Famous 19th Century American Leaders

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century American Leaders, including Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Woodrow Wilson.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American

 1 Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln.
69
Famous As: American President.
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hodgenville, Kentucky, United States
Died: April 15, 1865

A self-educated lawyer, Abraham Lincoln rose from modest background to become one of the greatest presidents of America. The 16th president of the country, who is also known as Honest Abe and the Great Emancipator, played a crucial role in establishing a truly democratic government, abolished slavery, modernised economy and led the country during the American Civil War.

 2 Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt.
60
Famous As: 26th president of the United States (1901-1909)
Birthdate: October 27, 1858
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: January 6, 1919

The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt is generally ranked as one of the five best presidents of the country. A man of many talents, he was a politician, conservationist, naturalist, and writer. He supported  Progressive Era policies in the early 20th century and championed his "Square Deal" domestic policies.

Recommended Lists:

 3 Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson.
66
Famous As: 3rd U.S. President
Birthdate: April 13, 1743
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shadwell, Virginia, United States
Died: July 4, 1826

The 2nd Vice President and the 3rd President of America, Thomas Jefferson was one of the Founding Fathers of USA and the principal draftsman of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was a staunch advocate of democracy and a strong believer of individual rights and religious freedom, despite the fact that he himself owned nearly 600 slaves.

 4 F D Roosevelt

F D Roosevelt.
32
Famous As: 32nd President of the United States
Birthdate: January 30, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hyde Park, New York, United States
Died: April 12, 1945

F D Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States and was in the office from 1933 to1945. Qualified as a lawyer, he entered politics as an ambitious young man, inspired by his relative Theodore Roosevelt, a fellow politician. F D Roosevelt had an illustrious political career and is rated by scholars among the nation's greatest presidents.

 5 Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee.
35
Famous As: Confederate General in the American Civil War
Birthdate: January 19, 1807
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stratford Hall, Stratford, Virginia, United States
Died: October 12, 1870

A commander of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, Robert E. Lee commanded the Army of Northern Virginia. He was a skilled tactician who served in the US Army for 32 years. Brilliant from a young age, he was a top graduate of the US Military Academy. In his later years, he became president of Washington College.

 6 George Patton

George Patton.
39
Famous As: Military Officer
Birthdate: November 11, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Gabriel, California, United States
Died: December 21, 1945

George Patton was a general of the US Army, remembered for his work as a commander of the Seventh United States Army during World War II. He is also remembered for commanding the Third Army in the Western Front in June 1944 after the Allied invasion of Normandy. His life and work inspired the 1970 epic biographical war film Patton.

 7 Stonewall Jackson

Stonewall Jackson.
13
Famous As: General
Birthdate: January 21, 1824
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Clarksburg, West Virginia
Died: May 10, 1863

Stonewall Jackson was a commander of the Confederate States Army. He played a major role as a Confederate general in the American Civil War, winning several significant battles in the Eastern Theater of the war. Considered one of the most tactically sound commanders in the history of the US, Jackson was idolized by George Patton, Chesty Puller, and Alexander Vandegrift.

You May Like

 8 William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman.
9
Famous As: General in the Union Army During the American Civil War
Birthdate: February 8, 1820
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lancaster
Died: February 14, 1891
William Tecumseh Sherman served as the Union Army general during the American Civil War. He is best remembered for his “scorched earth” military policy and was known as "the first modern general.” His 1875 book Memoir, related his war experiences. He was associated with wildlife conservation in his later years.

 9 John J. Pershing

John J. Pershing.
4
Famous As: US Army Officer During WW I
Birthdate: September 13, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Laclede, Missouri, United States
Died: July 15, 1948

John J. Pershing was a senior United States Army officer who served as the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in World War I. In his later years, he mentored generals who led the United States Army during World War II.  He was promoted to General of the Armies rank, the highest possible rank in the United States Army. 

 10 John Adams

John Adams.
44
Famous As: 2nd U.S. President
Birthdate: October 30, 1735
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Braintree, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 4, 1826

One of the Founding Fathers of America, John Adams was a statesman, attorney, and diplomat who served as the second president of the United States. He was a principal leader of the American Revolution. As a lawyer, he was devoted to the right to counsel and presumption of innocence. His administration has been favorably ranked by historians and scholars.

 11 Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant.
38
Famous As: 18th U.S. President
Birthdate: April 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Point Pleasant, Ohio, United States
Died: July 23, 1885

The 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant held office from 1869 to 1877. He led the Union Army as Commanding General of the United States Army during the American Civil War and was a war hero. As president, he stabilized the post-war national economy and created the Department of Justice. Historians generally recognize his presidential accomplishments.

