Jose Rizal was a Filipino polymath and nationalist. An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal turned towards writing and inspired the Philippine Revolution through his writings. The revolution eventually led to Philippine independence and Rizal became a national hero. His life has inspired several biographical films and TV series.
Lala Lajpat Rai was an Indian politician who played a major role in the Indian Independence movement. He is credited with inspiring many young men, including Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad, to join the freedom struggle through journalistic writings and activism. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari.
Benito Juarez was a Mexican lawyer and politician. He served as the 26th president of Mexico from 1858 to 1872, becoming the first president of Mexico who was of indigenous origin. He died of a heart attack in 1872. To date, he is revered as "a preeminent symbol of Mexican nationalism and resistance to foreign intervention."
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.
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14 Jose Marti
Son of Spanish immigrants, Jose Marti spent his childhood in a strife-torn Cuba and attended high school on financial aid. Marti’s poems, essays, and articles were laced with his patriotic vigor to free Cuba from the Spanish rule. He died battling on the field at Dos Ríos.
Chiang Kai-shek was a Chinese revolutionary who led the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975, first in mainland China until 1949 and later on in Taiwan until his death. He is credited with successfully leading the Northern Expedition against the Beiyang government, achieving Chinese unification. He was involved in a civil war with Communist Party of China, which he lost in 1949 and retreated to Taiwan.
17 Louis Riel
Louis Riel was a Canadian politician. He is credited with founding the province of Manitoba. He holds a significant place in the history of the Métis people as he served as their political leader in pre-Manitoba Northwest Territories. Louis Riel is regarded as a folk hero by the Métis and other Canadian minorities for his efforts to defend their rights.
18 Chief Joseph
Chief Joseph, a leader of the Nez Percé tribe of Native Americans, had initially agreed to the U.S. demand of them moving into a reservation in Idaho. However, fearing retaliation after his men killed a few whites, he attempted an escape to Canada, leading his people through an arduous trek.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an Indian independence activist, Islamic theologian, and scholar. He played a key role in the Indian independence movement, serving as a senior leader of the Congress. His contribution to the Indian education system is recognized across India by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day.
Mikhail Bakunin was a Russian socialist and anarchist. He is credited with founding an anarchist school of thought called collectivist anarchism. Regarded as one of the most influential personalities of anarchism, Mikhail Bakunin has had a major influence on thinkers like Peter Kropotkin, Herbert Marcuse, Errico Malatesta, Neil Postman, E. P. Thompson, and A. S. Neill.
22 Red Cloud
One of the most significant leaders of the Oglala Lakota tribe of the Sioux group of Native Americans, Red Cloud is remembered for his fearless resistance to the American plan of accessing the goldfields in Montana. He attached workers along the Bozeman Trail and eventually forced the U.S. to withdraw.
Bolshevik revolutionary Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, also known as Iron Felix, was born into a Polish noble family. Though Lenin considered him a hero, he often disagreed with Lenin’s views. He had been the director of Cheka. He died of a heart attack after finishing a 2-hour speech.
24 Hong Xiuquan
Hong Xiuquan was a Hakka Chinese revolutionary best remembered for leading the Taiping Rebellion against the much-feared and powerful Qing Dynasty. Credited with establishing the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, Hong Xiuquan later served as an inspiration to the Communists under Mao Zedong. In 1959, China established a small museum to honor his legacy.
Sold as a slave in childhood, Denmark Vesey adopted the surname of his master. He later purchased his freedom with the money he had won in a lottery. Earning a living as a carpenter, he simultaneously launched a slave rebellion and planned a coup but was eventually hanged to death.
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Manuela Sáenz was an Ecuadorian revolutionary who supported women's rights. She received the Order of the Sun, honoring her services in the revolution. Today, she is widely regarded as a feminist symbol of the 19th century. In 2007, the Ecuadorian government honored her with the rank of General.
Also known as Begum of Awadh, Begum Hazrat Mahal was the second wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. She is remembered for rebelling against the British East India Company during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Following her husband’s exile, she took over affairs in the state of Awadh. However, she was forced by the British to abandon Awadh.
Osceola led the Seminole tribe of Native Americans in their resistance against the U.S. attempt of moving them out of Florida and into the land west of Mississippi. He was eventually deceived by a fake truce attempt, captured, and transported to Fort Moultrie, where he passed away.
Born to a militia officer, Sybil Ludington later made history with her fearless resistance to the British during the American Revolutionary War. Most of her statues today find her perched on a horse, in a tribute to her night-long horseback ride to inform American soldiers of an impending British attack.
Augusto César Sandino was a Nicaraguan revolutionary. From 1927 to 1933, Sandino led a rebellion against the United States occupation of Nicaragua, due to which he was lauded as a hero throughout Latin America. Although the US government labeled him a bandit, Sandino went on to become a symbol of resistance and is revered as a national hero in Nicaragua.
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James Wilkinson served the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and also revealed Aaron Burr’s conspiracy to the U.S. government. While he worked against the Spanish people as part of the U.S. army, he was later revealed to be a Spanish spy, also known as Number Thirteen.
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Russian revolutionary Aleksandr Ulyanov was the elder brother of Vladimir Lenin, who founded the Soviet Union. Though initially not interested in politics, he later became involved in St. Petersburg student politics and was part of a plot to kill Alexander III. He was hanged along with four of his comrades.
38 Juan Seguín
Tejano revolutionary Juan Seguín was a significant part of the revolution for the independence of Texas. The son of one of the drafters of the Mexican constitution, he grew up to become the mayor of San Antonio and also led the Republic of Texas as an elected senator.
40 Vasil Levski
A significant figure of the Paris Commune, Louise Michel was born as an illegitimate child of a maid. She had initially been trained to be a teacher but later began developing an interest in revolutionary socialist ideas. She was also once sent behind bars for inciting riots.
Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a Pashtun independence activist who opposed the British rule in India. A spiritual and political leader, Khan called for Hindu-Muslim unity in India and opposed the partition of India. Khan is still revered by many in India and Pakistan for his pacifist ideology. Many places in India are named in his honor.
Louis Auguste Blanqui was a French socialist who gave rise to Blanquism, a form of radicalism. While he initially studied both medicine and law, he later stepped into politics. He had been imprisoned for more than three decades and died of a stroke after a political speech at age 75.
49 Hristo Botev
Hristo Botev was a Bulgarian poet and revolutionary. Widely regarded as a national hero by Bulgarians, Botev was thought to be ahead of his peers in his aesthetic, philosophical, and political views. An influential and important figure in the history of Bulgaria, Botev has several monuments, schools, football clubs, and stadiums named after him.