21st Century Leaders

Find out more about the greatest 21st Century Leaders, including Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 21st Century Leaders

 1 Barack Obama

Barack Obama
656
Famous As: 44th President of the United States
Birthdate: August 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, has the distinction of being the first African-American president of the nation. A civil rights attorney and an academic, he has been credited with bringing about a significant improvement in America’s reputation abroad. His efforts to strengthen international diplomacy was recognized with the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

 2 Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
126
Famous As: President of South Africa (1994-1999)
Birthdate: July 18, 1918
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mvezo, South Africa
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.

 3 Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev
79
Famous As: President of the Soviet Union (1990-91)
Birthdate: March 2, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Privol'noe, Russia

Born into a poor peasant family, Mikhail Gorbachev went on to become one of the most influential figures of the Soviet Union. He served in various positions, most notably as the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He is regarded as one of the most prominent personalities of the 20th century.

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 4 Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan
163
Famous As: 40th President of the United States (1981-1989)
Birthdate: February 6, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tampico, Illinois, United States
Died: June 5, 2004

An actor turned union leader turned politician, Ronald Wilson Reagan served as the 40th president of America. Hailed for his public speaking and communication skills, Reagan is one of the most popular Presidents of USA, mainly due to his ‘America First’ economic policies which led to a decrease in inflation and unemployment rates during his tenure.

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 5 George H. W. Bush

George H. W. Bush
142
Famous As: President of the United States (1989-93)
Birthdate: June 12, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milton, Massachusetts, United States
Died: November 30, 2018

The 41st president of the U.S, George H.W. Bush also twice served as the vice president of the country and held various other important political positions before assuming the presidency. During his presidency, he led successful military operation against Panama and Iraq which made him popular, but domestic issues prevented him from winning a second term at the office.

 6 Shinzō Abe

Shinzō Abe
20
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Japan
Birthdate: September 21, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tokyo

Shinzō Abe is a Japanese politician who became the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Japan after serving as prime minister of Japan from 2006 to 2007 and then from 2012 to 2020. Aged 52 at the time of assuming office as the prime minister, Abe is also the youngest Japanese post-war prime minister.

 7 Imran Khan

Imran Khan
381
Famous As: 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan
Birthdate: October 5, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lahore, Pakistan

The current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan is also the founder and chairman of the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Before making an entry into politics, Imran Khan was an extremely popular international cricketer who led Pakistan to its first ever Cricket World Cup title in 1992. As a philanthropist, he established Pakistan’s first cancer hospital in Lahore.

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 8 Ben Carson

Ben Carson
24
Famous As: U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (2017 – 2021)
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson is credited with many pioneering neurosurgical procedures. He became a Library of Congress “Living Legend” and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He later contested in the 2016 presidential primaries, has authored numerous books, was a Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and earned 60 honorary doctorates.

 9 A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
55
Famous As: President of India (2002-07), Aerospace scientist
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.

 10 Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte
136
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 Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi
132
Famous As: Prime Minister of India (Since 2014)
Birthdate: September 17, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vadnagar, Gujarat, India

The 14th PM of India, Narendra Modi, created history when he became the first prime minister outside of the Congress party to win two consecutive terms with a full majority; he achieved this feat in 2019. From Bharatiya Janata Party worker to India’s PM, Modi’s journey is remarkable. However, he’s been plagued by controversies too, including the handling of 2002 Gujarat riots.

 12 Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern
78
Famous As: Prime Minister of New Zealand
Birthdate: July 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hamilton, New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern is the current Prime Minister of New Zealand. In October 2017, at the age of 37, she became the world's youngest female head of government. Ardern was praised for the way she led her country after the Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019 and handled the COVID 19 pandemic. She led her party to victory in 2020 general elections.

 13 Ron DeSantis

Ron DeSantis
35
Famous As: Governor of Florida
Birthdate: September 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States

The current governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis became the youngest incumbent governor of a US state at the age of 42. Also an attorney and naval officer, Ron DeSantis was honored with the Bronze Star Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his military service.

