Politics
1.1m readers

List of Famous Dictators

1.1m views117 items

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.

...more
  • Adolf Hitler1

    Adolf Hitler

    Dec. at 56 (1889-1945)

    BirthplaceBraunau am Inn, Austria

    Adolf Hitler (German: [ˈadɔlf ˈhɪtlɐ] (listen); 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was a German...  more

    More Adolf Hitler 

    Freaky Coincidences That Aided Hitler's Rise to Power#102 of 410 The Most Important Military Leaders in World History

  • Joseph Stalin2

    Joseph Stalin

    Dec. at 75 (1878-1953)

    BirthplaceGori, Georgia

    Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili; 18 December [O.S. 6] 1878...  more

    More Joseph Stalin 

    Did Stalin Really Force Soviet Scientists To Create A Human-Chimpanzee Hybrid?#580 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • Mao Zedong3

    Mao Zedong

    Dec. at 83 (1893-1976)

    BirthplaceShaoshan, China

    Mao Zedong (; December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a...  more

    More Mao Zedong 

    The Best Mao Zedong Quotes#968 of 1,172 The Best Writers of All Time

  • Benito Mussolini4

    Benito Mussolini

    Dec. at 62 (1883-1945)

    BirthplacePredappio, Italy

    Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (, also US: , Italian: [beˈniːto mussoˈliːni]; 29 July 1883 –...  more

    More Benito Mussolini 

    #5 of 15 Historical Figures Whose Body Parts Went Missing for Strange Reasons#2 of 10 Modern Descendants Of Historical Figures Who Work In The Same Field

  • Pol Pot5

    Pol Pot

    Dec. at 73 (1925-1998)

    BirthplaceKampong Thom Province, Cambodia

    Pol Pot (born Saloth Sâr; 19 May 1925 – 15 April 1998) was a Cambodian politician who led...  more

    More Pol Pot 

    #216 of 489 Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Are#7 of 9 The Cruelest Rulers In History (Who Weren't Hitler)

  • Kim Jong-il6

    Kim Jong-il

    Dec. at 70 (1941-2011)

    BirthplaceVyatskoye, Khabarovsk Krai, Russia

    Kim Jong-il (officially transcribed Kim Jong Il; Korean: 김정일; Korean pronunciation:...  more

    More Kim Jong-il 

    Kim Jong-il Owned Some Cool S*#t!#1 of 12 Historical Figures Whose Descendants Looked Just Like Them

  • Saddam Hussein7

    Saddam Hussein

    Dec. at 69 (1937-2006)

    BirthplaceAl-Awja, Iraq

    Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (; Arabic: صدام حسين عبد المجيد التكريتي Ṣaddām Ḥusayn...  more

    More Saddam Hussein 

    In Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Soccer Players Who Lost A Game Were Tortured Until They Won#11 of 21 Last Words Spoken By Criminals Before Execution

  • Robert Mugabe8

    BirthplaceZvimba District

    Robert Gabriel Mugabe (; Shona: [muɡaɓe]; born 21 February 1924) is a Zimbabwean revolutionary...  more

    More Robert Mugabe 

    #7 of 16 Here's What World Leaders Really Think Of Donald Trump#55 of 149 Celebrities Who Died In 2019

  • Kim Jong-un9

    BirthplacePyongyang, Pyongan, North Korea

    Kim Jong-un (officially transcribed Kim Jong Un; Korean: 김정은; Korean pronunciation:...  more

    More Kim Jong-un 

    Kim Jong-Un's Luxurious Childhood Was Spent Preparing For Dictatorship#88 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021

  • Fidel Castro10

    BirthplaceBirán, Cuba

    Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (American Spanish: [fiˈðel aleˈxandɾo ˈkastɾo ˈrus]; 13 August 1926...  more

    More Fidel Castro 

    10 Bizarre Plans The U.S. Government Had For Assassinating Fidel Castro#2 of 10 10 Murder Plots That Would Have Radically Changed History (If They Succeeded)

  • Chiang Kai-shek11

    Chiang Kai-shek

    Dec. at 88 (1887-1975)

    BirthplaceXikou, China

    Chiang Kai-shek (; 31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975), also known as Generalissimo Chiang or...  more
  • Idi Amin12

    Idi Amin

    Dec. at 78 (1925-2003)

    BirthplaceKoboko, Uganda

    Idi Amin Dada Oumee (; c. 1925 – 16 August 2003) was a Ugandan military officer who served as...  more

