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List of Famous Civil Rights Activists

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Updated June 8, 2017 18.9k views 78 items

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
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful ...more

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#30 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #21 of 452 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person The Best Mahatma Gandhi Quotes

Martin Luther King, Jr. ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 ...more

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#6 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #76 of 383 The Greatest American Writers of All Time 14 Events That Happened Immediately After Martin Luther King Jr.'s Assassination

Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Charlton Heston (born John Charles Carter; October 4, 1923 – April 5, 2008) was an American actor and political activist.As a Hollywood star, he appeared in almost 100 films over the course of ...more

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#102 of 330 The Coolest Actors Ever #226 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alivelisted on Republicans in Hollywood: Republican Celebrities List

Maya Angelou is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Maya Angelou ( (listen); born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, ...more

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#16 of 247 The Best Female Authors of All Time #72 of 383 The Greatest American Writers of All Time The Best Maya Angelou Quotes

Lena Horne is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was an American singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist. Horne's career spanned over 70 years appearing in film, television, and ...more

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#282 of 1,042 The Best Singers of All Time #591 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History

Aung San Suu Kyi is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Aung San Suu Kyi (; Burmese: အောင်ဆန်းစုကြည်; MLCTS: aung hcan: cu. krany Burmese pronunciation: [àʊɴ sʰáɴ sṵ tɕì]; born 19 June 1945) is a Burmese politician, diplomat, ...more

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#819 of 2,828 The Most Influential People of All Time #65 of 87 People Who Made the World a Better Place

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dala... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
The 14th Dalai Lama (born 6 July 1935) is the current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are important monks of the Gelug school, the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism, which was formally headed by the ...more

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#393 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time #8 of 31 Famous People You Never Thought Would End Up in the Same Pic

Cesar Chavez is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Cesar Chavez (born César Estrada Chávez, locally [ˈsesaɾ esˈtɾaða ˈtʃaβes]; March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was an American labor leader and Latino American civil rights ...more
Coretta Scott King is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Coretta Scott King (née Scott; April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006) was an American author, activist, civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King Jr. An active advocate for ...more
Kiran Bedi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Kiran Bedi (born 9 June 1949) is a retired Indian Police Service officer, social activist, former tennis player and politician who is the current Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. She is the ...more
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
Abdul Ghaffār Khān (6 February 1890 – 20 January 1988), nicknamed Fakhr-e-Afghan , lit. "pride of Pashtuns"), Bādshāh Khān, or Bāchā Khān, "king of chiefs"), was a Pashtun ...more
Meena Keshwar Kamal is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Meena Keshwar Kamal (Pashto/Persian: مینا کشور کمال‎; February 27, 1956 – February 4, 1987), commonly known as Meena, was an Afghan revolutionary political activist, feminist, women's rights ...more
Barthélemy Bogand... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Barthélemy Boganda (4 April 1910 – 29 March 1959) was the leading nationalist politician of what is now the Central African Republic. Boganda was active prior to his country's ...more
Asma Jahangir is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Asma Jilani Jahangir (Urdu: عاصمہ جہانگیر‎, romanized: ʿĀṣimah Jahāṉgīr; 27 January 1952 – 11 February 2018) was a Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist who co-founded and chaired ...more
Josh White is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Joshua Daniel White (February 11, 1914 – September 5, 1969) 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 (July 1, 1893 – March 21, 1955) was an American civil rights activist who led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for almost a quarter of ...more
Belford Lawson, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Belford Vance Lawson Jr. (July 9, 1901 – February 23, 1985) was an American attorney and civil rights activist who made at least eight appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was the first ...more
Rashid Nugmanov is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Rashid Nugmanov (also written Rachid Nougmanov; Russian: Рашид Мусаевич Нугманов; born March 19, 1954 in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan) is a Kazakh film director, dissident, political activist and ...more
Paul Bew is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Paul Anthony Elliott Bew, Baron Bew (born 22 January 1950) is a British historian from Northern Ireland and a life peer. He has worked at Queen's University Belfast since 1979, and is currently ...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 binti Wan Ismail (Jawi: وان عزيزه بنت وان اسماعيل; born 3 December 1952) is a Malaysian politician serving as the first female Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and the ...more
Hosea Williams is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Hosea Lorenzo Williams (January 5, 1926 – November 16, 2000), was an American civil rights leader, activist, ordained minister, businessman, philanthropist, scientist, and politician. He may be ...more
Kevin Willmott is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Kevin Willmott (born August 31, 1959) is an American film director and screenwriter, as well as a professor of film at the University of Kansas. He is known for work focusing on black issues ...more
Ann Jones is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Ann Jones (born September 3, 1937) is an American 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, ...more
Alfred Daniel Williams K... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Alfred Daniel Williams "A. D." King (July 30, 1930 – July 21, 1969) was an American Baptist minister and civil rights activist. He was the younger brother of Martin Luther King Jr.
Nuamthong Phaiwan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Civil Rights Activists
Nuamthong Praiwan (Thai: นวมทอง ไพรวัลย์; RTGS: Nuamthong Phraiwan) (1946–1 November 2006) was a Thai taxi driver who drove his taxi into a tank in protest after the military coup of 2006. He ...more