Famous 19th Century Historical Personalities

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Historical Personalities, including Mahatma Gandhi, Joseph Stalin, Queen Victoria, Vladimir Lenin and Benito Mussolini.

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 Rani Lakshmibai

Rani Lakshmibai.
15
Famous As: Queen of Jhansi State
Birthdate: November 19, 1828
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Varanasi
Died: June 18, 1858

Remembered for her heroics against the British, the Indian Joan of Arc Rani Lakshmibai remains an icon of the 1857 Indian Rebellion. The wife of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, she is known for leading the fight against the British after her husband’s death. She also inspired the legendary lines Khoob Ladi Mardani.

 2 Wilhelm II

Wilhelm II.
24
Famous As: Emperor of Germany
Birthdate: January 27, 1859
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kronprinzenpalais
Died: June 4, 1941

Wilhelm II reigned as the King of Prussia and German emperor from 1888 to 1918. He is credited with promoting scientific innovation and building a blue-water navy, which strengthened Germany’s position as a great power. However, he was also responsible for getting his country involved in World War I, which eventually brought an end to the Hohenzollern dynasty’s rule.

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 3 Alexander II of Russia

Alexander II of Russia.
8
Famous As: Emperor of Russia
Birthdate: April 29, 1818
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moscow Kremlin, Moscow, Russia
Died: March 13, 1881

Alexander II of Russia was the Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and King of Poland from 1855 to 1881. He became known as Alexander the Liberator for his most significant reform, which was the Emancipation Reform of 1861. He is also credited with reorganizing the judicial system, abolishing corporal punishment, and imposing universal military service in Russia.

 4 Empress Dowager Cixi

Empress Dowager Cixi.
8
Famous As: Chinese Empress Dowager
Birthdate: November 29, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: November 15, 1908

Empress Dowager Cixi was a Chinese regent and empress dowager. From 1861 to 1908, Cixi served as the de facto supreme ruler of the Qing dynasty. She is credited with overseeing a series of moderate reforms called the Tongzhi Restoration, which helped the regime survive for a long period of time. She also supported military and technological reforms.  

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 5 Benito Mussolini

Benito Mussolini.
14
Famous As: Former Duce
Birthdate: July 29, 1883
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Predappio, Italy
Died: April 28, 1945

The dictator of Italy from 1925 to 1945, Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist Party in 1919. It opposed class discrimination and supported nationalism. But when in power, Mussolini crushed rival political parties, trade unions, free press and free speech. He was overthrown by his former colleagues in the Fascist government in July 1943 and ultimately shot dead in April 1945.

 6 Nicholas II

Nicholas II.
12
Birthdate: May 18, 1868
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tsarskoye Selo, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, Alexander Palace
Died: July 17, 1918

Nicholas II reigned as the last Emperor of All Russia from 1894 until his abdication in 1917. His reign oversaw a series of reforms in Russia. These reforms included the introduction of literacy programs, civil liberties, and methods to modernize the empire's infrastructure. However, these reforms were eventually undermined by Nicholas' love for autocratic rule.

 7 Napoleon III

Napoleon III.
7
Famous As: Emperor of the Second French Empire
Birthdate: April 20, 1808
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 9, 1873
Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, was the first president of France, from 1848 to 1852, and the French emperor from 1852 to 1870. He rebuilt Paris and other French cities, apart from reforming the French banks, railways, and marines. He lost the Franco-Prussian War and eventually died in exile.
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 8 George III of the United Kingdom

George III of the United Kingdom.
14
Famous As: King
Birthdate: June 4, 1738
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Norfolk House, St James's Square, London, England, United Kingdom
Died: January 29, 1820

The King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for almost six decades, George III had a reign that was longer than those of any of his predecessors. His reign was marked by a series of military conflicts. He suffered from mental illness in his later years.

