53
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    Fulgencio Batista
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was the elected President of Cuba from 1940 to 1944, and dictator from 1952 to 1959, before being overthrown as a result of the Cuban Revolution. Batista initially rose to power as part of the 1933 "Revolt of the Sergeants" that overthrew the authoritarian rule of Gerardo ...more

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    • Age: Died at 72 (1901-1973)
    • Birthplace: Hurricane belt, Cuba Island, Banes, Cuba, Cuba, + more
    • Profession: Politician
  14. 54

    Juan Domingo Perón was an Argentine military officer and politician. After serving in several government positions, including those of Minister of Labour and Vice President of the Republic, he was three times elected as President of Argentina, serving from June 1946 to September 1955, when he was ...more

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    • Age: Died at 79 (1895-1974)
    • Birthplace: DVD Region 4, South America, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, Southern Cone, + more
    • Profession: Politician
  15. 55
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    Jorge Rafael Videla
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Jorge Rafael Videla was a senior commander in the Argentine Army and dictator of Argentina from 1976 to 1981. He came to power in a coup d'état that deposed Isabel Martínez de Perón. Two years after the return of a representative democratic government in 1983, he was prosecuted in the Trial of the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 88 (1925-2013)
    • Birthplace: Mercedes, Argentina
    • Profession: Politician, Military Officer
  16. 56
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    Ne Win
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Ne Win was a Burmese politician and military commander. He was Prime Minister of Burma from 1958 to 1960 and 1962 to 1974 and also head of state from 1962 to 1981. He founded the Burma Socialist Programme Party in 1962 and served as its chairman until 1988. He was the leader of Burma for 26 years.more

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    • Age: Died at 91 (1911-2002)
    • Birthplace: Paungdale, Myanmar
    • Profession: Politician
  17. 57

    Jean Kambanda was the Prime Minister in the caretaker government of Rwanda from the start of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. He is the only head of government to plead guilty to genocide, in the first group of such convictions since the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide ...more

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    • Age: age 60
    • Birthplace: Butare Province, Rwanda
    • Profession: Politician
  18. 58
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    Manuel Noriega
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno is a former Panamanian politician and soldier. He was military dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989. In the 1989 invasion of Panama by the United States he was removed from power, captured, detained as a prisoner of war, and flown to the United States. Noriega was tried on ...more

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    • Age: age 81
    • Birthplace: Panamá District, Panama, Panama City, Americas, Central America, + more
    • Profession: Politician, Military Officer
  19. 59

    Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov was a Turkmen politician who served as the leader of Turkmenistan from 1985 until his death in 2006. He was First Secretary of the Turkmen Communist Party from 1985 until 1991 and continued to lead Turkmenistan for 15 years after independence from the Soviet Union in ...more

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    • Age: Died at 66 (1940-2006)
    • Birthplace: Gypjak, Turkmenistan
    • Profession: Politician
  20. 60
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    Islam Karimov
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Islom Abdugʻaniyevich Karimov is the first President of Uzbekistan, in office since 1990. Karimov was placed in an orphanage in Samarkand at birth, growing up to study economics and engineering. He became an official in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, becoming the party's First Secretary in ...more

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    • Age: age 77
    • Birthplace: Samarkand, Uzbekistan
    • Profession: Politician
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