Famous 20th Century Presidents

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 John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy.
10
Famous As: 35th President of the United States
Birthdate: May 29, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brookline
Died: November 22, 1963

The 35th President of the United States, John F Kennedy was a charismatic leader who, during his tenure, ably dealt with Cuban missile crisis, proposed public service programmes and lent support to the growing civil rights movement. Before becoming one of the youngest Presidents of the country, he served in the navy, U.S. House of Representatives and the US Senate.

 2 A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
13
Famous As: Former President of India, Missile Man of India
Birthdate: October 15, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: July 27, 2015
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s 11th president, had earlier been an aerospace scientist at DRDO and ISRO. Known as the “People’s President” and the “Missile Man of India,” he was instrumental in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests. He died of a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong.
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 3 Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt.
8
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.

 4 Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower.
8
Famous As: 34th U.S. President
Birthdate: October 14, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Denison, Texas, United States
Died: March 28, 1969

The 34th president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower held office from 1953 to 1961. An army officer During World War II, he was part of many successful operations. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, and his two terms as president saw widespread economic prosperity in USA. He is ranked high among American presidents.

 5 Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon.
12
Famous As: 37th President of the United States
Birthdate: January 9, 1913
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Yorba Linda, California, United States
Died: April 22, 1994

Richard Nixon is the only American president in the history so far to resign from the office. His name is synonymous with the infamous Watergate scandal which led to his resignation. But his regime saw several positives too, such as end to the U.S involvement in the Vietnam War, improvement in the relationship with Soviet Union and China, and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency.

 6 Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter.
8
Famous As: 39th U.S. President
Birthdate: October 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Plains, Georgia, U.S.

Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of USA, is one of the rare Presidents whose legacy continues even after leaving office. He is known as a champion of human rights and a mediator of peace efforts across the world. His humanitarian works earned him the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

 7 Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford.
12
Famous As: President of the USA
Birthdate: July 14, 1913
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Died: December 26, 2006

Gerald Ford Jr served as the 38th president of US from August 1974 to January 1977. His 895 day-long stint as the American president is the shortest in US history for any president who did not die in office. In a controversial act, he granted a presidential pardon to his predecessor Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal.

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 8 Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson.
14
Famous As: 36th President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: August 27, 1908
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stonewall, Texas, United States
Died: January 22, 1973

The era of Lyndon B Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, saw the passage of many important laws pertaining to civil rights, gun control and social security.  Also, his ‘war on poverty’ helped millions to rise above the poverty line. However, he was criticised for the escalation of the Vietnam War.

 9 Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman.
10
Famous As: 33rd President of the United States
Birthdate: May 8, 1884
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lamar, Missouri, United States
Died: December 26, 1972

Harry Truman was the US president from 1945 to 1953 and his administration successfully guided the US economy through the post-war challenges. He established the Truman Doctrine to contain Soviet geopolitical expansion during the Cold War. He authorised the first and only use of nuclear weapons during a war when he sanctioned bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

 10 Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte.
13
Famous As: President of Philippines
Birthdate: March 28, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Maasin, Philippines

The current president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte took office at age 71, making him the oldest president of the country. His war on drugs has had a major impact in the Philippines. Known for his straightforward attitude in public, Duterte has admitted to killing three men in 1988 in an attempt to save a girl from being raped.

 11 Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela.
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Famous As: Anti-Apartheid Activist, President of ANC and Former President of South Africa
Birthdate: July 18, 1918
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mvezo
Died: December 5, 2013
Revered as the Father of the Nation by the South Africans, Nelson Mandela was a statesman who rose to become the country’s first black head of state. He reconciled a nation divided along racial lines and dismantled the legacy of apartheid.

 12 Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
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Famous As: Founder of the Republic of Turkey,
Birthdate: May 19, 1881
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Thessaloniki
Died: November 10, 1938
Kemal Atatürk, known as the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, was its first president. He unified Turkey into a secular country and invested in education and women’s rights. He also popularized the Latin-based Turkish alphabet and made minorities speak Turkish in public. His policies are known as “Kemalism.” 

