Most Influential Leaders of the 20th Century


July 28, 2015 - Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

the britishers had to yield and it was not easy to influence a multi linguistic populace of diversifed millions... India, he was the man... no world leader had such positive effect over millions
He fought for peace and non-violence
there is not a single personality who is comparable to mr. gandhi
[Newest]Gandhi is Dog, Donkey and Pig
More comments about Gandhi

2Adolf Hitler
Awful, AWFUL man, but you can't deny the influence he had. He transformed a country, a religion, and history itself. Best? No. Kindest? No. I hate this man with all my heart, but he had, and still has, an enourmous influence on this world.
I think he was a good leader but his actions once he gained power were despicable. He cause a massive deprivation in Jewish faith.
More books have been devoted to the influence of Adolf Hitler than all other leaders combined


[Newest]Because of him, the world is what it is today. By far, the most influential leader since Napoleon.

3Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
He completely changed the vision, nature of his country and created a modern country from scratch. Besides, his revolution took full support from nation unlike many other revolutionists. He had the chance to become sole ruler of the country after revolution. However, he preferred democracy and gave his people right to vote.
He is the greatest leader of 20th century but unfortunately he is known a little because he has still lots of enemies. Because of the democracy he planted and the nation he cultivated he made the Turkey a civilised country. But because America wanted and wants a middleeast country in Turkeys location America is trying to erase him and erase the Ataturks modern Turkey and wants to put an uneducated middleeastern country.
He brought freedom and democracy to the Turkish people. He was not only a leader, he was a soldier, a scientist, a historian, a mathematician... He published a book about geometry and another book about history called "Turkish History Thesis". He defended the Galipoli against England, France, Australia, New Zealand and Arabs. In that battle he also defeated Admiral Winston Churchill's fleet (who is in the 3rd place on the list). He protected Ottaman Empire against England, France, Italy, Russia, Greece, Armenians, Arabs, Kurds. Then, he overthrew the Sultan and founded the modern Turkey. Ataturk Centennial is declared in 1981 by United Nations and UNESCO. Ataturk is the only person to receive such recognition by UNESCO.
[Newest]The leader who foresaw that Democracy was the future of this World, he created a modern Republic from the ashes of a crumbled, religious and dictatorial Empire. The Revolution he led against all odds and the victory he won changed the vision of the Turkish People by teaching them how to be free.
More comments about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

4Winston Churchill
Gandhi,Hitler,Ataturk? As a American of German ancestry it pains me to say a Brit was probably not only the most influential but arguably the greatest man to walk the earth short of Christ himself.

In the face of certain doom this man lead his country to stand up, fight and oppose the most formidable force the world had ever seen. He walked among his people as the bombs were falling. Courage, strength, integrity, sincerity and the deepest conviction gave him the moral authority to lead a nation and the world from the brink of enslavement.

Hitler before Churchill what a joke. A brutal coward and a thug. He murdered a lot of people but last I checked the universal language is English not German and the symbol of his reign isn't even legal in his own nation.

By the way, all you FDR fans. Nope. Roosevelt did not have the courage to lead his people to do what was right over what was popular. As the Jewish peoples of Europe were being written out of the future, his buddy Joe Kennedy, the same man who gave us Jack, Bob, and Ed, and the British ambassador, was telling the President that the anti Nazi rants was Jewish propaganda. FDR nearly let the clock run out and stood by as country after country folded to this thug.

Churchill all the way. Thank you Churchill and thank you England for holding off the collapse while the rest of us considered the cost.
He "gave the lion its roar" and may be the person most responsible for saving Western civilization from tyranny.
Hitler's Biggest nightmare :) Thank you Winston for all


[Newest]The greatest leader of the 20th century, a light in the middle of the darkness.

5Martin Luther King Jr.
A great man who tried his best to open the eyes of others.
The man tried to fight for peace between races, and rid the world of racism. He wanted equality between everyone. No idea why he had to die, for fdoing a good thing. However, he ended up influencing a lot of people as of today.
Martin Luther King Jr. paved the way into trying to make America realize that black people and white people are of equal rank and should stand together united rather than look down upon others.

