Famous 20th Century Revolutionaries

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Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century Revolutionaries

 1 
Che Guevara
(Revolutionary)

Che Guevara
21
Birthdate: June 14, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rosario, Argentina
Died: October 9, 1967

Argentine Marxist revolutionary, Che Guevara, was a major figure of the Cuban Revolution. A physician by profession, he developed radical views upon witnessing the injustices in the world and joined Fidel Castro’s revolutionary 26th of July Movement. Assassinated in 1967, he remains both a revered and reviled historical figure.

 2 
Mahatma Gandhi
(Leader of Indian Independence Movement)

Mahatma Gandhi
9
Birthdate: October 2, 1869
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Porbandar, India
Died: January 30, 1948

An Indian lawyer and anti-colonial nationalist, Mahatma Gandhi was a major figure in India’s fight for independence from British rule. He is renowned for his employment of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience methods. Despite his popularity, he had numerous detractors as well and was assassinated in 1948. He is widely considered the Father of the Nation in India.

 3 
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
(Founder of the Republic of Turkey,)

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
11
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.” 
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 4 
Leon Trotsky
(People's Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs of the Soviet Union (1918-1925))

Leon Trotsky
17
Birthdate: November 7, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bereslavka, Ukraine
Died: August 21, 1940

A Russian politician, political theorist, and revolutionary, Leon Trotsky developed a political ideology called Trotskyism, which eventually had a considerable impact on Russian politics. He also played a vital role in leading the Red Army to victory in the Russian Civil War.

 5 
Bhagat Singh
(Revolutionary)

Bhagat Singh
12
Birthdate: September 28, 1907
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Banga, Punjab, British India
Died: March 23, 1931

Bhagat Singh is one of the most revered freedom fighters of Indian Independence movement. His execution by the British rulers at a young age of 23 inspired many young people to join the freedom struggle. His life’s mission was to free India from colonial rule and his legacy as a symbol of bravery and patriotism continues to live on.

 6 
Huey P. Newton
(Revolutionary, Co-founder of the Black Panther Party)

Huey P. Newton
9
Birthdate: February 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Monroe, Louisiana, United States
Died: August 22, 1989

Huey P. Newton was an African-American civil and political rights activist. He is credited with co-founding The Black Panther Party (BPP), which went on to become one of black movement's most influential organizations of the late-1960s. The party, under Newton's leadership, founded more than 60 community support programs, including Free Breakfast for Children, which provided food to thousands of children.

 7 
Pancho Villa
(Governor of Chihuahua (1913-14))

Pancho Villa
5
Birthdate: June 5, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: La Coyotada, Mexico
Died: July 20, 1923
Military leader Pancho Villa was a significant figure of the Mexican Revolution. He supported the ouster of dictator Porfirio Diaz and later fought to remove Victoriano Huerta from power. He also allied with Emiliano Zapata and fought against Venustiano Carranza. He remains immortalized in many films and novels.
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 8 
Rosa Luxemburg
(Marxist economist)

Rosa Luxemburg
9
Birthdate: March 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zamosc, Poland
Died: January 15, 1919
Polish Marxist and socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg was a member of parties such as the SPD, the USPD, and the KPD. Luxemburg was an anti-war activist and taught economics and Marxism at SPD's Berlin training center. She was assassinated by the Freikorps troops during the German Revolution

 9 
Emiliano Zapata
(Revolutionary)

Emiliano Zapata
4
Birthdate: August 8, 1879
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Anenecuilco, Mexico
Died: April 10, 1919
Emiliano Zapata was a key figure in the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 and led the agrarian movement known as Zapatismo. As the leader of the Liberation Army of the South, he contributed to the fall of Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz and later fought against Venustiano Carranza.

 10 
Bobby Sands
(Member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA))

Bobby Sands
4
Birthdate: March 9, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Newtownabbey, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Died: May 5, 1981

Robert Gerard Sands, better known as Bobby Sands, was a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) member, who died during a 1981 hunger strike, along with nine other strikers, protesting against the removal of Special Category Status from IRA prisoners. He had helped plot the 1976 Balmoral Furniture Company bombing.

 11 
Vladimir Lenin
(1st & Founding head of government of Soviet Russia (1917-1924) and Soviet Union (1922-24))

Vladimir Lenin
2
Birthdate: April 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ulyanovsk, Russia
Died: January 21, 1924

Vladimir Lenin played a key role in the history of Russian politics by developing a political ideology called Leninism. During and after his lifetime, Lenin had a massive influence over international communist movement. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and significant personalities of the 20th century.