 13 Ferdinand Marcos

Ferdinand Marcos.
12
Famous As: Former President of the Philippines
Birthdate: September 11, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, Philippine Islands
Died: September 28, 1989

Ferdinand Marcos served as the tenth president of the Philippines. Marcos' rule was marked by brutality, extravagance, and corruption, making him the most controversial leader of his generation. Deemed a kleptocrat, Marcos' dictatorship caused an economic collapse during which the country suffered greatly. He was removed from power in 1986 after a series of protests called the People Power Revolution.

 14 Bashar al-Assad

Bashar al-Assad.
9
Famous As: President of Syria
Birthdate: September 11, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Damascus

Bashar al-Assad is the current president of Syria and has been serving in this position since 17 July 2000. Over the years, he has also had a major impact on Syria as the commander-in-chief of the country's Armed Forces. In 2011, his decision to impose military sieges on protesters participating in the Arab Spring resulted in the ongoing Syrian Civil War.

 15 Augusto Pinochet

Augusto Pinochet.
10
Famous As: Former President of Chile
Birthdate: November 25, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Valparaíso
Died: December 10, 2006
Augusto Pinochet was the president of the Chilean Military Junta from 1973 to 1981. He ousted the elected government of President Salvador Allende through a U.S.-supported coup and became the Chilean President in December 1974. Following this, he persecuted all political opponents and leftists and also advocated for Operation Condor

 16 Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez.
8
Famous As: Former President of Venezuela
Birthdate: July 28, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sabaneta, Venezuela
Died: March 5, 2013
Hugo Chavez was the president of Venezuela from 1999 till 2013. Though elected for another term, he died of complications due to cancer before being sworn in. He is remembered for his involvement in the MBR-200 and for establishing the Fifth Republic Movement. His policies are known as “Chavismo.”

 17 Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma.
8
Famous As: Fourth President of South Africa
Birthdate: April 12, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal

Jacob Zuma is a South African politician and fourth president of South Africa. During his presidency, which lasted from 2009 to 2018, Zuma was accused of racketeering and corruption which ultimately led to his resignation. Apart from being a politician, Zuma also runs the Jacob Zuma Foundation, which aims at building houses for the poor and sending children to school.

 18 George Weah

George Weah.
8
Famous As: 25th President of Liberia
Birthdate: 1966 AD
Birthplace: Monrovia
George Weah, who has been the president of Liberia since 2018, was once a star footballer. The striker was named the 1995 FIFA World Player of the Year, and played for clubs such as A.C. Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. Following his retirement, he established the Congress for Democratic Change.

 19 Anwar Sadat

Anwar Sadat.
10
Famous As: Former President of Egypt
Birthdate: December 25, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mit Abu al-Kum
Died: October 6, 1981
Anwar Sadat served as the president and prime minister of Egypt till his assassination in 1981. He was part of the Free Officers, a group that overthrew King Farouk. He became the first Muslim Nobel laureate, after winning the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty.

 20 Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein.
17
Famous As: Dictator & President of Iraq
Birthdate: April 28, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Al-Awja
Died: December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq as its president from 1979 to 2003. Described as one of the last of the great dictators of the 20th century, his regime caused the deaths of at least 250,000 Iraqis. Saddam was deposed in 2003 when a U.S led coalition invaded Iraq. Accused of crimes against humanity, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death in 2006.

 21 Volodymyr Zelenskiy

Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 25, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Volodymyr Zelensky is the incumbent president of Ukraine. A qualified lawyer, he initially owned a production company. He also played the Ukrainian president in the series Servant of the People and was a comedian, screenwriter, director, and producer. His secret phone call with Donald Trump led to Trump’s first impeachment.

