Politics

List of Famous Dictators

Reference
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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)
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
Dec. at 75 (1878-1953)
Joseph Stalin or Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until 1953. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of ...more
3
Mao Zedong is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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 95
Robert Gabriel Mugabe (21 February 1924 – 6 September 2019) was a Zimbabwean dictator who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as President from 1987 to 2017. He ...more
9
Kim Jong-un is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 36
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 92
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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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 53
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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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 1994. He held the posts of Prime ...more
16
Francisco Franco is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Dec. at 83 (1892-1975)
Francisco Franco Bahamonde was a Spanish general and the dictator of Spain. Coming from a military background, he became the youngest general in Europe in the 1920s. A strong conservative, he ...more
17
Ho Chi Minh is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Dictators
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. at 77 (1894-1971)
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was a Russian politician who led the Soviet Union. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the ...more
20
Hun Sen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 66
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
Dec. 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 WWII, from October 17, 1941 ...more
22
Pervez Musharraf is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Dictators
age 75
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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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