 12 
Fidel Castro
(Former Prime Minister of Cuba)

Fidel Castro
2
Birthdate: August 13, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Birán, Cuba
Died: November 26, 2016

Serving as the Cuban prime minister from 1959 to 1976 and as president from 1976 to 2008, Fidel Castro was one of the most prominent Cuban leaders in the history. As the longest-reigning non-royal head of the 20th and 21st centuries, Castro was responsible for making Cuba a communist state.

 13 
Gavrilo Princip
(Assassinator of Archduke Franz Ferdinand)

Gavrilo Princip
8
Birthdate: July 25, 1894
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Obljaj
Died: April 28, 1918
Gavrilo Princip was a Bosnian Serb member of the Young Bosnia movement who wished to end the Austro-Hungarian reign in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He thus assassinated Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, at age 19. This eventually contributed to the start of World War I

 14 
Muammar Gaddafi
(Prime Minister of Libya (1970-72))

Muammar Gaddafi
7
Birthdate: June 7, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Qasr Abu Hadi, Libya
Died: October 20, 2011
A revolutionary, politician and political theorist, Muammar Gaddafi seized power in Libya from King Idris in a bloodless coup in 1969 and became its authoritarian dictator for more than 40 years. He initially gained popularity and support; however, later, his increased dominance, support for international terrorism, and human rights violation turned people against him. He was eventually overthrown.

 15 
Alexander Kerensky
(Minister-President of the Russian Republic (1917))

Alexander Kerensky
3
Birthdate: May 4, 1881
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ulyanovsk, Russia
Died: June 11, 1970

Alexander Kerensky was a Russian revolutionary and lawyer who played a major role in the Russian Revolution of 1917. Alexander Kerensky is often portrayed in films and TV series. In the 1971 epic historical drama film Nicholas and Alexandra, he was played by John McEnery. In the 2019 series The Last Czars, he was portrayed by Kestutis Cicenas.

 16 
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
(Revolutionary & Part of the Lal Bal Pal Triumvirate)

Bal Gangadhar Tilak
7
Birthdate: July 23, 1856
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India
Died: September 1, 1920
Indian nationalist and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak, also known as Lokmanya Tilak, promoted the concept of Swaraj, or self-rule. He was part of the freedom-fighter trio know as Lal Bal Pal, along with fellow Indian National Congress members Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal.

 17 
Peter Kropotkin
(Anarchist, Socialist & Historian)

Peter Kropotkin
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1842
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: February 8, 1921

Russian philosopher Peter Kropotkin was a passionate advocate of anarcho-communism. He was also an activist, revolutionary, economist, and sociologist. He was arrested and imprisoned for his activism in 1874. However, he managed to escape and lived in exile for over 40 years in different countries across Europe. He returned to Russia after the Russian Revolution in 1917. 

 18 
Jiang Qing
(Politician)

Jiang Qing
7
Birthdate: March 5, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zhucheng, Weifang, China
Died: May 14, 1991

 19 
Apolinario Mabini
(Revolutionary leader)

Apolinario Mabini
3
Birthdate: July 23, 1864
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Talaga, Philippines
Died: May 13, 1903

 20 
Chandra Shekhar Azad
(Revolutionary)

Chandra Shekhar Azad
6
Birthdate: July 23, 1906
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Badarka, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: February 27, 1931

Chandra Shekhar Azad joined India’s freedom struggle against the British after being deeply affected by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Born Chandra Shekhar Tiwari, he declared himself as Azad when arrested in connection with Gandhiji’s non-cooperation movement. He shot himself to death to escape being held captive by the British.

 21 

Kenneth Kaunda
3
Birthdate: April 28, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chinsali, Awemba North, Northern Rhodesia
Died: June 17, 2021

Kenneth Kaunda is a Zambian former politician. He served as the first president of Zambia from 1964 to 1991. A major figure in Zambia’s struggle for independence from British rule, he became the first president of independent Zambia. As the president, he implemented many educational and economic reforms to accelerate the rate of modernization in the country.

 22 
Nestor Makhno
(Revolutionary, Writer)

Nestor Makhno
3
Birthdate: November 7, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hulyaipole, Ukraine
Died: July 25, 1934
Remembered for his guerrilla tactics, his Robin Hood image, and his Black Army that kept the Red and White armies away from a part of Ukraine, Nestor Makhno lost his father as an infant. He began working on farms at age 7 and grew up to be an anarchist revolutionary. 

