Famous 20th Century Political Activists

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 1 
Harriet Tubman
(Activist and Abolitionist Known for Her Efforts in Rescuing Slaves and Abolition of Slavery)
Harriet Tubman
4
Birthdate: 1822
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dorchester County, Maryland, United States
Died: March 10, 1913

Born to parents who were bonded slaves, Harriet Tubman life was a difficult one from the very beginning. Yet with her remarkable courage and determination, she not only escaped slavery herself, but also led other enslaved people to freedom. The prominent political activist and abolitionist was also the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the American Civil War.

 2 
Ashley Judd
(Best Known for Her Role in the Movie 'Double Jeopardy')
Ashley Judd
4
Birthdate: April 19, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ashley Judd is a popular American actress who is vocal about topics, such as sexual assault. As a three-time rape survivor—as claimed by her—Ashley serves as an inspiration to rape survivors around the world. Known for her humanitarian work, Ashley has worked on gender equality for over a decade. She is also famous for her political activities.

 3 
Charlton Heston
(Actor and Political Activist )
Charlton Heston
4
Birthdate: October 4, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States
Died: April 5, 2008

Charlton Heston was an American actor whose cinematic legacy became the subject of an 11-film retrospective titled Cinematic Atlas: The Triumphs of Charlton Heston. Also a political activist, Charlton Heston was one of the few Hollywood actors to criticize racism in the 1950s and 1960s; he was also a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement.

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 4 
Danny Glover
(Known for His Lead Role as Roger Murtaugh in the 'Lethal Weapon' Film Series)
Danny Glover
4
Birthdate: July 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States

Danny Glover is an American actor whose career has spanned more than four decades. Apart from being an actor, Danny Glover has had a major impact as an activist; he has made his presence felt as an activist in countries like Brazil, Iraq, Venezuela, Israel, and many African countries.

 5 
Fred Hampton
(American Activist and Deputy Chairman of the National Black Panther Party)
Fred Hampton
4
Birthdate: August 30, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Died: December 4, 1969

Fred Hampton was considered an activist and a revolutionary socialist working for social change. He was the deputy chairman of the national Black Panther Party. He founded the Rainbow Coalition, aiming to help the Chicago street gangs to end infighting. The FBI considered him as a major threat and he was shot and killed in December 1969 during a raid.

 6 
Angela Davis
(Political Activist)
Angela Davis
7
Birthdate: January 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham

Activist, philosopher, academic and author, Angela Davis is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She has worked in the areas of feminism, class, race and the US prison system. She has also received criticism for supporting the erstwhile Soviet Union and has been accused of supporting political violence.

 7 
Alexei Navalny
(Russian Opposition Leader, Lawyer, and Anti-Corruption Activist)
Alexei Navalny
4
Birthdate: June 4, 1976
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Butyn', Russia

Described by The Wall Street Journal as the man Vladimir Putin fears most, Alexei Navalny is widely regarded as Russia's opposition leader. He is famous for his accusations of corruption in Russia and Putin's government. In 2011, he created the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which was dissolved in 2020. In August 2020, there was an attempt to assassinate him, when he was poisoned during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow.

 8 
Bob Geldof
(Lead Singer of The Irish Rock Band 'The Boomtown Rats')
Bob Geldof
5
Birthdate: October 5, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dún Laoghaire, Ireland
Irish singer Bob Geldof gained fame as part of the rock band Boomtown Rats, which delivered hits such as Rat Trap. He formed the charity supergroup Band Aid and organized concerts to eradicate poverty in Africa. He also appeared as Pink in the movie Pink Floyd – The Wall.
 9 
Abbie Hoffman
(Political Activist, Co-Founder of the 'Youth International Party' and Member of the 'Chicago Seven')
Abbie Hoffman
6
Birthdate: November 30, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Died: April 12, 1989

The co-founder of the Youth International Party, Abbie Hoffman was an American social and political activist. A popular exponent of the Flower Power movement, Abbie Hoffman played a major role in the events leading up to the violent confrontations with the cops during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. He remains an iconic figure of the counterculture era.

