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
Dec. at 56 (1889-1945)

Birthplace: Braunau am Inn, Austria

Adolf Hitler (German: [ˈadɔlf ˈhɪtlɐ] (listen); 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; NSDAP). He ...more

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

Birthplace: Gori, Georgia

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili; 18 December [O.S. 6] 1878 – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union from ...more

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

Birthplace: Shaoshan, China

Mao Zedong (; December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who became the founding father of the People's Republic of China (PRC), ...more

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

Birthplace: Predappio, Italy

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (, also US: , Italian: [beˈniːto mussoˈliːni]; 29 July 1883 – 28 April 1945) was Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy from the fascists' takeover of state ...more

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

Birthplace: Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia

Pol Pot (born Saloth Sâr; 19 May 1925 – 15 April 1998) was a Cambodian politician who led Cambodia as the Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea between 1976 to 1979. Ideologically a ...more
6
Kim Jong-il is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Dec. at 70 (1941-2011)

Birthplace: Vyatskoye, Khabarovsk Krai, Russia

Kim Jong-il (officially transcribed Kim Jong Il; Korean: 김정일; Korean pronunciation: [kim.dzɔŋ.il]; 16 February 1941 or 1942 – 17 December 2011) was the second leader of North Korea. He ruled ...more

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

Birthplace: Al-Awja, Iraq

Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (; Arabic: صدام حسين عبد المجيد التكريتي Ṣaddām Ḥusayn ʿAbd al-Maǧīd al-Tikrītī; 28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was President of Iraq from 16 July 1979 ...more

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8
Robert Mugabe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Age: 95

Birthplace: Zvimba District

Robert Gabriel Mugabe (; Shona: [muɡaɓe]; born 21 February 1924) is a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as President ...more

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9
Kim Jong-un is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Age: 36

Birthplace: Pyongyang, Pyongan, North Korea

Kim Jong-un (officially transcribed Kim Jong Un; Korean: 김정은; Korean pronunciation: [kim.dzɔŋ.ɯn]; born 8 January 1983 or 1984) is a North Korean politician. He is currently the incumbent ...more

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10
Fidel Castro is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Age: 92

Birthplace: Cuba

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (American Spanish: [fiˈðel aleˈxandɾo ˈkastɾo ˈrus]; 13 August 1926 – 25 November 2016) was a Cuban communist revolutionary and politician who governed the ...more

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

Birthplace: Xikou, China

Chiang Kai-shek (; 31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975), also known as Generalissimo Chiang or Chiang Chungcheng and romanized as Chiang Chieh-shih or Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese nationalist ...more

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

Birthplace: Koboko, Uganda

Idi Amin Dada Oumee (; c. 1925 – 16 August 2003) was a Ugandan military officer who served as the President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Popularly known as the "Butcher of Uganda," he ...more

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13
Bashar al-Assad is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Age: 53

Birthplace: Damascus, Syria

Bashar Hafez al-Assad (Arabic: بشار حافظ الأسد‎ Baššār Ḥāfiẓ al-ʾAsad, Levantine pronunciation: [baʃˈʃaːr ˈħaːfezˤ elˈʔasad]; English pronunciation ; born 11 September 1965) is a Syrian ...more

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

Birthplace: Sarrat, Philippines

Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos Sr. (September 11, 1917 – September 28, 1989) was a Filipino politician and kleptocrat who was the tenth President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. A ...more

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

Birthplace: Pyongyang, Pyongan, North Korea

Kim Il-sung (officially transcribed Kim Il Sung; English pronunciation: ; Korean: 김일성; Korean pronunciation: [kimils͈ʌŋ]; born Kim Sŏng-ju (김성주); 15 April 1912 – 8 July 1994) was the first ...more

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

Birthplace: Ferrol, Spain

Francisco Franco Bahamonde (; Spanish: [fɾanˈθisʲko ˈfɾaŋko]; 4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general and politician who ruled over Spain as Head of State and dictator under ...more

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

Birthplace: Kim Lien, Vietnam

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

Birthplace: Qasr Abu Hadi

Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi (; c. 1942 – 20 October 2011), commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi, was a Libyan revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He governed Libya as ...more

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

Birthplace: Kalinovka, Russia

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (15 April 1894 – 11 September 1971) was a Soviet statesman who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the ...more

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20
Hun Sen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Age: 66

Birthplace: Stueng Trang District

Hun Sen (Khmer: ហ៊ុន សែន; born 5 August 1952) is a Cambodian politician serving as the Prime Minister of Cambodia since 1985. He is currently the world's second longest-serving prime minister, ...more
21
Hideki Tōjō is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Dec. at 64 (1884-1948)

Birthplace: Kōjimachi, Tokyo

Hideki Tojo (Kyūjitai: 東條 英機; Shinjitai: 東条 英機; Tōjō Hideki ; 30 December 1884 – 23 December 1948) was a Japanese politician and general of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) who concurrently ...more

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22
Pervez Musharraf is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Age: 75

Birthplace: Delhi, India

Syed Pervez Musharraf (Urdu: پرویز مشرف‎ Parvez Muśarraf; born 11 August 1943) is a Pakistani politician and retired four-star general of the Pakistan Army, who was the 10th President of ...more
23
Mobutu Sese Seko is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Dec. at 67 (1930-1997)

Birthplace: Lisala, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga (; born Joseph-Désiré Mobutu; 14 October 1930 – 7 September 1997) was a Congolese politician and military officer who was the military ...more

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24
Jean-Claude Duvalier is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Dec. at 63 (1951-2014)

Birthplace: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Jean-Claude Duvalier (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑ̃klod dyvalje]), nicknamed "Baby Doc" (Haitian Creole: Bebe Dòk; 3 July 1951 – 4 October 2014), was a Haitian politician who was ...more
25
Augusto Pinochet is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Dec. at 91 (1915-2006)

Birthplace: Valparaíso, Chile

Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (UK: , US: , Spanish: [auˈɣusto pinoˈ(t)ʃe(t)]; 25 November 1915 – 10 December 2006) was a Chilean general, politician and dictator of Chile ...more