 9 Alexandra Feodorovna

Alexandra Feodorovna.
4
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: June 6, 1872
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Darmstadt
Died: July 17, 1918

Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Emperor Nicholas II, was the last Russian tsarina and reigned from 1894 to 1917. She suffered from hemophilia. Alexandra and her entire family were murdered by the Bolshevik revolutionaries. In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church canonized her as Saint Alexandra the Passion Bearer.

 10 Alexander III of Russia

Alexander III of Russia.
13
Famous As: Former Emperor of All Russia
Birthdate: March 10, 1845
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg
Died: November 1, 1894
Alexander III ruled as the emperor of Russia, the king Poland, and the grand duke of Finland, from 1881 to 1894. He reversed many liberal policies that had been implemented by his father, Alexander II, earlier. He passed the “May Laws” and did not participate in any major war.

 11 Alexandra of Denmark

Alexandra of Denmark.
7
Famous As: Queen of Great Britain (1901-1910)
Birthdate: December 1, 1844
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yellow Mansion, Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 20, 1925
Alexandra of Denmark was the queen of the U.K. and the empress of India from 1901 to 1910, as the wife of King Edward VII. Her style of dressing inspired English fashion back then. She supported her son George V’s campaign against Germany, with the Allies, during World War I.

 12 Empress Elisabeth of Austria

Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
4
Famous As: Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary
Birthdate: December 24, 1837
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: September 10, 1898

Empress Elisabeth of Austria was Queen of Hungary and Empress of Austria from 1854 to 1898, making her the longest-reigning Austrian empress. Often visiting Hungary for its relaxed environment, Elisabeth developed a deep kinship with Hungary, which in turn helped her influence the rise of the dual monarchy of Austria–Hungary in 1867.

 13 Victoria, Princess Royal

Victoria, Princess Royal.
4
Famous As: Empress of Germany
Birthdate: November 21, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Buckingham Palace
Died: August 5, 1901

Victoria, Princess Royal was the Queen of Prussia and German Empress from 9 March 1888 to 15 June 1888. Victoria, Princess Royal had an opportunity to influence the German Empire's policy, but the death of her husband German Emperor Frederick III, just 99 days after his accession, ruined her opportunity. Victoria has been portrayed in several movies and TV series.

 14 Franz Joseph I of Austria

Franz Joseph I of Austria.
7
Famous As: Emperor of Austria
Birthdate: August 18, 1830
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Died: November 21, 1916

Franz Joseph I of Austria reigned as the Emperor of Austria from 1848 until his death in 1916. He also served as the King of Hungary, Bohemia, and Croatia and monarch of other states of Austria-Hungary. During his reign, Austria-Hungary decided to wage war against the Kingdom of Serbia, which eventually resulted in the First World War.

 15 Leopold II of Belgium

Leopold II of Belgium.
9
Famous As: King of the Belgians
Birthdate: April 9, 1835
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 17, 1909

Leopold II of Belgium reigned over Belgium as its second king from 1865 to 1909. He also owned the Independent State of the Congo from 1885 to 1908. Congolese people were subjected to torture and murder under Leopold's administration; the term crimes against humanity was coined by George Washington Williams in 1890 to describe the atrocities of Leopold's administration.

 16 George IV of the United Kingdom

George IV of the United Kingdom.
9
Famous As: King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Birthdate: August 12, 1762
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 26, 1830

Regarded as the first gentleman of England, King George IV of the United Kingdom saw his empire consolidating its position as the global hegemon, particularly after the Napoleonic Wars. His regency during the illness of his father and then his 10-year reign were marked by royal extravagance. 

 17 Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
4
Famous As: Princess
Birthdate: August 17, 1786
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Coburg, Germany
Died: March 16, 1861

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, mother of Queen Victoria of the U.K., was a German princess who became the Duchess of Kent and Strathearn by virtue of her marriage to Prince Edward. She was initially married to Charles, Prince of Leiningen. The Royal Chapel of All Saints was dedicated to her.