 14 John Glenn

John Glenn
20
Famous As: Tthe First American to Orbit the Earth
Birthdate: July 18, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambridge, Ohio, United States
Died: December 8, 2016

The first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn was an astronaut, aviator, politician, and businessman. Beginning his career as an army man, he was a fighter pilot in World War II. He later joined NASA and was one of the Mercury Seven. Following his retirement from NASA, he became a politician and served in the US Senate.

 15 Volodymyr Zelenskiy

Volodymyr Zelenskiy
21
Famous As: President of Ukraine (since 2019)
Birthdate: January 25, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine
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.

 16 Colin Powell

Colin Powell
20
Famous As: 65th United States Secretary of State (2001-2005)
Birthdate: April 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: October 18, 2021

A veteran politician who served as the 65th United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell was the first African-American Secretary of State. A member of the Republican Party, he was an army man prior to entering politics. He was a  four-star general at the time of his retirement. After leaving politics, he pursued a career as a public speaker.

 17 Helmut Kohl

Helmut Kohl
15
Famous As: Former Chancellor of Germany
Birthdate: April 3, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ludwigshafen
Died: June 16, 2017
Christian Democratic Union politician Helmut Kohl was the Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998. He had also served as the chairman of the CDU earlier. His tenure witnessed the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the formation of the European Union.

 18 Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice
59
Famous As: 66th United States Secretary of State (2005-09)
Birthdate: November 14, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States

The 66th United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made history in 2005 when she became the first female black Secretary of State. She is also the first female to serve as National Security Advisor, a position which she served from 2001 to 2005. One of the most powerful women in the world at one point of time, she has been depicted in Hollywood films.

 19 Akihito

Akihito
17
Famous As: 125th Emperor of Japan
Birthdate: December 23, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Akihito served as the 125th emperor of Japan after succeeding his father to the Chrysanthemum Throne. As emperor, he played a crucial role in inspiring people in 2011 when Japan was struck by two major disasters: Fukushima I nuclear crisis and Great East Japan Earthquake. Akihito abdicated the throne in 2019, becoming the first emperor to do so since 1817.

 20 Kane

Kane
6
Famous As: Professional wrestler, Politician
Birthdate: April 26, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain

Kane is an American wrestler, actor, businessman, politician, and author. Apart from being the Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, Kane is also one of the most popular WWE wrestlers of all time. He played an important role in popularizing WWE's Attitude Era throughout the late-1990s and early-2000s. He is regarded by some as the best wrestler of his generation.

 21 Bob Dole

Bob Dole
27
Famous As: United States Senator from Kansas (1969-1996)
Birthdate: July 22, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Russell, Kansas, United States
Died: December 5, 2021

Bob Dole is an American retired politician who remains active in public life. Before commencing his political career, Dole served in the United States Army during World War II. For his service in the army and later as a politician, Bob Dole has been honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Presidential Citizens Medal.

 22 Rand Paul

Rand Paul
53
Famous As: United States Senator from Kentucky (Since 2011)
Birthdate: January 7, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

The son of former U.S. Representative Ron Paul, Rand Paul is currently the junior US Senator from Kentucky. Also a physician, he started practising ophthalmology in 1993 and has his own clinic. After recovering from the coronavirus disease, he started volunteering at a hospital. As a politician, he has focused on criminal justice reform.

 23 Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter
110
Famous As: 39th President of the United States
Birthdate: October 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Plains, Georgia, United States

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.

 24 Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright
7
Famous As: Ist Female U.S. Secretary of State
Birthdate: November 28, 1937
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Smíchov, Prague, Czechia
Died: March 23, 2022
Madeleine Albright served as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001, under Bill Clinton, and was the first woman to hold the post. The Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee also chaired the Albright Stonebridge Group and taught at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

 25 Mahathir Mohamad

Mahathir Mohamad
17
Famous As: Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981-2003, 2018-20)
Birthdate: July 10, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Alor Setar, Malaysia

Mahathir Mohamad is a Malaysian statesman, doctor, and author. He twice served as the prime minister of Malaysia and is widely regarded as one of the most popular Malaysian prime ministers of all time. Under his premiership, Malaysia underwent a period of rapid economic growth and modernization. Mahathir Mohamad is also credited with establishing strong foreign relations with many countries.