6Joseph Stalin
The person who transformed russia from a poor agricultural country to a nuclear armed superpower
Hitler's true fear and nightmare. "not one step back"
Must be the number one

7Franklin D. Roosevelt
The greatest of U. S presidents led america out of depression and to the winning of ww2 setting the foundations to world number 1 status
Led America out of the Great Depression and won four terms as President during incredibly challenging economic times - while fighting WW2.
Man responsible for getting US into WW2, and all the resulting deaths, not to mention fueling communism's rise. A wannabe communist who had over 50 communists in the highest levels

Of his government. Forced Japan into war, ergo, Germany.

Sank German ships long before war started -Acts of War, included Lend Lease, convoys, embargoes.

A true two faced monster.
I severely doubt that Roosevelt was a communist. The reason he was fooled by Stalin's ambitions was that he was blinded with trust. He was not working with him. A good leader, but he doesn't deserve his position in this list.

8Vladimir Lenin
The leader of the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution is someone who has had one of the greatest influences on life in the 20th century. This man was largely responsible for the overthrowing of the unjust and greedy line of Russian Tsars, founded the nation that was the primary victor in World War II, and fought against the United States in the 'Cold War'. Without Lenin this world would have been a very different place.
It takes a smart man to make something bigger and better. But it takes a genius, like Vladimir Lenin to make an idea turn the other way. He gave Russia all he had. And he did something no other man in history did. He made something so revolutionary that the world will always remember Communism.
Lenin is the champion of the working class
[Newest]Good luck to him

9Nelson Mandela
Great leader for peace. Even with those who persecuted him. Excellent example for mankind
Every leader does what they think correct and best at that time. That was their vision for a better future. For that we are grateful to you TATA MANDELA. Your sacrifices will never be fogotten... #Long-live
A man who gave his life for the nation and his people and extended his hand to his enemies
[Newest]Few reasons why my country is so famous

10Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini
He was so influential that he had the biggest funeral ever, but his influence was bad.
He was a man from the fabric of the poor and oppressed, he dedicated his life not for money or power But to give a voice for the oppressed all over the world. He was Imam Khomeini.
One of the greatest leaders of 20th century.
[Newest]A great man of history...

The Contenders

11Pope John Paul II
He helped free poland, he helped Mother Terasa, he forgave the man that shot him, he believed people should stand side by side hand in hand in peace he even cured a woman with cancer did gandhi do that no!, and why is magaret thatcher on the list she discriminated catholics in my country IRELAND, she let bOBBY SANDS AND THE HUNGER STRIKERS DIE even though the pope tried to stop the British government doing it and give us a united ireland. He is in heaven now enjoying himself. long live pope john paul 2nds memory.
He was a great leader who believes in unity among all regardless of who they were or where they came from. He wanted unity for all religions so as to enhance peace, love and unity. He believed that all cultures were equal and should be treated so
He forgive the very person who wanted to kill him.. Its great to forgive... Forgiveness leads to PEACE on earth
[Newest]He leaded us with love...

12Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad ali jinnah is the man who give us our independence right. He is the man who unite the muslims and give independent state to muslims and saw a dream that this state will be the islamic republic which will help all the other muslims countries and maintain friendly relations to its neighbours. But after his death all the situation and the concept and ideology of pakistan turn on another way which is shame for us. Now once again we should need a philosopher like allama iqbal and leader as quaid e azam who give us really independence.
I understand why some may 100% be happy with this man but I think that no matter what but this man gave Pakistan a sort of gift of freedom, identity, honour without any other favour or help of a country. This is significant today for the country to be proud of this history. I don't why I do a poster on him bravely and proudly if people can do one on martin luther or gandhi.
Charismatic leader of the century who accomplished his goal or in other words making the dream of independent nation for Indian Muslims come true, the dream of the most influential Muslim scholar Allama Iqbal. Devoted his life for the struggle of two nation theory and accomplish it in the form of Pakistan which appeared as the largest country of Muslims on the map of the world in 1947.
I wish the nation of Pakistan would rethink and reunite them self by holding the strong thought process and following the true practices of Mr Jinnah in order to coup with the current international and domestic issues.
[Newest]Best leader of the subcontinent