 18 Kamehameha I

Kamehameha I.
8
Famous As: King of Hawaii
Birthdate: 1758 AD
Birthplace: Kohala, Hawaii
Died: May 8, 1819

 19 Edward VIII

Edward VIII.
17
Famous As: King of United Kingdom
Birthdate: June 23, 1894
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Richmond Park, Surrey, England
Died: May 28, 1972

Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire for several months in 1936. He was also Emperor of India during this period. He served in the British Army during the First World War and became the king following his father’s death. However, he abdicated the throne only months into his reign.

 20 Ibn Saud

Ibn Saud.
9
Famous As: Monarch
Birthdate: January 15, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Riyadh
Died: November 9, 1953

Ibn Saud, or King Abdulaziz, was the founder and first monarch of Saudi Arabia. He oversaw the discovery of petroleum and the subsequent oil production in his country. He annexed the kingdoms of central and northern Arabia and ruled for over 20 years. He sired countless children, including 45 sons.

 21 Maximilian I of Mexico

Maximilian I of Mexico.
7
Famous As: Monarch
Birthdate: July 6, 1832
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: June 19, 1867
Austrian archduke Maximilian I ruled as the only emperor of the Second Mexican Empire, from 1864 to 1867. He had also been the commander-in-chief of the Imperial Austrian Navy. However, after the French withdrew their support, he was executed by Mexico’s Republican forces, led by Benito Juárez.

 22 Louis-Philippe I of France

Louis-Philippe I of France
9
Famous As: King of France
Birthdate: October 6, 1773
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Domaine National du Palais-Royal, Paris, France
Died: August 26, 1850

 23 Marie Thérèse of France

Marie Thérèse of France
4
Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: December 19, 1778
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Palace of Versailles, France
Died: October 19, 1851

 24 Charles I of Austria

Charles I of Austria.
7
Famous As: Last ruler of Austro-Hungarian Empire
Birthdate: August 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Persenbeug-Gottsdorf
Died: April 1, 1922

Charles I of Austria reigned from 1916 to 1918 as the last emperor of Austria. He was the last king of Croatia, Bohemia, Hungary, and the last monarch from the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. Charles is remembered for making unsuccessful attempts to end Austria-Hungary's World War I campaign. He also tried to save the Austro-Hungarian Empire from disintegration but was unsuccessful.

 25 Leopold I of Belgium

Leopold I of Belgium.
5
Famous As: King of Belgium
Birthdate: December 16, 1790
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ehrenburg Palace, Coburg, Germany
Died: December 10, 1865
Leopold I, the youngest son of Duke Francis of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, was the first king of Belgium and reigned from 1831 to 1865. He fought against Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars. He rejected the throne of Greece. His reign is known for establishing Belgium's first railway and for its modernization.

 26 Frederick III, German Emperor

Frederick III, German Emperor.
5
Famous As: King
Birthdate: October 18, 1831
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Palace, Potsdam, Germany
Died: June 15, 1888

Frederick III, German Emperor reigned as the king of Prussia and emperor of the German Empire from 9 March 1888 until his death on 15 June 1888. Although he played key roles during the Austro-Prussian, Second Schleswig, and Franco-Prussian wars, Frederick professed hatred for warfare and was willing to make the German Empire more liberal before his untimely death.

 27 Wilhelm I

Wilhelm I
5
Famous As: King
Birthdate: March 22, 1797
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: March 9, 1888

 28 Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover

Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover
5
Famous As: King
Birthdate: June 5, 1771
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Buckingham House, London, England
Died: November 18, 1851

 29 Napoleon II

Napoleon II.
7
Famous As: Emperor of the French (1815)
Birthdate: March 20, 1811
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tuileries Palace, Paris
Died: July 22, 1832

Napoleon II was the son of Emperor Napoleon I and Empress Marie Louise. He was the titular Emperor of the French for a few weeks in 1815. He was just a small child when he became the disputed emperor following his father’s abdication. He died as a young man before getting the chance to serve his nation. 

