Most Influential Leaders of the 20th Century
The Top Ten
In 1980 he had the largest state funeral in history.
This man, that seems unknown to many, was loved by leaders from both sides of the Cold War. His death brought enemies together in silent mourning but it also brought the end of an era of brotherhood and unity.
Tito was the greatest leader of the 20th century because his influence stretched out to a global scale, but he is also the worst leader because nobody could possibly live up to his greatness.
He fought off Hitler, humiliated Stalin and resisted pressure from the United States. He had a vision of what he believed was right and he didn't allow anyone to halt his journey.
People talk about Lenin or Marx as the socialist revolutionaries, but they are wrong. Tito was the true revolutionary, by taking elements of many different ideologies he was able to create a truly socialist nation that strived for the people and not military or economic dominance. It wasn't about controlling the most land or having ...more
Yugoslavia prospered under Tito. With his leadership, the country was strong and united, fought off the Nazis, and played both sides perfectly over the course of the Cold War, all this DESPITE the diverse ethnic groups that were all thirsting for independence. Yugoslavia was easily the defining neutral power in all of Europe, somehow gaining the support of the West and the Marshall Plan in spite of the fact that it was a communist country. Honestly, Tito was a political genius to say the least.
Also, the fact that Yugoslavia basically collapsed the second Tito died really says something about how much of a miracle it was that he held the region together in the first place.
For those living in former Jugoslavia Tito means something (to me everything). Internationally he was not small player but I don't dare comparing him with other great persons.
We were small country, only 20 millions, and his international influence was disproportional to the size of the country. This just shows how great he was.
Ideas he had are even today actual.
Out of all people our dumb region had Tito is the greatest. Pity persons like him comes every few hundreds years.
What he did for us, stupid Jugoslavs is becoming more and more evident now when Jugoslavia is no more and when nacionalists and religion is ruling the lifes of people.
Do we have "Democracy" - yes
Do we have freedom - hell no
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.
What a guy, he's the guy who made me who I am today, one of the only reasons that I'm proud being a Turk, if it wasn't for him Republic of Turkey would be a puppet state just like Arabic countries today. Turks in the 20th century really was something else, Republicans will rise again.
At the beginning of the 20th century, while every leader was leading people either to fascism or communism; he was the only leader who has the vision of establishing a republic and democracy. He tried so hard to convince even his comrades for believing democracy and universal values. His vision was so ahead of his time, it allowed Turkish women to gain the rights to vote and to be elected, while it was a dream in Europe. In the middle of an islamic community, he tried to implement modern life style; scientific education system, deficit free economy and secular government legacy. His revolution was the only revolution in 20th century; which established a modern republic unlike the communist and fascist ones.
Starts his life in a sunny spring day in 1881, gets great marks in his schools, later on starts his job as an officer. Wins almost all battles he takes part in. Stops allied ships, suppliments and enormous allied landing at Dardannels, saving the Ottoman Empire and causing October Revolution indirectly. Fighting with France, Greeks, British, Armenians, Italians at the same time and winning against all of them. Foundation of Republic of Turkey. Abolishes Sultanate and Caliphate. Changes the Turkish Alphabet to Latin, gives women rights, makes economy function and the state independent. Currently rests under a giant mausoleum.
Ataturk is without doubt the greatest, smartest, most benevolent leader of the Turkish history and the most intelligent leader of the 20th century. He completely transformed, one might even say recreated a nation, preached science in every chance he got, gave equal rights to women even before most of the European countries and is the sole reason why the Turkish nation is far from being an Islamic fundamentalist people. May God bless this great great man!
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)
The most vilified, slandered and lied about man in modern history. Hated by the Jews and western european powers, especially Churchill. Hitler tried with all human effort to prevent the war. England, Poland; Czechoslovakia, France, USSR and finally the USA did all they could to destroy Nationalist Socialism and the innovative and charismatic leader of Germany. War was the result. If you know the TRUTH about WW2 you will agree. Western propaganda won the war and eventually defeated Germany. Now Germany is back under the Banking Elites grasp, and as an occupied country to this day.
Hitler was a terrible human being, but his actions have had large effects on the world. I think he's the most referred and among the most studied individuals of the 20th Century and his story before and during his reign in Nazi Germany has paved the way for understanding and studying dictatorship.
Also, while he was bad inherently, he was a very good politician with excellent leadership and understanding of politics and economics. I think he could have been an inspirational man, had it not been for the actions and moral path he took.