 12 Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson.
54
Famous As: 7th President of the United States
Birthdate: March 15, 1767
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Waxhaws
Died: June 8, 1845

Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of USA. His presidential reign has been termed as Jacksonian democracy and witnessed the shift of political power from established elites to ordinary voters. Coming from humble beginnings, Jackson knew the struggle of the masses and thus, worked towards creating a more inclusive country.  His picture has been featured on the front side of $20 bill since 1928.

 13 Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt.
23
Famous As: Former First Lady of the United States
Birthdate: October 11, 1884
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 7, 1962

Feminist and civil rights icon Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the longest-serving U.S First Lady. She was a prominent human rights activist, wrote columns, and hosted a radio show. She was named to Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century in 1999.

 14 James Madison

James Madison.
19
Famous As: 4th President of the United States
Birthdate: March 16, 1751
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Conway
Died: June 28, 1836

James Madison played an important role in drafting the US Constitution and the US Bill of Rights and is hailed as the Father of the Constitution. He also co-wrote The Federalist Papers, considered to be a seminal work of political science. As president, he led the country into the 1812 war and historians place him as an above-average president.

 15 Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover.
28
Famous As: 31st U.S. President
Birthdate: August 10, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Branch
Died: October 20, 1964

The 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, was sworn into the office in 1929, the year the Great Depression struck the American economy. Earlier, Hoover was a successful mining engineer and had earned a reputation of a humanitarian who fed numerous Europeans during and after WWI. His policies during the depression, though, could not provide relief to people.

 16 William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft.
28
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: September 15, 1857
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cincinnati
Died: March 8, 1930

The 27th president of the United States, William Howard Taft also served as the tenth Chief Justice of the US; he is the only person in the history of the US to have held both the offices. He had a great impact as chief justice and has been regarded as the greatest US chief justices of all time.

 17 Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge.
17
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: July 4, 1872
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Plymouth Notch, Vermont
Died: January 5, 1933

The 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge started his career as a lawyer before becoming an influential American politician. A man of few words with a dry sense of humor, Calvin Coolidge represented the middle class, which worked in his favor. Despite being a reclusive politician, Coolidge gave 520 press conferences, making himself available to reporters quite often.

 18 William Halsey Jr.

William Halsey Jr.
4
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: October 30, 1882
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States
Died: August 16, 1959

 19 James A. Garfield

James A. Garfield.
18
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: November 19, 1831
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moreland Hills
Died: September 19, 1881

The 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield began his career as an attorney. Born into poverty, he struggled throughout his childhood and youth to become a respected lawyer. He eventually entered politics and rose through the ranks to be elected the president. Unfortunately, he was assassinated less than seven months after he took office.

 20 William McKinley

William McKinley.
19
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: January 29, 1843
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Niles
Died: September 14, 1901

The 25th President of the United States, William McKinley led America to victory in the Spanish-American War. During his presidency, he played a major role in promoting American industry by raising protective tariffs, which in turn boosted the country's economic growth. He also played a key role in the American Civil War.

 21 Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland.
29
Famous As: Former U.S. President
Birthdate: March 18, 1837
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Caldwell, New Jersey, United States
Died: June 24, 1908

Grover Cleveland, a Democratic Party member, was the President of the United States from 1885 to 1889 and then again from 1893 to 1897. He is known for his campaign for political reform and fiscal conservatism. However, he was unable to deal with the economic depression in his second term as President, which led to massive decline in his popularity.

 22 Nathan Bedford Forrest

Nathan Bedford Forrest.
9
Famous As: Military commander
Birthdate: July 13, 1821
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chapel Hill
Died: October 29, 1877
Nathan Bedford Forrest, or the "Wizard of the Saddle", served as a Confederate general during the American Civil War. He was charged with war crimes at the Battle of Fort Pillow, where his forces killed Black prisoners of war. He was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

 23 Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington.
4
Birthdate: April 5, 1856
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Westlake Corner, Virginia, United States
Died: November 14, 1915
Booker T. Washington was born into slavery but rose to be an advisor to many U.S. presidents and also became the director of the Tuskegee Institute. His Atlanta Compromise, initially accepted and later rejected by black leaders, urged the blacks to work for their freedom through education and not revolt.

 24 Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison.
11
Famous As: 23rd President of the United States
Birthdate: August 20, 1833
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: North Bend
Died: March 13, 1901

Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd U.S. President and is remembered for his efforts to pass the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act. A qualified lawyer, he was the great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V. Known for strengthening the Navy, he also attempted to secure the voting rights of African–Americans.