 22 Fulgencio Batista

Fulgencio Batista.
8
Famous As: Former President of Cuba
Birthdate: January 16, 1901
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Banes, Cuba
Died: August 6, 1973

Fulgencio Batista was the elected president of Cuba from 1940 to 1944. He formed the constitution of Cuba. He later became a dictator through a coup. He was finally ousted by Che Guevara at the Battle of Santa Clara, as part of Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement.

 23 Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres.
8
Famous As: Former President of Israel
Birthdate: August 2, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wiszniew, Poland
Died: September 28, 2016
Shimon Peres had been both the president and prime minister of Israel (twice). He was also part of five political parties in his 70-year career and had held important cabinet posts such as the minister of finance. He won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.

 24 Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
10
Famous As: President of UAE
Birthdate: January 25, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Al Ain, Trucial States

Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, son of the UAE’s first president, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, is the reigning president of the UAE and the emir of Abu Dhabi. He heads the UAE Armed Forces and the Supreme Petroleum Council. In 2011, he was the world’s fourth-wealthiest monarch.

 25 Jiang Zemin

Jiang Zemin.
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 17, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yangzhou, Jiangsu

Chinese politician, Jiang Zemin, served as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party from 1989 to 2002. Qualified as an engineer, he joined the Chinese Communist Party when he was in college. Rising through the ranks, he eventually became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Minister of Electronic Industries. 

 26 José Mujica

José Mujica.
3
Famous As: Former President of Uruguay
Birthdate: May 20, 1935
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montevideo

José Mujica is an Uruguayan retired politician. From 2010 to 2015, Mujica served as the president of Uruguay. A well-known philanthropist, Mujica won the hearts of many for his donation of 90 percent of his monthly salary to charities. Due to his generosity and austere lifestyle, José Mujica has often been referred to as the world's humblest head of state.

 27 Thomas Sankara

Thomas Sankara.
5
Famous As: President
Birthdate: December 21, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yako, Upper Volta
Died: October 15, 1987
Thomas Sankara, or “Africa's Che Guevara,” was a Burkinabé military leader and revolutionary who became the President of the Republic of Upper Volta after a coup in 1983, changing its name to Burkina Faso. He launched educational, ecological, and economic reforms and declared female genital mutilation and forced marriages illegal.

 28 Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.
8
Famous As: Fourth President of Croatia
Birthdate: April 29, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rijeka
Best known as the first female president of her country, politician Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović also became the youngest Croatian to assume presidency, at 46. The former Fulbright scholar made headlines during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, when she went to Russia in economy class to cheer her team.

 29 Hu Jintao

Hu Jintao.
8
Famous As: Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
Birthdate: December 21, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Taizhou

President of the People's Republic of China (PRC) from 2003 to 2013, Hu Jintao is believed to have given shape to the belligerent China that Xi Jinping unleashed on the world. He was conservative with political reforms and reintroduced state control in several sectors. Known for his reserved and modest leadership style, his tenure marked consensus based rule and collective leadership.

 30 Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame.
6
Famous As: President of Rwanda
Birthdate: October 23, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ruanda-Urundi
Paul Kagame has been the president of Rwanda since 2000. He has previously been the chairperson of the African Union, and the vice president and the defense minister of Rwanda. As part of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, he helped put an end to the Rwandan Genocide by the Hutu extremists.

 31 Sukarno

Sukarno.
3
Famous As: President of Indonesia
Birthdate: June 6, 1901
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Surabaya, Indonesia
Died: June 21, 1970

Sukarno was an Indonesian politician who played a major role in the Indonesian struggle for independence. An important leader of the country's nationalist movement, Sukarno declared Indonesian independence from the Dutch Empire and became Indonesia's first president in 1945. He was successful in resisting Dutch re-colonization efforts and went on to serve as the Indonesian president until 1967.