 10 
Serj Tankian
(Singer-songwriter)
Serj Tankian
4
Birthdate: August 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

Serj Tankian is an Armenian-American record producer, singer, and songwriter. Tankian is credited with co-founding the popular band System of a Down. Renowned for his wide vocal range and unusual delivery, Serj Tankian is widely considered one of the best heavy metal vocalists of all time. Also a political activist, Tankian co-founded Axis of Justice, a non-profit organization.

 11 
Jesse Jackson
(United States Shadow Senator from the District of Columbia (1991-97))
Jesse Jackson
4
Birthdate: October 8, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
Civil rights activist and politician Jesse Jackson, father of former U.S. representative Jesse Jackson Jr., is also a Baptist minister. He has been a shadow U.S. senator from the District of Columbia and established organizations that merged into the non-profit Rainbow/PUSH. He also hosted CNN’s Both Sides with Jesse Jackson.
 12 
Afeni Shakur
(American Political Activist and Member of the ‘Black Panther Party’)
Afeni Shakur
5
Birthdate: January 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lumberton, North Carolina, United States
Died: May 2, 2016

Afeni Shakur was a political activist best known as the mother of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. Afeni Shakur was an important member of the popular political organization Black Panther Party where she mentored new members like Jamal Joseph, Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, and Cleo Silvers.

 13 
Elie Wiesel
( Author, Holocaust Survivor, Political Activist and Winner of 1986 Nobel Peace Prize)
Elie Wiesel
5
Birthdate: September 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sighetu Marmației, Romania
Died: July 2, 2016

Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Elie Wiesel is best remembered for his book Night, which relates his traumatic experience as a Jewish prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps. After surviving the Holocaust, he became a journalist and a human rights activist, and also helped in establishing the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

 14 
Ralph Nader
(American Lawyer and Politician Known for His Involvement in Consumer Protection and Environmentalism)
Ralph Nader
4
Birthdate: February 27, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Winsted, Connecticut, United States
Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed was his critique of the safety measures of U.S. automobile manufacturers. His activism has led to the passage of acts such as the Consumer Product Safety Act. One of Time’s 100 Most Influential Americans, he inspired the documentary An Unreasonable Man
 15 
Simone de Beauvoir
(French Existentialist Philosopher, Writer, Social Theorist, and Feminist Activist)
Simone de Beauvoir
4
Birthdate: January 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 14, 1986
French author and existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir is best remembered for her feminist treatise The Second Sex and her novels The Mandarins and She Came to Stay. Her literary contributions also include essays, biographies, and her autobiographical works. She won the Prix Goncourt and the Jerusalem Prize.
 16 
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
(American Philanthropist and Founder of the ‘Special Olympics’)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 11, 2009
Eunice Shriver, sister of American president John F. Kennedy and wife of diplomat Sargent Shriver, was an avid philanthropist. Motivated by her mentally challenged sister Rosemary’s condition, she began working for the disabled and eventually founded the Special Olympics. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her philanthropic work.
 17 
Fela Kuti
(Multi-Instrumentalist & the Creator of ‘Afro-beat’, a Genre that Fuses West African Music with American Funk & Jazz)
Fela Kuti
4
Birthdate: October 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Abeokuta, Nigeria
Died: August 2, 1997
Political activist and Afrobeat inventor Fela Kuti initially performed with his band Koola Lobitos and later renamed it Nigeria '70. He was inspired by the Black Power movement, which also gradually transformed his musical style. He married 27 women in 1978, to mark the anniversary of the Kalakuta Republic attack.
 18 
Elijah Cummings
(Member of the U.S. House of Representatives From Maryland's 7th District)
Elijah Cummings
4
Birthdate: January 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Died: October 17, 2017

Elijah Cummings was an important and influential American politician and advocate of civil rights. Such was his impact on American politics that after his death, he became the first black lawmaker to be honored with a state funeral at the United States Capitol. His official funeral was attended by personalities like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton.

 19 
Tom Hayden
(American Anti-War, Civil Rights, and Intellectual Activist in the 1960s)
Tom Hayden
6
Birthdate: December 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
Died: October 23, 2016

Tom Hayden was a prominent social/political activist, and a champion for civil rights and anti-war campaigns. Also known as Jane Fonda’s ex-husband, he had contributed to the Port Huron Statement and stood trial in the Chicago Seven Case. He was part of the California State Assembly and the California Senate.

