Famous 19th Century American Political Leaders

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

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

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 1 Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
29
Famous As: 16th President of the United States (1861-1865)
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Larue County, 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
41
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.

 3 F D Roosevelt

F D Roosevelt
15
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.

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 4 Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
33
Famous As: 3rd President of the United States
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.

 5 Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton
36
Famous As: Founding Father of the United States
Birthdate: January 11, 1755
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Charlestown, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Died: July 12, 1804

Known as America’s one of the most influential Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and served as the first secretary of the treasury. He also fought in the American Revolutionary War and was considered as a leading votary of the strong central government.

 6 Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant
12
Famous As: 18th President of the United States
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.

 7 John Adams

John Adams
20
Famous As: 2nd President of United States (1797-1801)
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.

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 8 Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson
17
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.

 9 Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson
27
Famous As: 28th President of the United States
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.

 10 James Madison

James Madison
10
Famous As: 4th President of the United States (1809-1817)
Birthdate: March 16, 1751
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Conway, Virginia, United States
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.

 11 Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland
12
Famous As: 22nd and 24th President of the United States
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.

 12 John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams
10
Famous As: 6th President of United States (1825-1829)
Birthdate: June 11, 1767
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Braintree, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 23, 1848

The sixth president of the United States of America John Quincy Adams played a key role in shaping America during its formative years. He helped develop the Monroe Doctrine, which eventually became a vital tenet of the U.S. foreign policy. He is also widely regarded as one of the greatest secretaries of state and diplomats in the American history.

 13 Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding
14
Famous As: 29th President of the United States
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.

 14 William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft
10
Famous As: 27th President of the United States
Birthdate: September 15, 1857
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
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.

 15 Aaron Burr

Aaron Burr
20
Famous As: 3rd Vice President of United States
Birthdate: February 6, 1756
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: September 14, 1836

A soldier, lawyer and one of the founding Fathers of America, Aaron Burr rose to become the third Vice president of the United States. His turbulent political career, which included bitter rivalry with Alexander Hamilton, concluded when he mortally wounded Hamilton in a duel and was later charged with treason.

 16 Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge
9
Famous As: 30th President of the United States
Birthdate: July 4, 1872
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Plymouth, Vermont, United States
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.

 17 Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson
16
Famous As: 17th President of the United States
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!

 18 James A. Garfield

James A. Garfield
7
Famous As: 20th President of the United States (1881)
Birthdate: November 19, 1831
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moreland Hills, Ohio, United States
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.

 19 William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison
11
Famous As: 9th President of the United States (1841)
Birthdate: February 9, 1773
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berkeley Plantation, Virginia, United States
Died: April 4, 1841

The ninth president of the US, William Henry Harrison died 31 days into his presidential term, becoming the shortest-serving US president ever. His demise caused a brief constitutional crisis pertaining to the succession to the presidency. Subsequently, Vice President John Tyler became the new president, setting an important precedent in terms of transfer of the presidency in such situations.

 20 Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover
16
Famous As: 31st President of the United States
Birthdate: August 10, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Branch, Iowa, United States
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.

 21 John Tyler

John Tyler
8
Famous As: 10th President of the United States
Birthdate: March 29, 1790
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Charles City, Virginia, United States
Died: January 18, 1862

The tenth president of the United States, John Tyler was dubbed His Accidency as he became the president after the sudden death of President William Henry Harrison when the former was serving as the vice president. Tyler's acceptance of full presidential powers set a prominent precedent and served as a model for succession to the future presidents.

 22 Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren
8
Famous As: 8th President of the United States (1837-1841)
Birthdate: December 5, 1782
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kinderhook, New York, United States
Died: July 24, 1862

Martin Van Buren was an American statesman credited with co-founding the Democratic Party, one of the world's oldest and contemporary political parties. He served as the eighth president of the US and later became a prominent anti-slavery abolitionist leader. He also played a key role in forming the two-party system in the US.

 23 Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor
8
Famous As: 12th President of United States
Birthdate: November 24, 1784
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barboursville, Virginia, United States
Died: June 30, 1850
Zachary Taylor was the 12th U.S. president, from March 1849 till his death in July 1850, thus spending just 16 months in office. His heroism in the Mexican–American War had earned him the title of major general. A novice in political affairs, he was the last president who owned slaves.

 24 Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison
6
Famous As: 23rd President of the United States
Birthdate: August 20, 1833
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: North Bend, Ohio, United States
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
4
Famous As: 5th President of the United States
Birthdate: April 28, 1758
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monroe Hall, Virginia, United States
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 William McKinley

William McKinley
12
Famous As: 25th President of the United States
Birthdate: January 29, 1843
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Niles, Ohio, United States
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.