 23 
Patrick Pearse
(Barrister and a Leader of the Easter Rising in 1916)

Patrick Pearse
3
Birthdate: November 10, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: May 3, 1916

Patrick Pearse was an Irish teacher, barrister, poet, writer, and revolutionary. He was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916. Opinionated with radical views, he decided as a boy that he would dedicate his life to Irish freedom. A relentless idealist, he was executed after the Easter Rising and was immortalized as a symbol of the rebellion.

 24 
Robert Mugabe
(Former PM & President of Zimbabwe)

Robert Mugabe
13
Birthdate: February 21, 1924
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Harare, Zimbabwe
Died: September 6, 2019

Robert Mugabe was a Zimbabwean revolutionary. He played a major role in the Rhodesian Bush War, which eventually led to the Lancaster House Agreement, resulting in the creation of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Subsequently, Mugabe served as the first prime minister of Zimbabwe and later as its president. A controversial figure, Mugabe is also often criticized for his tyrannical ways.

 25 
Lala Lajpat Rai
(Freedom Fighter & Part of Lal Bal Pal Triumvirate)

Lala Lajpat Rai
4
Birthdate: January 28, 1865
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dhudike, India
Died: November 17, 1928

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

 26 
Emilio Aguinaldo
(President of the Philippines (1899-1901))

Emilio Aguinaldo
4
Birthdate: March 22, 1869
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kawit, Philippines
Died: February 6, 1964
Filipino revolutionary and military leader Emilio Aguinaldo was the first president of the Philippines, from 1899 to 1901. He was also the youngest president of his country and the first of any Asian republic. He was part of the Philippine Revolution, the Spanish–American War, and the Philippine–American War.

 27 
Mikhail Kalinin
(Mayor of Saint Petersburg)

Mikhail Kalinin
3
Birthdate: November 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Verkhnyaya Troitsa, Russia
Died: June 3, 1946

Mikhail Kalinin was a Soviet politician and an Old Bolshevik revolutionary. From 1919 to 1946, Kalinin served as head of state of the Soviet Union. After Kalinin's death, three major cities of the Soviet Union were named or renamed in his honor.

 28 
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
(Independence Activist, Reformer)

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
18
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.

 29 

Constance Markievicz
3
Birthdate: February 4, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: July 15, 1927

Irish revolutionary political leader and suffragist Constance Markievicz scripted history by becoming the first woman to be elected as a cabinet minister in Europe and also the first female to be elected to the British Parliament. Sentenced to death for her role in the Easter Rising, she was later granted amnesty.

 30 
Ulrike Meinhof
(Journalist and founding member of the Red Army Faction (RAF) in West Germany)

Ulrike Meinhof
4
Birthdate: October 7, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oldenburg, Germany
Died: May 9, 1976

 31 
Hu Yaobang
(Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China)

Hu Yaobang
4
Birthdate: November 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Liuyang, Changsha, China
Died: April 15, 1989

Hu Yaobang served as the Chinese Communist Party's general secretary from 1982 to 1987. Prior to his position as the general secretary, Hu served as the party's chairman from 1981 to 1982. Under Deng Xiaoping's leadership, Hu Yaobang rose to prominence and played a crucial role in the Boluan Fanzheng program, which was initiated by Deng.

 32 
Francisco I. Madero
(Revolutionary)

Francisco I. Madero
3
Birthdate: October 30, 1873
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Parras de la Fuente, Mexico
Died: February 22, 1913

Apart from being the president of Mexico, Francisco I. Madero was also a social reformist. Born into an affluent landowning family, Madero grew up to challenge the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz and was one of the initiators of the Mexican Revolution. He was assassinated in a right-wing coup.

 33 
Yakov Yurovsky
(Soviet Era Executioner)

Yakov Yurovsky
3
Birthdate: June 19, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tomsk, Siberia, Russian Empire
Died: 1938 AD

Yakov Yurovsky was a Russian Old Bolshevik. Also a Soviet Revolutionary, he acted as the chief executioner of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia and his family on the night of 17 July 1918. A watchmaker by trade, he was a Chekist for a short time. In his later life, he allegedly expressed remorse over his role in the executions.

 34 
Anastas Mikoyan
(Revolutionary)

Anastas Mikoyan
3
Birthdate: November 25, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sanahin, Alaverdi, Armenia
Died: October 21, 1978

Anastas Mikoyan was an Armenian Communist revolutionary. He was an Old Bolshevik. He held several high governmental posts during Joseph Stalin’s rule but began to lose favor towards the end of his regime. He once again regained his power during Nikita Khrushchev’s rule and served as the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. He also wrote several memoirs.  