 26 Richard Winters

Richard Winters
11
Famous As: Army officer
Birthdate: January 21, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Holland, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 2, 2011
Richard Winters is best remembered for his act of parachuting into Normandy on D-Day. He was recalled to the army from the inactive list during the Korean War. Following his retirement, he started selling Hershey Company by-products to animal-feed manufacturers and also taught at the U.S. Military Academy.

 27 Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley
78
Famous As: 29th United States Ambassador to the United Nations (2017-2018)
Birthdate: January 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bamberg, South Carolina, United States

Born to Indian immigrant parents, Nikki Haley went on to become the first Indian-American to hold an office in South Carolina and later became its governor—the first woman and second Indian American to be appointed governor in the US. A published author, she has also served as the US ambassador to the United Nations.

 28 Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama
5
Famous As: Spiritual Leader of Tibet
Birthdate: July 6, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Taktser, China
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is known for his advocacy for peace in Tibet and has won the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize. He belongs to a lineage of reincarnations of Avalokiteśvara. He fled to India during the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion and formed a Tibetan government in exile.

 29 Ron Paul

Ron Paul
37
Birthdate: August 20, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Ron Paul is a physician, author, and retired politician who has played an important role in promoting libertarian vision by delivering speeches on American college campuses. A doctor by profession, Ron Paul served in the U.S. Air Force as a flight surgeon from 1963 to 1968. His life and career inspired the 2012 film Ron Paul Uprising.

 30 Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn
31
Famous As: Former United States National Security Advisor
Birthdate: December 1, 1958
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fort Meade, Maryland, United States

Michael Flynn is a retired US Army lieutenant general who played a key role in dismantling insurgent networks in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He also helped shape the US counterterrorism strategy in the wars. He also played a major role in the 2016 US presidential election, serving as Donald Trump's senior advisor throughout the latter's presidential campaign.

 31 Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison
22
Famous As: Prime Minister of Australia
Birthdate: May 13, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sydney

Scott Morrison is an Australian politician, currently serving as the prime minister of Australia. After assuming office, Morrison led the Coalition to victory in 2019, which was considered a significant upset as the Labor Party was ahead of the Coalition in most opinion polls. As Australia's first Pentecostal PM, Morrison also serves as an inspiration to the Pentecostal community.

 32 Jacques Chirac

Jacques Chirac
21
Famous As: President of France (1995-2007)
Birthdate: November 29, 1932
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 26, 2019

Jacques Chirac was a French politician who served as France's prime minister on two occasions, first from 1974 to 1976 and then from 1986 to 1988. He also served as France's president from 1995 to 2007. Because of his long career in prominent government positions, Chirac was often caricatured or parodied. He was also depicted in films, such as W.

 33 Trey Gowdy

Trey Gowdy
16
Famous As: U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina's 4th district (2011-19)
Birthdate: August 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
Trey Gowdy, former representative for South Carolina's 4th congressional district, has also been a federal prosecutor and a district attorney. He led the investigations into the Benghazi attack and Hillary Clinton's email server, and has chaired the House Oversight Committee. He now works for Fox News and a legal firm.

 34 Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan
11
Famous As: Former UN Secretary General
Birthdate: April 8, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kumasi, Ghana
Died: August 18, 2018

Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006. He was the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation and a co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. During his stint with the UN, he launched the UN Global Compact and worked to combat HIV/AIDS. 

 35 Jesse Jackson

Jesse Jackson
4
Famous As: United States Shadow Senator from the District of Columbia (1991-97)
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.

 36 Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi
42
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese politician and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She is credited with co-founding the National League for Democracy, which eventually ended the rule of Myanmar's military junta. In 1999, she was named one of the Children of Gandhi by Time magazine for enduring almost 15 years of house arrest for the greater good of Myanmar.

 37 Vitali Klitschko

Vitali Klitschko
10
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 19, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Belovodskoe, Kyrgyzstan

 38 Võ Nguyên Giáp

Võ Nguyên Giáp
9
Famous As: Officer
Birthdate: August 25, 1911
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lệ Thủy District, Vietnam
Died: October 4, 2013

Võ Nguyên Giáp was a politician who also served in the Vietnam People's Army as an army general. Regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest military strategists, Giáp played key roles as a military commander in the First Indochina War and in the Second Indochina War. He is also credited with laying the foundation for the Annamite Range trail.