 30 Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
5
Famous As: Duke
Birthdate: January 2, 1784
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Coburg, Germany
Died: January 29, 1844

 31 Pedro II of Brazil

Pedro II of Brazil.
5
Famous As: Former Emperor of Brazil
Birthdate: December 2, 1825
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paço de São Cristóvão
Died: December 5, 1891

Pedro II, son of the first Brazilian emperor, Dom Pedro I, is also remembered by his countrymen as the Magnanimous. He made Brazil prosper while other South American nations were torn apart by strife and clashes. Following his deposition, by a coup to overthrow the monarchy, he sailed to Europe.

 32 Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark

Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.
8
Famous As: Son of King of Greece and Denmark, King George I
Birthdate: February 2, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Old Royal Palace, Athens, Greece
Died: December 3, 1944

Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, the son of King George I of Greece, served as a major general in the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922. The Turkish forces recaptured Smyrna and Andrew was blamed for the loss of Greek territory. As a result, he was exiled from Greece and he lived in France where he died.

 33 Victor Emmanuel II of Italy

Victor Emmanuel II of Italy.
4
Famous As: King of Italy (1861-1878)
Birthdate: March 14, 1820
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Palazzo Carignano, Turin, Italy
Died: January 9, 1878

Victor Emmanuel II of Italy reigned as the king of Sardinia from 1849 to 1861. He then became the first king of a united Italy in 1861 and reigned as its king until his death in 1878. Since he played a major role in the Second Italian War of Independence, Italians started referring to him as Father of the Fatherland.

 34 Hussein bin Ali Sharif of Mecca

Hussein bin Ali Sharif of Mecca.
4
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 1853 AD
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey
Died: June 4, 1931
Hussein bin Ali Sharif had been the emir of Mecca and the king of Hejaz. While leading the Arab rebellion against the Ottomans, he had declared himself the “king of the Arab countries.” Later, he proclaimed himself the caliph but had to abdicate in the face of Ibn Saud’s attack.

 35 Mongkut

Mongkut
4
Famous As: King of Thailand
Birthdate: October 18, 1804
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bangkok, Thailand
Died: October 1, 1868

 36 Princess Alice of the United Kingdom

Princess Alice of the United Kingdom.
4
Famous As: Princess of the United Kingdom
Birthdate: April 25, 1843
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Buckingham Palace, London, United Kingdom
Died: December 14, 1878
Princess Alice was the third child of England’s Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Her organization Princess Alice Women's Guild oversaw military hospitals during the Austro-Prussian War. She became the Grand Duchy of Hesse by virtue of her marriage to German Prince Louis. She eventually died due to diptheria.

 37 Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge

Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
5
Famous As: Princess
Birthdate: November 27, 1833
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: October 27, 1897

 38 Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma

Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma.
4
Famous As: Empress Consort of the French
Birthdate: December 12, 1791
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 17, 1847

Marie Louise was an Austrian archduchess who reigned as Duchess of Parma from 1814 until her death. The eldest child of Emperor Francis II of Austria and his second wife, Maria Theresa, she grew up during a tumultuous period in the history of Austria. She was married to Napoleon I from 1810 to 1821. She died of pleurisy in 1847.  

 39 Caroline of Brunswick-Lüneburg

Caroline of Brunswick-Lüneburg
3
Famous As: Queen of United Kingdom
Birthdate: May 17, 1768
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Braunschweig
Died: August 7, 1821

 40 Nicholas I of Russia

Nicholas I of Russia.
5
Famous As: Emperor of Russia
Birthdate: July 6, 1796
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leningrad Oblast
Died: March 2, 1855

Nicholas I of Russia reigned as Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and King of Poland from 1825 to 1855. Nicholas I is remembered for his controversial reign, under which the Russian Empire achieved great geographical expansion. He also played a key role in creating an independent Greek state and was successful in ending the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829.

