Politics 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?"

Infamous dictators of the world are often thought 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.

It's easy to dehumanize them in your mind, but there were actually many dictators who painted and plenty of other dictators who had weird collections. Who would have thought? If you want to learn more about modern dictators, find out which countries are ruled by dictatorships in present day.

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

1
Adolf Hitler is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 56 (1889-1945) 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 ...more

2
Joseph Stalin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 75 (1878-1953) 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 ...more

3
Mao Zedong is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 83 (1893-1976) 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 ...more

4
Benito Mussolini is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 62 (1883-1945) 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 ...more

5
Pol Pot is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 73 (1925-1998) 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 ...more

6
Kim Jong-il is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 70 (1941-2011) 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 ...more

7
Saddam Hussein is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 69 (1937-2006) 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 ...more

8
Robert Mugabe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 94 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 ...more

9
Kim Jong-un is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 35 Kim Jong-un is the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. He is the son of Kim Jong-il and the grandson of Kim Il-sung. He has held the titles of the First Secretary of the ...more

10
Fidel Castro is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 91 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 ...more

11
Chiang Kai-shek is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 88 (1887-1975) 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 ...more

12
Idi Amin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 78 (1925-2003) 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, ...more

13
Bashar al-Assad is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 52 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 ...more

14
Ferdinand Marcos is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 72 (1917-1989) 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 ...more

15
Kim Il-sung is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 82 (1912-1994) 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 ...more

16
Francisco Franco is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 83 (1892-1975) 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 ...more

17
Ho Chi Minh is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 79 (1890-1969) 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 ...more

18
Muammar al-Gaddafi is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 69 (1942-2011) 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 ...more

19
Nikita Khrushchev is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 77 (1894-1971) 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 ...more

20
Hun Sen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 65 Hun Sen is the 34th and current Prime Minister of Cambodia, Deputy President of the Cambodian People's Party, and Member of Parliament for Kandal. He has served as Cambodia's premier for more ...more

21
Hideki Tōjō is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 64 (1884-1948) 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 ...more

22
Pervez Musharraf is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 74 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 ...more

23
Mobutu Sese Seko is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 67 (1930-1997) Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga was the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1965 to 1997. Installed and supported in office primarily by Belgium and the United ...more

24
Jean-Claude Duvalier is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 63 (1951-2014) Jean-Claude Duvalier, nicknamed "Bébé Doc" or "Baby Doc", was the President of Haiti from 1971 until his overthrow by a popular uprising in 1986. He succeeded ...more

25
Augusto Pinochet is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 91 (1915-2006) Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, more commonly known as Augusto Pinochet, was dictator of Chile between 1973 and 1990 and Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army from 1973 to ...more

26
Nicolae Ceaușescu is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 71 (1918-1989) Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader. ...more

27
Suharto is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 87 (1921-2008) Soeharto is one of the founders of Balai Perguruan Tinggi Gadjah Mada.

28
François Duvalier is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 64 (1907-1971) François Duvalier, also known as ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, was the President of Haiti from 1957 to 1971. He opposed a military coup d'état in 1950 and was elected as President in 1957 ...more

29
Ruhollah Khomeini is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 87 (1902-1989) Ruhollah Moosavi Khomeini was an Iranian Mujtahid, revolutionary, politician, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran as the first Islamic government in the modern age and the leader of the ...more

30
Wojciech Jaruzelski is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 91 (1923-2014) Wojciech Witold Jaruzelski was a Polish military officer and communist politician. He was First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party from 1981 to 1989, and as such was the last leader ...more

31
Anastasio Somoza Debayle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 55 (1925-1980) Anastasio Somoza DeBayle was a Nicaraguan politician and officially the 73rd and 76th President of Nicaragua from 1 May 1967 to 1 May 1972 and from 1 December 1974 to 17 July 1979. As head of ...more

32
Leonid Brezhnev is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 76 (1906-1982) Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His ...more

33
Ante Pavelić is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 70 (1889-1959) Ante Pavelić was a Croatian fascist leader and politician who led the Ustaše movement and who during World War II was the dictator of Independent State of Croatia, a puppet state of Fascist ...more

34
Mengistu Haile Mariam is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 80 Mengistu Haile Mariam is an Ethiopian politician who was the most prominent officer of the Derg, the Communist military junta that governed Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987, and the President of the ...more

35
Omar al-Bashir is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 74 Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir is the President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, he led a group of officers ...more

36
Juvénal Habyarimana is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 57 (1937-1994) Juvénal Habyarimana was the third President of the Republic of Rwanda, the post he held longer than any other president to date, from 1973 until 1994. He was nicknamed "Kinani", ...more

37
Anastasio Somoza García is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 60 (1896-1956) Anastasio Somoza García was officially the President of Nicaragua from 1 January 1937 to 1 May 1947 and from 21 May 1950 to 29 September 1956, but ruled effectively as dictator from 1936 ...more

38
Ziaur Rahman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 50 (1931-1981) Ziaur Rahman was a Bangladeshi politician and first military dictator who served as the 7th President of Bangladesh from 21 April 1977 until his death in 30 May 1981. He was the announcer of the ...more

39
Pedro Eugenio Aramburu is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 67 (1903-1970) Pedro Eugenio Aramburu Silveti was an Argentine Army general. He was a major figure behind the Revolución Libertadora, the military coup against Juan Perón in 1955. He became de ...more

40
Ion Antonescu is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 64 (1882-1946) Ion Victor Antonescu was a Romanian soldier and authoritarian politician who was convicted of war crimes. The Prime Minister and Conducător during most of World War II, he presided over two ...more

41
Yahya Khan is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 63 (1917-1980) Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, popularly known as Yahya Khan was a four-star general and statesman who served as the third President of Pakistan from 1969 until the fall of East-Pakistan as a ...more

42
Hafez al-Assad is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 70 (1930-2000) Hafez al-Assad was a Syrian statesman, politician and general who was President of Syria from 1971 to 2000, Prime Minister from 1970 to 1971, Regional Secretary of the Regional Command of the ...more

43
Hu Jintao is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 75 Hu Jintao was the paramount leader of China between 2002 and 2012. He held the offices of General Secretary of the Communist Party, President of the People's Republic and Chairman of the Central ...more

44
Sani Abacha is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 55 (1943-1998) 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 ...more

45
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 75 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 ...more

46
Hissène Habré is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 75 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.

47
Than Shwe is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 85 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 ...more

48
António de Oliveira Salazar is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Died at 81 (1889-1970) 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 ...more

49
Mahathir Mohamad is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 92 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 ...more

50
Alberto Fujimori is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 79 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 ...more