 39 Queen Rania of Jordan

Queen Rania of Jordan
14
Famous As: Queen consort of Jordan.
Birthdate: August 31, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kuwait City

Queen Rania of Jordan is the current queen consort of Jordan. Since her marriage to Abdullah II of Jordan, Rania has focused on improving education and health in Jordan. In 2005, Queen Rania joined hands with the Ministry of Education to launch the Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education, an annual teachers’ award.

 40 Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Atal Bihari Vajpayee
38
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of India
Birthdate: December 25, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gwalior
Died: August 16, 2018

Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as the 10th Prime Minister of India and was the first prime minister who did not belong to the Indian National Congress. The BJP politician had been a journalist and an RSS member. He was a noted poet, too. During his tenure as prime minister, he carried out Pokhran II nuclear tests in 1998 and declared India as a country with nuclear weapons capability.

 41 Kristi Noem

Kristi Noem
41
Famous As: Governor of South Dakota
Birthdate: November 30, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Watertown, South Dakota, United States

 42 Felipe VI of Spain

Felipe VI of Spain
10
Famous As: King of Spain (Since 2014)
Birthdate: January 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain

Felipe VI of Spain is the current King of Spain, reigning since 2014. He ascended the throne upon the abdication of his father, Juan Carlos I. His mother is Queen Sofía. As the king, he is head of state and commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces as well. He also serves as the honorary president of several associations and foundations. 

 43 Tammy Duckworth

Tammy Duckworth
33
Famous As: United States Senator from Illinois (since 2017)
Birthdate: March 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bangkok, Thailand

A war veteran who lost both her legs during the Iraq War, Tammy Duckworth is a symbol of courage and resilience. Her never-say-die spirit enabled her to become the first woman with a disability and the first Thai-American woman to earn a seat in Congress. She is the first member of Senate to give birth while in office.

 44 Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio
32
Famous As: United States Senator from Florida (Since 2011)
Birthdate: May 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States

Florida senator Marco Rubio also chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Small Business Committee. He was chosen to state the Republican response to Barack Obama's 2013 State of the Union Address. He has immense support from the Republican Tea Party activists and caters mostly to Latin American voters.

 45 Hassanal Bolkiah

Hassanal Bolkiah
9
Famous As: Sultan of Brunei (Since 1967)
Birthdate: July 15, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Hassanal Bolkiah is the prime minister and Sultan of Brunei. The eldest son of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III, Bolkiah is the world's second longest-tenured living monarch, after Queen Elizabeth II. He has chaired APEC and ASEAN summits. He was the world’s richest person in 1997, surpassing Bill Gates.

 46 Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Andrés Manuel López Obrador
15
Famous As: President of Mexico (Since 2018)
Birthdate: November 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tepetitán, Tabasco, Mexico
Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been serving as Mexico’s 58th president since December 2018. He led the Party of the Democratic Revolution from 1996 to 1999 and was elected Head of Government of Mexico City. He established the National Regeneration Movement in 2014 and led it till 2017.

 47 Kenneth Kaunda

Kenneth Kaunda
6
Famous As: Teacher
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.

 48 Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker
12
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: March 3, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wrightsville, Georgia, United States

 49 Kenny Omega

Kenny Omega
11
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: October 16, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Transcona, Winnipeg, Canada

Kenny Omega is the ring name of Tyson Smith, a Canadian-born professional wrestler. He had a successful tenure in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) after which he joined All Elite Wrestling (AEW), in which he is an executive vice president as well. He also appears in Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide and Impact Wrestling. He considers himself straight edge. 

 

 50 Dan Crenshaw

Dan Crenshaw
62
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 14, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Scotland

Former US Navy Seal officer Dan Crenshaw is now a Republican politician and a US Representative from Texas’s 2nd District. The Harvard alumnus now wears an eye patch, having lost his right eye in an explosion in Afghanistan. In late 2021, he came under fire for stating his party had liars.