 20 
Bobby Seale
(Political Activist Who Co-founded the Black Panther Party)
Bobby Seale
6
Birthdate: October 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liberty, Texas, United States
 21 
Sophie Scholl
(German Student and Anti-Nazi Political Activist)
Sophie Scholl
4
Birthdate: May 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Forchtenberg, Germany
Died: February 22, 1943

Sophie Scholl was a German anti-Nazi political activist who was involved with a non-violent resistance group called White Rose. Scholl was executed by guillotine at the age of 21 for distributing anti-war leaflets. Since her death, Sophie Scholl has been viewed as an iconic figure. Her life and work have inspired several films, including Sophie Scholl – The Final Days.

 22 
Melissa Mathison
(Screenwriter)
Melissa Mathison
4
Birthdate: June 3, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: November 4, 2015

Melissa Mathison was a screenwriter and an activist for the Tibetan independence movement. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, for a while but quit before graduating. She was acquainted with Francis Ford Coppola who encouraged her to pursue a screenwriting career. She was once married to actor, Harrison Ford, and had two children.

 23 
Betty Ford
(Former First Lady of the United States)
Betty Ford
5
Birthdate: April 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: July 8, 2011

Betty Ford served as the First Lady of the US from 1974 to 1977. One of the most popular First Ladies in history, Ford was a passionate supporter of abortion rights and worked towards raising breast cancer awareness. She commented on topics like sex, drugs, abortion, and equal pay. In 1991, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 24 
Emma Goldman
(American Anarchist Political Activist and Writer)
Emma Goldman
4
Birthdate: June 27, 1869
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kaunas, Lithuania
Died: May 14, 1940

Emma Goldman was a writer and anarchist political activist. She played an important role in popularizing the anarchist political philosophy in Europe and North America in the early and mid-20th century. Her lectures and writing spanned a wide variety of subjects, such as atheism, militarism, freedom of speech, homosexuality, capitalism, and free love.

 25 
Stephen Stills
(Singer-songwriter)
Stephen Stills
6
Birthdate: January 3, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States
 26 
Omarosa Manigault
4
Birthdate: February 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio, United States
 27 
Ralph Waite
4
Birthdate: June 22, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: White Plains, New York, United States
Died: February 13, 2014
Ralph Waite is best remembered for his Emmy-nominated roles of John Walton Sr. in The Waltons and Slater in Roots. Fans also loved him in series such as NCIS and Bones, and in movies such as Cliffhanger. He was a U.S. Marine and also ran for Congress as a Democrat.
 28 
James Brady
(White House Press Secretary)
James Brady
5
Birthdate: August 29, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Centralia, Illinois, USA
Died: August 4, 2014
 29 
Donald Trump Jr.
(Eldest Child of Former U.S. President Donald Trump)
Donald Trump Jr.
6
Birthdate: December 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of former US President Donald Trump joined his father’s business at Trump Organization in 2001 and later became its executive vice president. He takes keen interest in politics and was also involved in his father’s presidential campaign. Many of his controversial statements have attracted huge criticism. He is also an author and a television personality.
 30 
Michel Foucault
(Philosopher & Historian)
Michel Foucault
4
Birthdate: October 15, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poitiers, France
Died: June 25, 1984

If others thought the body was the prison of the soul, Paul-Michel Foucault felt the other way round. The French philosopher, literary critic and Leftist who interpreted the link between power and knowledge, was a post-structuralist whose theories have left a mark on anthropology, psychology and criminology. The feminist was one of the noted personalities to have died of HIV/AIDS.

 31 
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
(Military Leader)
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, USA
Died: July 12, 1944
 32 
Bill de Blasio
(109th Mayor of New York City (2014 - 2021))
Bill de Blasio
4
Birthdate: May 8, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

Before being elected the New York mayor in 2013, Democratic politician Bill de Blasio was the New York City Public Advocate. Blasio contested in the presidential primaries in 2020, becoming the first New York mayor to do so since John Lindsay. He later withdrew his campaign and supported Bernie Sanders.

 33 
Jack Kemp
(Politician)
Jack Kemp
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: May 2, 2009
 34 
George Lincoln Rockwell
(American Far-right Political Activist and Commander of the American Nazi Party (1959 - 1967))
George Lincoln Rockwell
4
Birthdate: March 9, 1918
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bloomington, Illinois, United States
Died: August 25, 1967

George Lincoln Rockwell was an American politician. A neo-Nazi, Rockwell was discharged from the US Navy due to his political views. He denied the Holocaust and considered Hitler 'the White savior of the 20th century'. He also joined hands with other neo-Nazi groups and led the World Union of National Socialists. He is credited with founding the American Nazi Party.