13Fidel Castro
Anyone who could fight out of the jungle with makeshift arms and overthrow a violent and greedy tyrant, who stood up to the might of the "good guys" for 50 years and who always had the well-being of his people at heart, deserves the accolade of leader of the 20th century. As for his influence, just look at South America in the 21st century, one by one its nations have cast off the chains of N. American imperialism, cloaked as always in a shroud of benevolence and charity. What legacy did John Paul II leave? He left Ratzinger, a despot, ex-Hitler youth, misogynist, homophobe, a beacon of hatred, a haven for serial child rapists, a friend to the powerful and corrupt and defender of ignorance and poverty. Fidel may have had to make difficult decisions in order to protect his revolution but they pale in comparison to the magnitude of the horrific crimes against humanity perpetrated by at least 6 American presidents since he first came to power.
Fidel Castro is clearly the man of the 20 century at least in the Western Hemisphere. There is no other leader in the Western hemisphere that comes even close.
A Real Warrior. He defies USA over 50 years. Still Inspiring. Thank You Castro.

14Harry S. Truman
The buck stopped with Harry

15Josip Broz Tito
-kept a country together for years when thought impossible
-resisted both western powers and the Soviet communist block, staying neutral throughout the coldwar ( only European communist country to do so. (screw Stalin)
- Chief Leader and one of the founders of The 3rd world ( non-aligned movement)
-made Yugoslavia the first communist country to open its borders to all foreign visitors and abolished visa requirements
-active in promoting a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
-1967, Tito offered Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubček to fly to Prague on three hours notice if Dubček needed help in facing down the Soviets.
-only communist country allowed to have an embassy in Alfredo Stroessner's Paraguay
-His public speeches often reiterated that policy of neutrality and cooperation with all countries would be natural as long as these countries did not use their influence to pressure Yugoslavia to take sides
-Tito received a total of 119 awards and decorations from 60 countries around the world (59 countries and Yugoslavia)

Come back marshal tito
Helped to keep together Yugoslavia a deppeleay divided nation for 27 years

16B. R. Ambedkar
Dr B.R. ambedkar is one of the most influential personality of india. Due to their efficient constitution india manage to survive its freedom and independence. India with very depressed background has now become a strong, well established and words biggest Democratic country. India with more than hundred languages, six religions and various disparities is leading toward heights.
Dr B.R. ambedkar is true celebrated champion of the underprivileged. He deserves more than what he has achieved today
Father of the Indian constitution, one of the greatest leader of all time in the world.
[Newest]Greatest man with tremendous work s

17Teddy Roosevelt
He shaped the United States and the world as both proceeded into the 20th century. He was far ahead of his time, being both tough yet compassionate. He was extremely intelligent, hard working, humble, and a wonderful father and husband. He was probably the most idealist and honorable leader we've ever had and his enthusiasm knew no bounds.

18Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher did not try to destroy the working class. She cut spending, entitlements, welfare which was debilitating the growth of private capitalism in Britain, and killing jobs. She was trying to inspire the work ethic within the British people. Rely on yourselves; don't expect the government to take care of you. Britain was a stagnant economy. Thatcher instilled policies that brought freedom, free trade and job growth. It took time, as it does now and people lost their pensions, which gave her policies a bad rap. But Thatcher was a great leader, not allowed to go far enough. She tried to take power out of the hands of the trade unions. She was FOR the working class, the class she came from.
She was not for the working class, she was destroying our economy - British Gas - Sold, British Telecom - Sold, British Airways - Sold, British Steel - Sold. She turned the UK into profit by selling all of it's assets.

On that Logic, I will sell my house, my clothes and all my belongings, once I have done that I will be out of Debt.

"She won a war", against Argentina on their soil...
She and ronald reagan (who should also be on this list) were responsible for destroying the soviet union, and she was the first woman leader to win an actual war. She also tried to destroy the working class.
[Newest]I posted a comment about her she still must be number 1

19Ronald Reagan
Never voted for him but must admit he accomplished everything he promised on the campaign trail. Learned to admire his confidence and action and that is what leadership I's all about.
With Thatcher and Gorbachev, led the way to a reunified Germany... Also restored America's stature in the world, both economically and politically.
Ended the cold war.. Enough said
[Newest]The greatest American president

20Mao Zedong
Was a genius military leader, leading China to victory in the Korean and Vietnamese war, despite China's lack of military technology and weapons at the time
His gargantuan ego, villainous contempt for the human condition, and role in shaping Southeast Asia earn Mao a spot in the top ten.

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This list was created 7 years, 134 days ago and has been voted on over 2,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 7 times.

Updated Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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