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List of famous civil rights activists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top civil rights activists in the world? This includes the most prominent civil rights activists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable civil rights activists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic civil rights activists were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned civil rights activists.

This list is made up of many different people, including Mahatma Gandhi and Charlton Heston.

From reputable, prominent, and well known civil rights activists to the lesser known civil rights activists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the civil rights activist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous civil rights activists ever?" and "What are the names of famous civil rights activists?" then you're in the right place. (78 items)

Mahatma Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Mahatma Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the preeminent leader of Indian independence movement in British-ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and ...more

Martin Luther King, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. (born Michael King Jr., January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for ...more

Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Charlton Heston Charlton Heston was an American actor and political activist. As a Hollywood star he appeared in 100 films over the course of 60 years. He played the leading role in The Ten Commandments; Touch ...more

Maya Angelou is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Maya Angelou Maya Angelou was an American author, poet, dancer, actress, and singer. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of ...more

Lena Horne is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Lena Horne Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was an American singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist. Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of sixteen and became a nightclub performer ...more

Aung San Suu Kyi is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Aung San Suu Kyi Aung San Suu Kyi AC is a Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Burma. In the 1990 general election, the NLD won 59% of the national votes and 81% ...more

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama The 14th Dalai Lama is the current Dalai Lama, as well as the longest-lived incumbent. Dalai Lamas are amongst the head monks of the Gelug school, the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. ...more

Cesar Chavez is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Cesar Chavez Cesar Chavez was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association. A Mexican American, Chavez became ...more

Coretta Scott King is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Coretta Scott King Coretta Scott King was an American author, activist, and civil rights leader. Coretta Scott King helped lead the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. King was an active advocate ...more

Kiran Bedi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Kiran Bedi Kiran Bedi is an Indian politician, social activist, former tennis player and a retired police officer. Bedi joined the Indian Police Service in 1972, becoming its first woman officer. As a ...more

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Khān Abdul Ghaffār Khān, nicknamed as Bāchā Khān, Pāchā Khān, or Bādshāh Khān, was a Pashtun independence activist against the rule of the British Raj. He was a political and spiritual leader ...more

Meena Keshwar Kamal is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Meena Keshwar Kamal Meena Keshwar Kamal, commonly known as Meena, was an Afghan revolutionary political activist, feminist, women's rights activist and founder of Revolutionary Association of the Women of ...more

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Barthélemy Boganda is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Barthélemy Boganda Barthélemy Boganda was the leading nationalist politician of what is now the Central African Republic. Boganda was active prior to his country's independence, during the period when the ...more

Asma Jahangir is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Asma Jahangir Asma Jilani Jahangir is a Pakistani lawyer, an award winning human rights and democracy activist. Her work focuses on prevention of persecution of religious minorities, gender equality, and ...more

Josh White is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Josh White Joshua Daniel White, known as Josh White, was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, actor, and civil rights activist. He also recorded under the names "Pinewood Tom" and ...more

Walter Francis White is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Walter Francis White Walter Francis White was an American civil rights activist who led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for almost a quarter of a century and directed a broad program ...more

Belford Lawson, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Belford Lawson, Jr. Belford Vance Lawson, Jr. was an American attorney and civil rights activist who made at least eight appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was the first African-American man to win a ...more

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Rashid Nugmanov is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Rashid Nugmanov Rashid Nugmanov is a Kazakh film director, dissident, political activist and founder of the Kazakh New Wave cinema movement.

Paul Bew is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Paul Bew Paul Anthony Elliott Bew, Baron Bew is a Northern Irish historian. He has worked at Queen's University Belfast since 1979, and is currently Professor of Irish Politics, a position he has held ...more

Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail Dato' Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is a Malaysian politician. She is currently the president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat and elected Selangor state legislative assembly member for Kajang. She was ...more

Hosea Williams is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Hosea Williams Hosea Lorenzo Williams was a United States civil rights leader, ordained minister, businessman, philanthropist, scientist, and politician. He may be best known as a trusted member of fellow ...more

Kevin Willmott is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Kevin Willmott Kevin Willmott is a professor of film at the University of Kansas and a film writer and director, known for work focusing on black issues including writing and directing Ninth Street, C.S.A.: ...more

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Ann Jones is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Ann Jones Ann Jones is a journalist and author of a number of non-fiction books about her research into women's and humanitarian issues: Women Who Kill, Kabul in Winter, Looking for Lovedu, Next Time ...more

Alfred Daniel Williams King is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Alfred Daniel Williams King Alfred Daniel Williams King, known as A. D. King, was the younger brother of Martin Luther King, Jr., the famed leader of the American Civil Rights Movement. A. D. King was a Baptist minister ...more

Nuamthong Phaiwan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Nuamthong Phaiwan Nuamthong Praiwan was a Bangkok, Thailand taxi-driver who drove his taxi into a tank in protest after the military coup of 2006. He was later found hanging from a pedestrian footbridge. ...more

Linda Bellos is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Linda Bellos Linda Bellos OBE is an English ex-politician and current businesswoman and activist for gay rights.