 35 
Jonas Savimbi
(Politician)

Jonas Savimbi
3
Birthdate: August 3, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Munhango, Angola
Died: February 22, 2002

 36 
Nikolai Bukharin
(Politician)

Nikolai Bukharin
3
Birthdate: October 9, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: March 15, 1938
Marxist economist Nikolai Bukharin was drawn toward the Bolshevik ideology while studying economics. Though a staunch communist and a chief ally of Joseph Stalin, Bukharin was later falsely accused of spying and engaging in counter-revolutionary activities. Following his execution, he was posthumously made a party member in 1988.

 37 
Udham Singh
(Revolutionary)

Udham Singh
0
Birthdate: December 26, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sunam, Punjab, India
Died: July 31, 1940

 38 
Augusto César Sandino
(Nicaraguan revolutionary Leader)

Augusto César Sandino
3
Birthdate: May 18, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Niquinohomo, Nicaragua
Died: February 21, 1934

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.

 39 
Alexei Rykov
(Premier of the Soviet Union (1924-30))

Alexei Rykov
3
Birthdate: February 25, 1881
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saratov, Russia
Died: March 15, 1938

Alexei Rykov was a Russian Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet politician. He served as the  Premier of Russia and the Soviet Union in the 1920s. A key player in the 1905 Russian Revolution, he often came into political conflict with Vladimir Lenin. He oversaw the implementation of the "War Communism" economic policy during the Russian Civil War.

 40 
Maud Gonne
(Actress)

Maud Gonne
3
Birthdate: December 21, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tongham, United Kingdom
Died: April 27, 1953

Maud Gonne not just co-founded the Sinn Féin party but also participated in the theater movement of W.B Yeats, who made her his muse and proposed to her many times, only to be rejected. An Irish nationalist, she also formed the Daughters of Ireland and acted in Yeats’s first play Cathleen ni Houlihan.

 41 

Karl Liebknecht
3
Birthdate: January 13, 1871
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: January 15, 1919

German socialist radical Karl Liebknecht is best remembered for co-founding the Spartacus League, an underground group that was declared illegal but later led to the formation of the Communist Party of Germany. He was shot to death on the orders of German commander Waldemar Pabst in the 1919 Spartacus Revolt.

 42 
Laurent-Désiré Kabila
(3rd President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Laurent-Désiré Kabila
3
Birthdate: November 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moba, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Died: January 16, 2001

 43 
Abū Niḍāl
(Palestinian leader)

Abū Niḍāl
3
Birthdate: November 27, 1939, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jaffa, Palestine
Died: August 16, 2002

 44 
Arul Pragasam
(Former activist who had a part in forming the group Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS) in January 1975)

Arul Pragasam
4
Birthdate: April 13, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: affna, Sri Lanka
Died: December 3, 2019

 45 
Michael X
(Civil rights activist, Revolutionary)

Michael X
1
Birthdate: August 17, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Belmont, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: May 16, 1975

 46 
Alexandra Kollontai
(Revolutionary)

Alexandra Kollontai
3
Birthdate: March 31, 1872
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 9, 1952

Alexandra Kollontai was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and diplomat. She served as the People's Commissar for Welfare in Lenin’s government. A powerful figure, she became the first woman in history to become an official member of a governing cabinet. She was also one of the few women to play a prominent role during the Russian Revolution. 

 47 
Agostinho Neto
(Former President of Angola)

Agostinho Neto
3
Birthdate: September 17, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ícolo e Bengo
Died: September 10, 1979

MPLA leader Agostinho Neto was Angola’s first president. Born to school teacher parents, Neto grew up to become a poet and later studied medicine. However, while pursuing his academic career, he also participated in indigenous movements. Following his arrest and the subsequent unrest, he joined the Angolan liberation movement.

 48 
Eleuthérios Venizélos
(Prime minister of Greece)

Eleuthérios Venizélos
3
Birthdate: August 23, 1864
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mournies, Greece
Died: March 18, 1936

Eleuthérios Venizélos was a Greek statesman who played a prominent role in the Greek national liberation movement. He served as the Prime Minister of Greece on eight occasions between 1910 and 1933. As a politician, he contributed immensely to the expansion of Greece. Eleuthérios Venizelos is often called the Maker of Modern Greece due to his influence on the country.

Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst
3
Birthdate: September 22, 1880
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Died: February 13, 1958

Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst was a British suffragette who co-founded the Women's Social and Political Union. From 1912 to 1913, Pankhurst directed the organization's militant actions from France. After the war, Christabel Pankhurst settled down in the United States of America where she served as an evangelist for the Second Coming movement.

 50 
Amílcar Cabral
(Agricultural engineer and Politician)

Amílcar Cabral
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bafatá, Portuguese Guinea
Died: January 20, 1973