Most Influential Leaders of the 20th Century

The Top Ten

1 Josip Broz Tito Josip Broz (7 May 1892, Kumrovec – 4 May 1980, Ljubljana), commonly known as Tito, was a Yugoslav communist revolutionary and statesman, serving in various roles until his death in 1980. During World War II he was the leader of the Partisans, often regarded as the most effective resistance movement more.

Come back marshal 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.

-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 ...more

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

2 Mustafa 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.

He is accepted as by all of the leaders, the greatest person in the 20th century. He also created a great nation, and a great republic (Turkish Republic). He also invented new geometry and science terms.

3 Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 - April 30, 1945) 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 more.

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.

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)

Worst leader, worst politician, worst person who ever existed and the coward killed himself.

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.

4 Gandhi

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

It is unbelievable that such personality ever exist in the world

He fought for peace and non-violence

5 Winston Churchill Sir 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 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 "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

6 Martin 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

7 Joseph Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian dictator, and 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.

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.

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"

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.

8 Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly known as FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd 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 more.

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.

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.

9 Vladimir Lenin Vladimir 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) )

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.

10 Nelson Mandela Nelson 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

He rocks. he is so infleuental and insparational

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

The Contenders

11 Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini

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

One of the greatest leaders of 20th century.

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

12 Muhammad Ali Jinnah "Quaid-e-Azam" Muhammad Ali Jinnah (December 25th 1876 - September 11th 1948) was a British-Indian lawyer and politician, whom would later go on to become the founder of Pakistan in 1947 and its first Governor-General. He died only a year after from tuberculous, but has remained an influential and important more.

He was the man with a great vision. He could imagine the world even before 10 years.

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.

He was the only one who changed the map of the world.He was a great Lawyer,Politician and future awareded person

13 B. R. Ambedkar Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956), popularly known as Babasaheb or B. R. Ambedkar, was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination towards Untouchables (Dalits), while also 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..

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.

14 Fidel Castro Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, known as Fidel Castro (August 13, 1926 – November 25, 2016), was 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 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

15 Harry S. Truman Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States, an American politician of the Democratic Party.

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

good ideas

16 Pope John Paul II Pope John Paul II served as Pope and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005. He is called Saint John Paul the Great by some Catholics.

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 great unifier of all cultures, races, and religious beliefs.

17 Mikhail Gorbachev

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.

The man who changed the world

18 Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004) 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 until his death in 2004

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!

With Thatcher and Gorbachev, led the way to a reunified Germany... Also restored America's stature in the world, both economically and politically.

19 Margaret Thatcher Margaret 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 was the first 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.

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.

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!

20 Mao Zedong Mao 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.

He changed China, though people are not rich at that time, they were happy.

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.

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.

21 Teddy Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. As a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the more.

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

22 Deng Xiaoping

He is responsible for the spectacular rise of China in the world stage

He changed China, economy boosted after he took place.

23 Mother Theresa

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.

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.

24 Mahatma Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India.
25 Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan

Founder of the UAE, eradicated much of the poverty and helped transform the country to a landmark of opportunities.

He was one of the most influential leaders in the arab world, he was the one to establish a federal state that brought together the seven emirates. he devoted his life to the service of his people and to make their country a better place.

When he died in 2004 people were in tears both Emiratis and expats. This man was known by his people not as a president but as a kind and close friend.

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