 41 Menelik II

Menelik II.
3
Famous As: Emperor of Ethiopia
Birthdate: August 17, 1844
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Angolalla Tera
Died: December 12, 1913

Menelik II reigned as the emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to 1913 after ruling as the king of Shewa from 1866 to 1889. He is credited with transforming the Ethiopian Empire by expanding his kingdom into Wolayta, Sidama, and Kaffa kingdoms. Fascinated by modernity, Menelik II played a major role in modernizing Ethiopia.

 42 Mahmud II

Mahmud II.
3
Famous As: Sultan of Ottoman Empire
Birthdate: July 20, 1785
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: July 1, 1839

Mahmud II reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 to 1839. His reign was marked by the extensive military, administrative, and fiscal reforms which he initiated. The reforms that he initiated eventually led to the formation of the modern Turkish Republic. He is also credited with rebuilding a strong naval force for the empire.

 43 Maria Feodorovna

Maria Feodorovna
4
Famous As: Empress
Birthdate: November 26, 1847
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yellow Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: October 13, 1928

Maria Feodorovna was a Danish princess who married Emperor Alexander III and became Empress of Russia. She was the second daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Kassel. She grew up to be a beautiful and charming woman. She was married to Alexander Alexandrovich, the son of Emperor Alexander II and his first wife Maria Alexandrovna. 

 44 Pedro I of Brazil

Pedro I of Brazil.
4
Famous As: First Emperor of Brazil
Birthdate: October 12, 1798
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Queluz Palace, Lisbon, Portugal
Died: September 24, 1834

Pedro I of Brazil was the founder of the Empire of Brazil and reigned as its emperor from 1822 to 1831. He also ruled over Portugal before abdicating the throne in favor of Dona Maria II. He is credited with spreading the liberal ideals that enabled Portugal and Brazil to move to representative forms of government from absolutist regimes.

 45 Joséphine de Beauharnais

Joséphine de Beauharnais.
3
Famous As: Empress of the French
Birthdate: June 23, 1763
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Les Trois-Îlets, Martinique
Died: May 29, 1814
Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais spent her initial years in poverty and was shunned by her first husband for her lack of manners. She eventually learned the ways and means of the Parisian high society and married a young Napoleon Bonaparte. She survived a rocky marriage but enjoyed a lavish lifestyle.

 46 Joseph Bonaparte

Joseph Bonaparte.
4
Famous As: King of Naples and Sicily
Birthdate: January 7, 1768
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Corte, France
Died: July 28, 1844

Older brother of Napoleon, Joseph Bonaparte, had been the king of Naples and Spain. After Napoleon’s fall, he was exiled to New Jersey, U.S. Later, in Europe, he lived a lavish life at Point Breeze, surrounded by all the wealth he had inherited, along with a classy collection of paintings.

 47 Ferdinand I of Austria

Ferdinand I of Austria.
3
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: April 19, 1793
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: June 29, 1875

Ferdinand I of Austria reigned as the Austrian emperor from 1835 until his retirement in 1848. As the emperor of Austria, Ferdinand also ruled as the king of Croatia, Hungary, and Bohemia. He also served as the king of Lombardy–Venetia and held several other lesser titles, which any emperor of Austria is entitled to hold.

 48 Ernest II

Ernest II
6
Famous As: Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Birthdate: June 21, 1818
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Coburg, Germany
Died: August 22, 1893

Ernest II, the eldest son of Duke Ernest I, had been the duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. He was quite close to his brother, Prince Albert, consort to England’s Queen Victoria. Best known for his support of the German unification, he was also a skilled composer of operas and an avid sports lover.

 49 Ferdinand VII of Spain

Ferdinand VII of Spain.
5
Famous As: King of Spain
Birthdate: October 14, 1784
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain
Died: September 29, 1833

Ferdinand VII of Spain reigned as the king of Spain during the 19th century. Widely regarded as despotic and incompetent, Ferdinand is often criticized by historians and scholars for having failed to disallow the disintegration of the Spanish territories in the Americas. Thus, he is often blamed for the termination of the Spanish rule in the Americas.

 50 Frederick William III of Prussia

Frederick William III of Prussia
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: August 3, 1770
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: June 7, 1840