 27 Chester A. Arthur

Chester A. Arthur
4
Famous As: 21st President of the United States
Birthdate: October 5, 1829
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fairfield, Vermont, United States
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.

 28 Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce
4
Famous As: President of the United States (1853-57)
Birthdate: November 23, 1804
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hillsboro, New Hampshire, United States
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.

 29 Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore
4
Famous As: 13th President of the United States
Birthdate: January 7, 1800
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Summer Hill, New York, United States
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.

 30 Jefferson Davis

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

 31 Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes
5
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. 

 32 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.

 33 William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst
7
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.

 34 William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan
5
Famous As: 41st United States Secretary of State (1913-15)
Birthdate: March 19, 1860
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Salem, Illinois, United States
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.

 35 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.

 36 Éamon de Valera

Éamon de Valera
4
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.

 37 Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
4
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: September 13, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, USA
Died: July 12, 1944

 38 William H. Seward

William H. Seward
4
Famous As: Former United States Secretary of State
Birthdate: May 16, 1801
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Florida, New York, United States
Died: October 10, 1872

 39 Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 23, 1838
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Homer, Ohio, United States
Died: June 9, 1927

Victoria Woodhull was an American politician, suffragist, and writer who played an important role in the women's suffrage movement. She is credited with founding Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, America's first newspaper to be founded by a woman. Her life and career inspired the Broadway musical Onward Victoria. In 2001, she was posthumously inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 40 George Hearst

George Hearst
4
Famous As: Former United States Senator
Birthdate: September 3, 1820
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sullivan, Missouri, United States
Died: February 28, 1891

 41 Stephen Douglas

Stephen Douglas
4
Famous As: The Designer of the Kansas–Nebraska Act
Birthdate: April 23, 1813
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brandon, Vermont, United States
Died: June 3, 1861

 42 Seth Bullock

Seth Bullock
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 23, 1849
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Amherstburg, Canada
Died: September 23, 1919

Canadian-American frontiersman, hardware store owner, sheriff, U.S. Marshal, horse breeder and hotel owner Seth Bullock is best known for building the Bullock Hotel, the oldest hotel in Deadwood. Bullock was appointed the first sheriff of the then lawless Dakota where he eventually emerged as a prominent figure civilizing the rowdy camp without killing anyone.

 43 Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 5, 1839
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beaufort, South Carolina, United States
Died: February 23, 1915

 44 Isidor Straus

Isidor Straus
4
Famous As: U.S. House Representative from New York (1894-1895)
Birthdate: February 6, 1845
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Otterberg, Germany
Died: April 15, 1912

 45 Hannibal Hamlin

Hannibal Hamlin
4
Famous As: 15th Vice President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: August 27, 1809
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris
Died: July 4, 1891

Hannibal Hamlin was an American politician and attorney whose public service career spanned more than five decades. The 15th vice president of the US, Hamlin is often counted among the most influential politicians from the state of Maine. Several places in the US, especially in Maine, have been named in his honor. There are also statues in Hannibal Hamlin's likeness.  

 46 John C. Frémont

John C. Frémont
4
Famous As: Former Governor of California
Birthdate: January 21, 1813
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia, United States
Died: July 13, 1890

John C. Frémont is best remembered for his role in the expansion of US settlements in the West and also for the development of what is now known as California. A military officer, he became one of the first senators from California and had also been the 5th governor of Arizona.

 47 Joshua Chamberlain

Joshua Chamberlain
4
Famous As: Educator & War Hero
Birthdate: September 8, 1828
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brewer
Died: February 24, 1914

 48 Tadeusz Kościuszko

Tadeusz Kościuszko
4
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: February 4, 1746
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mereczowszczyzna
Died: October 15, 1817

Tadeusz Kościuszko was a Polish-Lithuanian statesman, military leader, and military engineer. Thanks to his participation in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's fight against Prussia and Russia and his role in the American Revolutionary War, Tadeusz Kościuszko is widely regarded as a national hero in the United States, Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania.

 49 John C. Breckinridge

John C. Breckinridge
4
Famous As: Vice President of the United States (1857-61)
Birthdate: January 16, 1821
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Died: May 17, 1875

From being the youngest vice-president of the United States to joining the Confederate Army during the American civil war, John Breckinridge was a controversial figure in politics. While he was regarded as a shrewd military commander, the former Democratic Congressman was considered a traitor in the northern region. He fled the US after the Civil War but later on returned.

 50 John Nance Garner

John Nance Garner
4
Famous As: 32nd Vice President of the United States
Birthdate: November 22, 1868
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Detroit
Died: November 7, 1967

Texas-based Democratic politician John Nance Garner III, also known as Cactus Jack, served as the vice president of the U.S. from 1933 to 1941, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The qualified lawyer had also served as the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He fell out with Roosevelt later.