 32 Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa.
8
Famous As: President of South Africa
Birthdate: November 17, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Soweto

Cyril Ramaphosa is a politician and the current president of South Africa. Also the president of South Africa's popular political party African National Congress (ANC), Ramaphosa played a key role during the nation's transition to democracy during which he served as ANC's chief negotiator. He also played a crucial role in ending apartheid and was considered Nelson Mandela's political heir.

 33 Tsai Ing-wen

Tsai Ing-wen.
3
Famous As: President of Taiwan
Birthdate: August 31, 1956
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zhongshan District, Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwanese politician and academic, Tsai Ing-wen, is currently serving as the seventh president of the Republic of China (Taiwan). She has been in office since 2016. She is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party and the first female president of Taiwan. As the president, she has taken steps to fund green energy initiatives and supports LGBTQA+ rights.

 34 Yoweri Museveni

Yoweri Museveni.
3
Famous As: President of Uganda
Birthdate: August 15, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ntungamo

Ugandan politician, Yoweri Museveni, has been serving as the president of Uganda since 1986. He played a key role in a series of rebellions that overpowered Ugandan political leaders Idi Amin and Milton Obote before capturing power in the 1980s. Under his presidency, Uganda has achieved significant success in fighting HIV/AIDS. The country has also experienced relative peace under Museveni.

 35 Evo Morales

Evo Morales.
5
Famous As: President of Bolivia
Birthdate: October 26, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orinoca Canton
Evo Morales was the Bolivian president from 2006 to 2019. Known for his campaign for coca plantations, which some attribute to the growth of illegal cocaine production, he earned the nickname World Hero of Mother Earth. He leads the Movement for Socialism party and is a champion for indigenous rights.

 36 Michael Higgins

Michael Higgins.
3
Famous As: President of Ireland
Birthdate: April 18, 1941
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Limerick

Irish politician, Michael Higgins, took office as the ninth president of Ireland in November 2011. Previously, he served as minister for arts, culture, and the Gaeltacht and mayor of Galway. As the president, he has actively addressed issues related to justice, social equality, social inclusion, anti-sectarianism, and anti-racism. He is also a poet, writer, and sociologist.

 37 Alberto Fujimori

Alberto Fujimori.
5
Famous As: Former President of Peru
Birthdate: July 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lima

Alberto Fujimori is a Peruvian politician who served as the President of Peru from 1990 to 2000. He is a controversial figure accused of several charges of human rights abuses and corruption. He has also been proclaimed guilty of murder, causing bodily harm, and kidnapping. In 2009, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

 38 Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa.
3
Famous As: Former President of Poland
Birthdate: September 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Popowo, Gmina Tłuchowo, Poland

Lech Walesa is a Polish dissident and statesman. From 1990 to 1995, Walesa served as the first elected president of Poland. A Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Walesa was adjudged Time Person of the Year in 1981. In 1999, he was named in the magazine's most important people of the 20th century list. 

 39 Uhuru Kenyatta

Uhuru Kenyatta.
3
Famous As: President of Kenya
Birthdate: October 26, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nairobi

The incumbent Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta is the leader of the Jubilee Party of Kenya. Son of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, he was dragged into a controversy after sweeping the 2017 re-elections by winning 98% of the total votes. However, a Supreme Court ruling dismissed all charges against him.

 40 Mauricio Macri

Mauricio Macri.
3
Famous As: Current President of Argentina
Birthdate: February 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tandil, Argentina
Son of Italian-Argentine businessman Franco Macri, Mauricio Macri had been a Boca Juniors president before becoming the president of Argentina. Interestingly, he was once kidnapped by corrupt police officers and released only after his father paid a ransom worth $6 million, an event that led him to join politics.

 41 Nursultan Nazarbayev

Nursultan Nazarbayev.
3
Famous As: 1st President of Kazakhstan
Birthdate: July 6, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chemolgan, Kazakh SSR Soviet Union

Nursultan Nazarbayev is a Kazakh politician who served as the first president of Kazakhstan and was in the office from 1990 to 2019. His presidency of almost three decades was likened to dictatorship and many human rights organizations have accused Nursultan Nazarbayev of human rights abuses. However, he remains immune to any criminal prosecution and is currently the chairman of the Security Council.