Took Germany from being one of the most deprived and socially fractured nations in Europe to the strongest, richest, and most unified nation in the world in ten years. His flaws and motives, as well as the motives of those around him, put him on a pedestal of darkness but he was the greatest and most amazing leader of the century.
Gandhi did NOT get Britain out of India. (They were going anyway within a very few years) He only got them out FASTER before India was ready. Churchill warned, (and was proved correct) that the Hindus and Muslims would wreak havoc on one another. Because Gandhi forced the issue over ONE MILLION people died needlessly in the holocaust he helped create. Also it is worth noting that Gandhi had no problem with the ridiculous caste system that has oppressed millions of Indians.
It is also worth noting that India was just a geographical expression with continuous war and oppression until the wicked imperialistic British forged it together for them.
The railroads and most of the 20th century infrastructure was also built by the wicked imperialistic British.
SUTEE, which was the practice of throwing the widow of a dead man ALIVE on his burning funeral pyre, was also stopped by the wicked imperialistic British.
The murderous THUGGE cult was also smashed by the ...more
I think that Mr Gandhi was and is still in this contemporary world one of the most influential person that human race has ever known. Be it his character, devotion, integrity, visionary, patient, peace maker, philosophy, humbleness, simplicity, and if I continue to enumerate there won't be enough word to define the exemplary person he was. He was second to none, and I do not believe that there will be another living man who can reach his achievement.
Gandhi maybe did nothing in many westerners point of view and even present day Indians. But were he alive, he would have said the same thing. Gandhism is a way of life. Like Hinduism and Buddhism. But his outlook was more like lets all take the best living path, sacrifice is a better option than claiming. I wish I could ever be half way close to his great ideology
Next two centuries are going to witness what is Gandhi apart from Indias struggle for independanse. He is more a leader of the world. Humans are going to evolve because of him for next two centuries. World is yet to know. Gandhi for India is the iceberg above the surface and human evolution iceberg below the surface. I belive... And I don't belive extra.
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 was irascible, opinionated, and wanted to keep the Empire together.
He was also probably the best informed, prolific author and speech writer of all time. I have little doubt that he helped save Western Europe from the clutches of Communism and did well to influence America to join him in the crusade against Hitler and Tojo.
He is directly responsible for saving the world from Nazism. If he had not encouraged the Brits to fight and win the Battle of Britain and to not make peace with Hitler, the Soviets would have fallen. If the Soviets fell than the world would have had no chance to stop the Axis powers.
England was ready to surrender, the nazis were basically winning battle after battle, and the end was near, but this guys speeches alone made Britain retaliate harder and stronger than ever. This guy basically saved the world and democracy.
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.
A great man who tried his best to open the eyes of others.
Taught people to love one another no matter what skin color or religion you are
He is a great leader of not only the Soviet Union and also the best leader of the national communism movement. His success inspired leaders and people in numerous different countries to rise up against the autocratic leaders.
This guy was Hitlers nightmare, he transformed Russia from a weak agricultural nation to a industrial superpower and even though he did kill millions (more than Hitler) he made the Soviet Ruble worth more than a US dollar and employment was guaranteed, free health care, injured worker were guaranteed pay and the state regulated food prices and many more.
Paranoid schizophrenic who constructed the Soviet slave state and murdered 20 million of his own people.
Oh, yeah. He's "number one."
Would you have liked to have been one of his close friends(?), 'cause he murdered all of them.
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.
Clearly the best President the United States had in the 30s till the mid-40s. His economic strategies were the cause of the US getting out of the Great Depression. He made America into a superpower except he was similar to Woodrow Wilson because he did declare WW1 and for FDR he did it for WW2. He is clearly flawed, especially he introduced Japanese Internment camps where people of Japanese descent were forced to undergo heavy scrutiny. FDR's legacy remains to be unpopular but important.
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.
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
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.
He is unarguably the most influential and intelligent leader of the 20th century as he showed the entire world that Socialism was not a utopia claimed by many.
He paved the way for Stalin and without him Hitler could have even prevailed.
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
Everyone likes Nelson Mandela! He's the best zombie of all time! He was a zombie two times over! (Died 1989, zombie until July 2013, zombie again until December 2013)
I think Nelson Mandela is the best, Africa is a really big country, and he made peace for the whole of Africa!
Great leader for peace. Even with those who persecuted him. Excellent example for mankind
He was the Grand Ayatollah and the supreme leader of Shia's, the revolution he brought has still impact in Iran. He had great leadership qualities due to which he desolate the liberal government of shah of Iran (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) Imam Khomeini considered be the only greatest philosopher of the 20th century.
