Most Influential Leaders of the 20th Century


The Top TenXW

1Josip Broz Tito

One of the founders of the Third World, a greatly awarded, decorated and appreciated man all around the world. Yugoslavia under Tito was the only European communist country which did not become a Soviet satellite state. Despite this, it was a country where life standards were high and lots of people who lived in this period would even argue that they liked it better under Tito's leadership. The Yugoslavian passport was also of great value and power.

His influence in UN and in liberation movements was unbelievable. Both superpowers listened his suggestions with utmost attention. Not to speak of Nonalignment movement which was shaped up by Tito and greatly influenced political events in the world. "Giant" was the word for him, commonly used by politicians around the world.

Managed to keep 22 million of morons, including myself, in peace for 40 years!

He represented third way between competing two doctrines: capitalism and so called Russian socialism. With nonaligned there was a way out of today's greedy neo-liberal capitalism that finally won over the second one. Is there any way to restore it?

V118 Comments
2Adolf HitlerAdolf Hitler was a German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and Führer of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As dictator of Nazi Germany, he initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and was a central figure of more.

Personally, I believe Hitler is the greatest leader in the 20th Century. His commitment is extra-ordinary; he used all his skills to reach his aim and invented a knowledge and industry to implement his aim. He created a mission based on a philosophy; practically executed that mission;mobilized the entire nation to contribute to that mission. In this course, Hitler used all the resources around him to reach his aim; invented many resources those not freely available and managed those resources efficiently and effectively; gave a high and technical and disciplinary values to his work. I think, Hitler used all the human-distinctiveness and strengths that a human being can used to reach his aim or long felt inner-human urges.

(I know the entire world hate Hitler, so do I, but I highly respect his LEADERSHIP; how did he used his leadership a different story)

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.

Terrible man, great leader

V27 Comments

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

there is not a single personality who is comparable to mr. gandhi

He fought for peace and non-violence

He was not a perfect man directly speaking. But men aren't made to be perfect either. A monumental figure in modern human history who credits its all through his gentle childlike innocence and humility. - kattapa

V42 Comments
4Mustafa 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.

Actually I'm A Turk and I am really proud of that because my roots have fought for the country I am standing on

V54 Comments
5Winston ChurchillSir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, and a writer.

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 ...more

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 - MatrixGuy

I'm staggered that this man could rank at any slot other than No. 1.

V21 Comments
6Martin Luther King Jr.Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

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.

Perhaps not the most influential, but surely the most proper man and a pity that he was still influential

V4 Comments
7Joseph StalinJoseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Holding the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he was effectively the dictator of the state.

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"

A greatly influential leader does not necessarily mean a benevolent leader with a good influence. He truly was a great influence but seldom a good one.

"Leader with great ideas, who defeated the fascist foes from west.

V8 Comments
8Franklin D. RooseveltFranklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly known as FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the President of the United States from 1933 to 1945. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and dominated his party for many years as a central figure in world events during more.

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

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.

Led America out of the Great Depression and won four terms as President during incredibly challenging economic times - while fighting WW2.

9Vladimir LeninVladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by the alias Lenin, was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician, and political theorist.

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.

What Lenin did during his time, was damn incredible, if only he didn't have Stalin as his right hand man (which was pretty much the only HORRIBLE thing that he did (decision wise) )

Began communism to the world

V6 Comments
10Nelson MandelaNelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.

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

A man who left the presidency and become higher than the president.

V9 Comments

The Contenders

11Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini

He was so influential that he had the biggest funeral ever, but his influence was bad.

Of course he was a great man, his influence over the modern societies is yet to be known

The greatest leader the modern world ever had

The best of the bests!

V7 Comments
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.

World great leader... He should stood at first

V26 Comments
13Fidel CastroFidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, known as Fidel Castro, is a Cuban politician and revolutionary who governed the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008. Politically a Marxist–Leninist and Cuban nationalist, he also served as the First Secretary of the more.

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.

Living proof that we can do better, viva revolution

V1 Comment
14Pope 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

The greatest!

V5 Comments
15Harry S. TrumanHarry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States, an American politician of the Democratic Party.V2 Comments
16B. R. AmbedkarB.R. Ambedkar was the first Indian to pursue an doctorate in economics abroad. He argued that industrialization and agricultural growth could enhance the Indian economy.He stressed investment in agriculture as the primary industry of India. According to Sharad Pawar, Ambedkar’s vision helped the government more.

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

Highly educated, can serve in foreign country for self betterment, but served in humiliating conditions in India and worked a lot for the depressed classes and overall made the constitution of India..

A great intellect, a great visionary, a great legend ever to walk on earth, no other leader can parallel him, father of modern India

V30 Comments
17Margaret ThatcherMargaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was a British stateswoman and politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and is currently more.

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.

The politically illiterate left-wing will hate her. But she gave the working class the power of self-sufficiency instead of relying on the government for a handout. Massive respect for the Iron Lady.

Most Powerful woman that ever lived! Let you be the judge of her time in office whether it was for the better or worse but nobody can deny that she was a fantastic symbol for a country in decline!

Britain's George Bush

V5 Comments
18Teddy 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.

T.R. "humble? "
He was an egocentric blowhard of the first order.
His "boundless enthusiasm" was for total statism.
You don't have a clue what you're talking about.

A great military leader, and president...oh don't act like you don't know that this man led the ROUGH RIDERS

19Mao ZedongMao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary and founding father of the People's Republic of China, which he governed as Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949, until his death in 1976. more.

Mao Zedong transformed China into what is now known as the People's Republic of China. Through The Great Leap Forward China is now one of the largest producers of technology oriented products. It is also one of the worst nations where human rights are concerned. Like many of the leaders on this list, he was a great leader but not a good one.

His gargantuan ego, villainous contempt for the human condition, and role in shaping Southeast Asia earn Mao a spot in the top ten.

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

If "Influential" means he killed the most civilians of anybody in history, then Mao is your guy!

20Ronald ReaganRonald Wilson Reagan was an American politician and actor who was 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to his presidency, he was the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975, following a career as a Hollywood actor and union leader.

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.

By escalating the arms race he brought the Soviet Union to its inevitable end quicker. Through Nancy's War on Drugs he worsened conditions for those whom have addiction problems.

Brought back American self confidence and the belief that empowering people not government is what makes America great!

The greatest American president

V4 Comments
PSearch List

Related Lists

Top Ten Magicians of the 20th Century Best Musicians of the 20th Century Best 20th Century War Movies Best Rock Bands of the 20th Century Top 10 Greatest Bands of the 20th Century

List StatsUpdated 23 Oct 2016

4,000 votes
85 listings
8 years, 222 days old

Top Remixes (8)

1. B. R. Ambedkar
2. Martin Luther King Jr.
3. Nelson Mandela
1. A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
1. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
2. Adolf Hitler
3. Vladimir Lenin

View All 8


Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.