 42 Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler.
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Famous As: Nazi Leader, German Dictator and Chancellor of Germany
Birthdate: April 20, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Braunau am Inn
Died: April 30, 1945

One of the most powerful leaders of the 20th century, Adolf Hitler was a German dicator whose policies started the WWII that resulted in the death of millions of people. He had a visceral hatred for Jews and during his regime nearly six million Jews were killed in Holocaust.

 43 Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina

Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina.
3
Famous As: Former President of the Dominican Republic
Birthdate: October 24, 1891
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Cristóbal Province, Dominican Republic
Died: May 30, 1961

Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina was a Dominican dictator. He ruled the Dominican Republic from 1930 to 1961, serving as president for 18 years and as an unelected military strongman for the rest of the time. While he was in power, the Dominican Republic witnessed large-scale violence and his 31-year-rule is regarded as one of the bloodiest eras in the Americas.

 44 Mohamed Morsi

Mohamed Morsi.
11
Famous As: 5th President of Egypt
Birthdate: August 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: El-Adwah

Mohamed Morsi served as the Egyptian president from 2012 to 2013 and was ousted from office by a coup. He led the Freedom and Justice Party briefly and was part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Following his ouster, he was charged with various crimes, but he died during a re-trial.

 45 Nicolas Sarkozy

Nicolas Sarkozy.
12
Birthdate: January 28, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris
Nicolas Sarkozy served as the French president from 2007 to 2012. A qualified lawyer, he had held a number of significant administrative positions, such as the Minister of Finance, earlier. Among other reforms, he introduced a two-term limit for French presidents. He is married to popular singer Carla Bruni. 

 46 Joko Widodo

Joko Widodo.
10
Famous As: President of Indonesia
Birthdate: June 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Surakarta
Joko Widodo, the current president of Indonesia, has previously been the mayor of Surakarta and the governor of Jakarta. He initially owned a furniture business and later joined the Democratic Party of Struggle. He introduced universal healthcare as Jakarta’s governor. Fortune named him one of "The World's 50 Greatest Leaders."

 47 François Mitterrand

François Mitterrand.
4
Famous As: Former President of France
Birthdate: October 26, 1916
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jarnac
Died: January 8, 1996
François Mitterrand served as the French president from 1981 to 1995, becoming the longest-tenured president in the history of his country. He was the first to name a female prime minister, Édith Cresson. He is known for his investments in several Grands Projets and his opposition of the Fifth Republic.

 48 Hafez al-Assad

Hafez al-Assad.
5
Famous As: Former President of Syria
Birthdate: October 6, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Qardaha, Syria
Died: June 10, 2000
Hafez al-Assad was the Syrian president from 1971 to 2000. He also served as the country’s prime minister from 1970 to 1971. The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party leader was part of the 1963 coup that dethroned President Nazim al-Kudsi and the 1966 coup which made him the Syrian defense minister.

 49 Daniel Ortega

Daniel Ortega.
3
Famous As: President of Nicaragua
Birthdate: November 11, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: La Libertad
Daniel Ortega is the incumbent president of Nicaragua. He has also been the Coordinator of the Junta of National Reconstruction and a Sandinista leader, too. He was part of the resistance against dictator Anastasio Somoza and later learned guerrilla tactics in Cuba. His rule is increasingly turning anti-democratic in nature.

 50 Enrique Peña Nieto

Enrique Peña Nieto.
16
Famous As: President of Mexico
Birthdate: July 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Atlacomulco, State of Mexico, Mexico

Mexican politician Enrique Peña Nieto served as the 64th President of Mexico from 2012 to 2018. He was previously the Governor of the State of Mexico. He joined politics in the mid-1980s as a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He was a controversial president and his tenure saw a rise in drug trade and corruption.