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.
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
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.
Gandhi's aim was to protect India from a split-up. And Jinnah's was to provide a autonomous state to not only his nation, but people who really were oppressed by the staggering Hindu majority. Jinnah's struggle was unique, and not that he just led the Pakistan Movement, it was indeed his leadership that did what the Islamic Reformers, Mughals, and other Influential Legends couldn't do. That is Jinnah. A Victor, indeed. He won the duel against Gandhi, as the movement is summed up as a game of chess between these two, Gandhi was not able to refrain Indian split and lost it to 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.
An enigmatic personality, brilliant and humble. He could have served into other nations for his betterment or could have converted to islam or christianity to gain political influence and power (considering the pre-independent India), but he chose only to strive for his community people and also the low level communities in hindu society. He even made reforms in the consitution to benefit every strata of the Indian society protecting the harmony and integrity of India.
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.
Ohhh Dr Ambedkar and at 14 no. I don't believe He is the greatest and should be put at the number 1 no one has great influence than Dr Babasaheb because the revolution that he did in human life...I think no one could possibly do so...and his sustainable thoughts still stood like enlightened for us and all over the human being...finally why I am saying this...because...we live because he was...we breathe because he was.Always Salute to our father
Unarguably one of the finest statesman, administrator, economist who continues to inspire millions. His ideas which were way ahead of his time have started finding resonance in the present era of welfare based society. He attacked socio-politico-economical inequality and worked hard towards achieving egalitarian society.
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.
He should be the Man of the Century. The Cuban Revolution is one of the most wonderful things in the world.
No one was stronger than Fidel Castro in the long story of mankind.
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.
Living proof that we can do better, viva revolution
Very weak leader. He had a chance to turn the Soviet Union into radioactive ashes before it developed its own nuclear bomb but he didn't use it. This was a betrayal of the ideas of democracy.
He made the most difficult decision a President has ever had to make. It saved untold Japanese and American Lives. He was incorruptible. He was not power hungry and made his decisions based on what was good for America and in accordance with his Christian faith.
The buck stopped with Harry
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
He was instrumental and responsible to the fall of communism, no doubt he is John Paul The Great!
Just wanted his people to be happy and free. No matter their leader, he re-introduced elections, which he lost. He ended the Cold War too.
He completely upturned the USSR, and essentially gave the people back their freedom (such as by bringing down the Berlin wall). His power makes him a great leader, and as a leader he was supported by the people.
He ended the Cold War and rightly got the Nobel Peace Prize for it. Without him, Germany wouldn't been reunited in 1990.
Oh yes, a wonderful leader, he turned his country into ruins, from which it still cannot get out.
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.
With Thatcher and Gorbachev, led the way to a reunified Germany... Also restored America's stature in the world, both economically and politically.
Changed the way people thought about politics. Also ended the cold war and brought onoverall peace in America when it was not peaceful and bringing on a global change.
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.
Should be ranked at least in the top 5. Margaret Thatcher brings a huge impact during non war period, except for a brief war over the falklands. It is easy to rank someone like Churchill higher because he was viewed as the hero who saved Britain from defeat of war. But other then that, Churchill contribution is minimal. Thatcher was so influential throughout the whole world. It was she who started of with the big privatization agenda in which was heavily copied in Asia and Eastern Europe. She also played a huge role both in Britain and Europe. It was during her leadership that welfare spending was cut and her refusal to join the Euro currency was correct. Her fight against the labor union which today influence French upcoming presidential candidate Francois Fillon and few other countries. Her stance against socialism is gaining more and more relevance today. This is a leader who can foresee things 30-40 years ahead. She is the greatest leader of the 20th century.
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.
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.
If "Influential" means he killed the most civilians of anybody in history, then Mao is your guy!
He changed China, though people are not rich at that time, they were happy.
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.
A man with ideas that were ahead of his time. A tough man with liberal ideas. Anti trust laws, child labor laws, national parks. The greatest American president by far.
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
Forced dying patients to be baptised against their wishes and it was later found that she questioned her faith in letters to the Vatican. Not the pure and generous soul people would have you believe.
An example of ultimate compassion working selflessly with the poorest of the poor.
She is one of the most caring people that I know. she dedicated her life from the age of eighteen to help those who were less fortunate.
He is responsible for the spectacular rise of China in the world stage
He changed China, economy boosted after he took place.
He's a cool dude