 35 
Stacey Abrams
(Politician)
Stacey Abrams
12
Birthdate: December 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

One of the most popular African American politicians of the U.S., Democratic Party member Stacey Abrams is also the founder of the non-profit Fair Fight Action. A voting rights activist and a minority leader, she became the first Black woman to win the gubernatorial nomination of any state in the U.S.

 36 
Laura Loomer
(Political Activist)
Laura Loomer
4
Birthdate: May 21, 1993
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: North Miami, Florida, USA
 37 
Rosario Dawson
(Best Known for Portraying the 'Star Wars' Character 'Ahsoka Tano')
Rosario Dawson
0
Birthdate: May 9, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

A popular actress, producer, and activist, Rosario Dawson is known as much for her involvement in politics and philanthropy as for her work in films and television. A strong supporter of various charitable organizations, such as One Campaign and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Rosario came out as member of the LGBT community in 2020.

 38 
Jennifer Siebel Newsom
(American Documentary Filmmaker, Actress and First Partner of California)
Jennifer Siebel Newsom
4
Birthdate: June 19, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Jennifer Siebel Newsom has created documentaries such as Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In, which revolve around gender-centric themes. She has also co-founded The Representation Project, which aims at reducing gender stereotypes. Newsom is the First Lady of California through her marriage to California governor Gavin Newsom.
 39 
Elizabeth Dole
(Politician)
Elizabeth Dole
5
Birthdate: July 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Salisbury, North Carolina, USA
 40 
Steve Schmidt
(Politician)
Steve Schmidt
3
Birthdate: September 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: North Plainfield, New Jersey, United States
 41 
Barbara Boxer
(Politician)
Barbara Boxer
5
Birthdate: November 11, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
 42 
Tommy Robinson
(Anti-Islam, Far-Right Activist Who Is Co-Founder of the Islamophobic Organization Called 'the English Defence League')
Tommy Robinson
6
Birthdate: November 27, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Luton, United Kingdom

Tommy Robinson is a British anti-Islam, far-right activist. The co-founder of an Islamophobic organization called the English Defence League, Robinson has been convicted on multiple counts of fraud and violence as well as other crimes. From 2017 to 2018, he also contributed as a writer for a Canadian far-right political website called Rebel News.

 43 
Robert Ryan
(Known for His Portrayals of Hardened Cops and Ruthless Villains)
Robert Ryan
3
Birthdate: November 11, 1909
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: July 11, 1973

Actor Robert Ryan was also a prominent civil rights activist. In his initial days, he was also a heavyweight boxing champion, and later also served in the US Marine Corps. He soared to fame with his roles of cops or bullies in films such as The Woman on the Beach and Crossfire.

 44 
Lori Lightfoot
6
Birthdate: August 4, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Massillon, Ohio, United States
 45 
Katrina Pierson
(Political Activists)
Katrina Pierson
3
Birthdate: July 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kansas, USA
 46 
Doug Stanhope
(Stand-up comedian)
Doug Stanhope
3
Birthdate: March 25, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
 47 
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
(Independence Activist, Reformer)
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
3
Birthdate: May 28, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bhagur
Died: February 26, 1966

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was an Indian politician and independence activist. He formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva and was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha. He was known for his strong oratory skills and was an eloquent writer. He was initially charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but was later acquitted.

 48 
Phyllis Schlafly
(Radio personality, Lawyer, Political activist, Journalist)
Phyllis Schlafly
4
Birthdate: August 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Louis
Died: September 5, 2016

American attorney and author Phyllis Schlafly was a major figure of paleoconservativism and was against feminism, LGBT rights, and abortion. She was also behind the STOP ERA campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment, and her life and times were portrayed in the series Mrs. America, which had Cate Blanchett playing her.

 49 
Lindsey Graham
(Politician)
Lindsey Graham
11
Birthdate: July 9, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Central, South Carolina, United States
 50 
Heather Thomas
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Greenwich, Connecticut, United States