    More Idi Amin 

    #7 of 14 Bizarre Obsessions of Dangerous Dictators#97 of 432 Famous Tall Men Over 6'2

  • Bashar al-Assad13

    BirthplaceDamascus, Syria

    Bashar Hafez al-Assad (Arabic: بشار حافظ الأسد‎ Baššār Ḥāfiẓ al-ʾAsad, Levantine...  more

    More Bashar al-Assad 

    #306 of 403 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person#28 of 30 Real World Avengers Villains

  • Ferdinand Marcos14

    Ferdinand Marcos

    Dec. at 72 (1917-1989)

    BirthplaceSarrat, Philippines

    Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos Sr. (September 11, 1917 – September 28, 1989) was a Filipino...  more
  • Kim Il-sung15

    Kim Il-sung

    Dec. at 82 (1912-1994)

    BirthplacePyongyang, Pyongan, North Korea

    Kim Il-sung (officially transcribed Kim Il Sung; English pronunciation: ; Korean: 김일성; Korean...  more
  • Francisco Franco16

    Francisco Franco

    Dec. at 83 (1892-1975)

    BirthplaceSpain, Ferrol

    Francisco Franco Bahamonde (; Spanish: [fɾanˈθisʲko ˈfɾaŋko]; 4 December 1892 – 20 November...  more

    More Francisco Franco 

    #575 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#16 of 26 26 Intimidating World Leaders Who You Never Realized Were Super Short

  • Ho Chi Minh17

    Ho Chi Minh

    Dec. at 79 (1890-1969)

    BirthplaceKim Lien, Vietnam

    Hồ Chí Minh (; Vietnamese: [hò cǐ mīŋ̟] (listen), Saigon: [hò cǐ mɨ̄n] (listen); Chữ nôm: 胡志明;...  more

    More Ho Chi Minh 

    #15 of 89 The Most Enlightened Leaders in World History#11 of 22 22 Historical Figures With Preserved Body Parts You Can Still Visit Today

  • Muammar al-Gaddafi18

    Muammar al-Gaddafi

    Dec. at 69 (1942-2011)

    BirthplaceQasr Abu Hadi

    Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi (; c. 1942 – 20 October 2011), commonly known as Colonel...  more

    More Muammar al-Gaddafi 

    #6 of 10 Even History's Most Evil Dictators Had Pets#33 of 42 42 Famous ENFPs

  • Nikita Khrushchev19

    Nikita Khrushchev

    Dec. at 77 (1894-1971)

    BirthplaceKalinovka, Russia

    Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (15 April 1894 – 11 September 1971) was a Soviet statesman who...  more
  • Hun Sen20

    Hun Sen

    Age: 68

    BirthplaceStueng Trang District

    Hun Sen (Khmer: ហ៊ុន សែន; born 5 August 1952) is a Cambodian politician serving as the Prime...  more
  • Hideki Tōjō21

    Hideki Tōjō

    Dec. at 64 (1884-1948)

    BirthplaceKōjimachi, Tokyo

    Hideki Tojo (Kyūjitai: 東條 英機; Shinjitai: 東条 英機; Tōjō Hideki ; 30 December 1884 – 23 December...  more

    More Hideki Tōjō 

    #291 of 347 The Most Important Leaders In World History#2 of 12 The 12 Most Brutal War Criminals Throughout History (And The Punishments They Got)

  • Pervez Musharraf22

    BirthplaceIndia, Delhi

    Syed Pervez Musharraf (Urdu: پرویز مشرف‎ Parvez Muśarraf; born 11 August 1943) is a Pakistani...  more
  • Mobutu Sese Seko23

    Mobutu Sese Seko

    Dec. at 67 (1930-1997)

    BirthplaceLisala, Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga (; born Joseph-Désiré Mobutu; 14 October 1930 – 7...  more

    More Mobutu Sese Seko 

    #14 of 20 Real-Life Cults of Personality You Won't Believe#18 of 19 Signature Afflictions Suffered By History’s Most Famous Despots

  • Jean-Claude Duvalier24

    Jean-Claude Duvalier

    Dec. at 63 (1951-2014)

    BirthplacePort-au-Prince, Haiti

    Jean-Claude Duvalier (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑ̃klod dyvalje]), nicknamed "Baby Doc" (Haitian...  more
  • Augusto Pinochet25

    Augusto Pinochet

    Dec. at 91 (1915-2006)

    BirthplaceValparaíso, Chile

    Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (UK: , US: , Spanish: [auˈɣusto pinoˈ(t)ʃe(t)]; 25 November...  more