 25 James Monroe

James Monroe.
8
Famous As: Fifth President of the USA
Birthdate: April 28, 1758
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monroe Hall, Virginia
Died: July 4, 1831

James Monroe, a Founding Father of the U.S., served as the American president from 1817 to 1825. He opposed European colonialism and issued the Monroe Doctrine. He had also been a U.S. secretary of state, the Virginia governor, a U.S. Senate member, and the American ambassador to Britain and France.

 26 Chester A. Arthur

Chester A. Arthur.
11
Famous As: 21st President of the USA
Birthdate: October 5, 1829
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fairfield, Vermont
Died: November 18, 1886
Chester A. Arthur became the 21st president of the U.S. in 1881, after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, and served till 1885. Arthur represented Elizabeth Jennings Graham in the 1854 case against segregation in streetcars. He signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act and rebuilt the U.S. Navy.

 27 William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst.
6
Famous As: Newspaper Baron
Birthdate: April 29, 1863
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: August 14, 1951

William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper publisher, businessman, and politician. He is credited with developing America's largest newspaper chain, Hearst Communications. Today, Hearst Communications has grown into a multinational business information and mass media conglomerate. William Randolph Hearst’s life and work inspired the creation of Charles Foster Kane, the main character in the 1941 drama film, Citizen Kane.

 28 Sitting Bull

Sitting Bull.
6
Famous As: Warrior
Birthdate: 1831 AD
Birthplace: Grand River
Died: December 15, 1890
Hunkpapa Lakota leader Sitting Bull is symbolic of the Native American resistance against the U.S. government. After the Battle of the Little Bighorn, he surrendered and performed at Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. The U.S. government, fearing he might join the Ghost Dance Movement, killed him during an attempted arrest.

 29 Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis.
8
Famous As: Former President of the Confederate States of America
Birthdate: June 3, 1808
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fairview
Died: December 6, 1889

Jefferson Davis was the president of the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865. He was also the U.S. secretary of war and had fought in the Mexican–American War earlier. He was against secession. He wrote an autobiography named The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.

 30 Geronimo

Geronimo.
4
Famous As: Leader
Birthdate: June 16, 1829
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Mexico
Died: February 17, 1909
Native American hero Geronimo is remembered for his heroics in the Apache Wars against the U.S. and Mexico. After his surrender in 1886, he lived as a U.S. prisoner of war and spent the rest of his life being exhibited at various events and selling his belongings for money.

 31 Robert Todd Lincoln

Robert Todd Lincoln.
4
Famous As: Politician, Son of Abraham Lincoln
Birthdate: August 1, 1843
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Springfield, Illinois
Died: July 26, 1926

Lawyer Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, served as the U.S. Secretary of War from 1881 to 1885 and as the U.S. minister to the U.K. from 1889 to 1893. He had served in the Civil War, too, and had also been the president of the Pullman Car Company

 32 Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce.
9
Birthdate: November 23, 1804
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hillsborough
Died: October 8, 1869

Franklin Pierce was an American politician who served as the 14th president of the US. A northern Democrat, Franklin Pierce's actions leading up to the American Civil War are believed to have contributed to the commencement of the war. Scholars and historians rank Pierce as one of the least memorable and worst US presidents.

 33 Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes.
8
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: October 4, 1822
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Delaware, Ohio
Died: January 17, 1893
Rutherford B. Hayes served as the U.S. president from 1877 to 1881. He won a close election through the Compromise of 1877, thus putting an end to Reconstruction and withdrawing troops from the South. An attorney, he owned several law firms and had also served as the Ohio governor. 

 34 Huey Long

Huey Long.
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Winnfield
Died: September 10, 1935
Huey Long, also known as "The Kingfish,” was the governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and then a Louisiana senator from 1932 to 1935. Though he supported Franklin D. Roosevelt initially, he fell out with him later over the New Deal, proposing the Share Our Wealth movement instead.

 35 David Farragut

David Farragut.
3
Famous As: Officer
Birthdate: July 5, 1801
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Farragut, Tennessee, United States
Died: August 14, 1870

 36 Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore.
9
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: January 7, 1800
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Summerhill
Died: March 8, 1874
Millard Fillmore was the U.S. president from 1850 to 1853, succeeding Zachary Taylor after his death. The last Whig U.S. president, Fillmore had previously been a representative from New York’s 32nd District and the U.S. vice president. He played a crucial role in the passage of the Compromise of 1850.