John Hammond is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
John Hammond John A. Hammond is a father of John P. Hammond.

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Alexander Aris is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Alexander Aris Alexander Aris Myint San Aung, is a civil rights activist of British and Burmese descent. Alexander Aris is the elder son of Aung San Suu Kyi and Michael Aris. He is also a grandson of Aung San, ...more

Nurul Izzah Anwar is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Nurul Izzah Anwar Nurul Izzah Anwar is a Malaysian politician and the daughter of Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and the current de facto opposition leader and leader of the PKR. Her ...more

Shirley Sherrod is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Shirley Sherrod Shirley Sherrod is a former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture. She became the subject of a controversy when edited remarks were used to ...more

Binayak Sen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Binayak Sen Binayak Sen is an Indian paediatrician, public health specialist and activist. He is the national Vice-President of the People's Union for Civil Liberties. He is the recipient of several awards ...more

Monica McWilliams is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Monica McWilliams Monica Mary McWilliams is a Northern Irish academic and former politician. McWilliams was born in Ballymoney, County Antrim, grew up in Kilrea, County Londonderry and was educated at Loreto ...more

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Mallika Sarabhai is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Mallika Sarabhai Mallika Sarabhai is an activist and Indian classical dancer from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Daughter of a classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and renowned space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, ...more

Edwin J. Lukas is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Edwin J. Lukas Edwin J. Lukas was the husband of Betty Field.

Jane Morrice is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Jane Morrice Jane Morrice is a former politician in Northern Ireland. She was a prominent member of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition until the NIWC ceased to exist in 2006 due to an ongoing electoral ...more

Myrlie Evers-Williams is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Myrlie Evers-Williams Myrlie Evers-Williams is a civil rights activist and journalist who worked for over three decades to seek justice for the murder of her civil rights activist husband Medgar Evers in 1963. She ...more

Natalya Gorbanevskaya is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Natalya Gorbanevskaya Natalya Yevgenyevna Gorbanevskaya was a Russian poet, translator of Polish literature and civil rights activist. In 2005, she became a citizen of Poland.

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Thích Quảng Độ is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Thích Quảng Độ Thích Quảng Độ is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, a currently banned religious body in Vietnam. In 2002, he was awarded the Homo Homini ...more

Gerry Fitt is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Gerry Fitt Gerard Fitt, Baron Fitt was a politician in Northern Ireland. He was a founder and the first leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, a social democratic and Irish nationalist party.

Thomas Nkobi is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Thomas Nkobi Thomas Titus Nkobi was a senior leader of the South African African National Congress and a key figure in the Anti-Apartheid movement. Until his death he was the Treasurer General of the ANC and ...more

Udit Raj is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Udit Raj Udit Raj is the Member of Parliament, from North-west Delhi constituency and National Chairman, All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations. He is one of the most influential leader of BJP ...more

Olisa Agbakoba is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Olisa Agbakoba Olisa Agbakoba, OON, SAN was born on 29 May 1953 to Chief Justice Godfrey Ubaka and Mrs Phina Agbakoba in Jos. He later moved to Onitsha in 1965, two years before the Nigerian civil war. He is a ...more

These Womens Rights Activists Trained As Blackbelts To Beat Up Cops

Tembi Locke is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Tembi Locke Tembi Locke is an American actress who has appeared in television shows and film. She is best known as Dr. Grace Monroe on Syfy's series EUReKA and as Dr. Diana Davis in Sliders and has appeared ...more

John J. Herrera is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
John J. Herrera John James Herrera was an American attorney, activist, and leader in the Mexican American civil rights movement. Herrera was born in Cravens, Louisiana. He joined the League of United Latin ...more

Jeff Key is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Jeff Key Jeff Key is an actor.

Mariela Castro is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Mariela Castro Mariela Castro Espín is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education in Havana and an activist for LGBT rights in Cuba.

Thubten Jigme Norbu is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Thubten Jigme Norbu Thubten Jigme Norbu recognised as the Taktser Rinpoche, was a Tibetan lama, writer, civil rights activist and professor of Tibetan studies and is the eldest brother of the fourteenth Dalai Lama, ...more

Michael X is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Michael X Michael X, born Michael de Freitas in Trinidad and Tobago to a Portuguese father and a mother from Barbados, was a self-styled black revolutionary and civil rights activist in 1960s London. He ...more

Cong Thanh Do is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Cong Thanh Do Cong Thanh Do is a Vietnamese American human rights activist. Do emigrated from Vietnam to the US in 1982. He advocates a multi-party democratic system for Vietnam, and has been accused of ...more

Richard Aoki is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Richard Aoki Richard Aoki was an American educator and college counselor, best known as a civil rights activist and early member of the Black Panther Party. He joined the early Black Panther Party and was ...more