 37 Billy Mitchell

Billy Mitchell
5
Famous As: Military General
Birthdate: December 29, 1879
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nice, France
Died: February 19, 1936

 38 Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding.
24
Famous As: President of the U.S
Birthdate: November 2, 1865
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Blooming Grove, Ohio, United States
Died: August 2, 1923

The 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding assumed office in 1921 shortly after the end of WWI and became very popular. He died in 1923 while still in office. Later, various scandals that occured during his presidency were uncovered and his image suffered a serious setback. His presidency is today ranked amongst the worst in the American history.

 39 Omar Bradley

Omar Bradley.
5
Famous As: Former U. S. Army General
Birthdate: February 12, 1893
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Clark
Died: April 8, 1981

 40 William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan.
5
Famous As: Former United States Secretary of State
Birthdate: March 19, 1860
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Salem
Died: July 26, 1925
William Jennings Bryan had served as the U.S. secretary of state under President Woodrow Wilson and had also been the U.S. representative from Nebraska's 1st district. He ran for president thrice, though unsuccessfully. He also banned the teaching of evolution in schools, leading to the Scopes Monkey Trial.

 41 Raymond A. Spruance

Raymond A. Spruance
3
Famous As: Officer, Diplomat
Birthdate: July 3, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baltimore
Died: December 13, 1969

 42 Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson.
55
Famous As: 28th U.S. President
Birthdate: December 28, 1856
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Staunton, Virginia, United States
Died: February 3, 1924

From presidential cabin of Princeton University to presidential office of the White House, Woodrow Wilson ushered a series of progressive reforms that changed the American politics forever. The 28th President of USA, Woodrow Wilson introduced several ground-breaking policies including the Federal Reserve Act. He played a key role in founding the first intergovernmental organisation—the League of Nations—for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

 43 Earl Warren

Earl Warren.
4
Birthdate: March 19, 1891
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles
Died: July 9, 1974
Earl Warren served as the chief justice of the U.S. from 1953 to 1969. He was also the California governor from 1943 to 1953. The "Warren Court" revolutionized the American justice system by making landmark judgments, such as making school segregation unconstitutional in the Brown v. Board of Education case.

 44 Henry A. Wallace

Henry A. Wallace.
4
Famous As: 33rd Vice President of the U.S.A.
Birthdate: October 7, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Orient
Died: November 18, 1965
Henry A. Wallace was the U.S. vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt. He initially wrote for his family’s farming magazine and later served as the American secretary of agriculture. After being fired by Harry S. Truman over a speech asking for conciliatory policies for Russia, he formed the Progressive Party.

 45 Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson.
32
Famous As: 17th U.S. President
Birthdate: December 29, 1808
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Died: July 31, 1875

The 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency while serving as the vice president when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Born in poverty, Andrew Johnson did not attend school. However, he worked his way up to become a prominent politician—an inspiring story indeed!

 46 Robert Gould Shaw

Robert Gould Shaw.
4
Famous As: Military Personnel
Birthdate: October 10, 1837
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: July 18, 1863
Union Army officer Robert Gould Shaw commanded an all-Black regiment, the 54th Massachusetts, during the American Civil War. A staunch abolitionist, he died in the Second Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863, but became a hero after his death, especially among the Black community. He inspired the 1989 film Glory.

 47 Kit Carson

Kit Carson.
5
Famous As: Explorer & Soldier
Birthdate: December 24, 1809
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Madison County
Died: May 23, 1868

 48 Eugene V. Debs

Eugene V. Debs.
5
Famous As: Union Leader
Birthdate: November 5, 1855
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Terre Haute
Died: October 20, 1926
Eugene V. Debs, one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World, was a renowned socialist and a five-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. He is remembered for founding the American Railway Union. He was convicted of sedition, but his sentence was later commuted.

 49 George Armstrong Custer

George Armstrong Custer.
12
Famous As: Military Officer
Birthdate: December 5, 1839
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Rumley, Ohio
Died: June 25, 1876

George Armstrong Custer was a US Army officer. He played an important role as a cavalry commander in the American Indian Wars and the American Civil War. His death at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, commonly referred to as Custer's Last Stand, went on to become a well-known episode of the American Indian Wars.

 50 Éamon de Valera

Éamon de Valera.
6
Famous As: Former President of Ireland
Birthdate: October 14, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 29, 1975

Irish statesman Éamon de Valera served as the 3rd President of Ireland from 1959 to 1973. An influential political leader in 20th-century Ireland, he played a key role in introducing the Constitution of Ireland. Prior to becoming the president, he served as Taoiseach on three different occasions. He was an austere, stern, and unbending figure.