Famous American Political Activists

Imagine what would life be had it not been for the activists and revolutionaries? Would living today be as same? Would we be free-thinking individuals? Would women have the same status in society that she enjoys today? Would we enjoy democratic rights? Would we have the right to express? Would we have the right of choosing our political representative? Every bit of those and many more are credits of the works of activists who gave their life for the welfare of the society. They were actually progressive individuals who fought against the rules set by the governing bodies to make the society a better place to live in. Their line of thought mostly goes contradictory to the then current system of belief and it is on this challenging path that they tread on, to define new rules and change the current system. Though America today maybe a superpower and one amongst the most powerful nations of the world, it wasn’t the same all through. In fact, the country dealt with its own challenges and difficulties. The political system of the country underwent numerous changes and much of it was brought about by political activists, some of the prominent ones include James Baldwin, Fred Hampton, Angela Davies, Ralph Nader, Sherman Austin and so on. Read through this section and find in details about the life and works of America political activists.

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 
Harriet Tubman
(Abolitionist and Political activist)

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
(Actress, Political activist)

Ashley Judd
4
Birthdate: April 19, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Granada Hills, 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 

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.

 4 
Manute Bol
(Basketball player)

Manute Bol
4
Birthdate: October 16, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gogrial, Sudan
Died: June 19, 2010

Known for his 7’ 7” frame, Manute Bol made headlines as one of the tallest NBA players ever. Born in Sudan, he was initially a soccer player but quit it because of his height. He later moved to the US to represent basketball teams such as the Golden State Warriors.

 5 

Bradley Whitford
5
Birthdate: October 10, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Best known as Josh Lyman from The West Wing, Bradley Whitford is a Juilliard-trained and Primetime Emmy-winning actor. Also known for his roles in series such as The Mentalist and movies such as Billy Madison, he also launched the charity Clothes off Our Back, which mostly donates to children’s non-profits.

 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 

Rowan Blanchard
4
Birthdate: October 14, 2001
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Rowan Blanchard is best known as Rebecca Wilson from Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. Named one of Time’s Most Influential Teens in 2015, she also appeared as Riley Matthews in the Disney series Girl Meets World and was seen in the series The Goldbergs and Snowpiercer, too.
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 8 
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.

 9 
Abbie Hoffman
(Anti-War Activist, Social activist)

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 
Elie Wiesel
(Writer)

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.

 12 
Afeni Shakur
(Activist)

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 
Ralph Nader
(Political Activist)

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

 14 
Tom Hayden
(Political Activist)

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.

 15 
Bobby Seale
(Political Activist)

Bobby Seale
6
Birthdate: October 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liberty, Texas Liberty, Texas, United States

 16 
Stokely Carmichael
(Political activist)

Stokely Carmichael
4
Birthdate: January 29, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: November 15, 1998

Stokely Carmichael was a significant part of the American civil rights movement and the worldwide Pan-African movement. He was associated with the Black Panther Party and the All-African People's Revolutionary Party. The Black Power movement leader later adopted the name Kwame Ture and traveled extensively through Africa.

 17 

Omarosa Manigault
4
Birthdate: February 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio, United States

 18 
Stephen Stills
(Singer-songwriter)

Stephen Stills
6
Birthdate: January 3, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States

 19 
Emma Goldman
(Political activist)

Emma Goldman
4
Birthdate: June 7, 1869
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kaunas, Lithuania
Died: May 4, 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.

 20 

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.

 21 

Megalyn Echikunwoke
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Spokane, Washington, United States

 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 
Laura Loomer
(Political Activist)

Laura Loomer
4
Birthdate: May 21, 1993
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: North Miami, Florida, USA

 24 
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.

 25 
James Brady
(White House Press Secretary)

James Brady
5
Birthdate: August 29, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Centralia, Illinois, USA
Died: August 4, 2014

 26 
Jack Kemp
(Politician)

Jack Kemp
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: May 2, 2009

 27 
Donald Trump Jr.
(Son of Donald Trump & Political Activist)

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.

 28 
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

Jane Addams
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cedarville, Illinois, U.S.
Died: May 21, 1935

Jane Addams was an American social worker, reformer, settlement activist, public administrator, sociologist, and author. Addams was a prominent leader in the history of women's suffrage and social work in the USA. She is credited with co-founding one of America's most popular settlement houses, the Hull House in Chicago. Addams is also credited with co-founding the American Civil Liberties Union.

 30 
Saul Alinsky
(Community Organizer)

Saul Alinsky
6
Birthdate: January 30, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: June 12, 1972

 31 
Candace Owens
(Conservative Author, Political Commentator & Activist)

Candace Owens
30
Birthdate: April 29, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stamford, Connecticut, United States

A political activist of color, Candace Owens first gained visibility as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Having changed her political stance since then, she is now known for her increasingly pro-Trump activism. Her support for Trump and criticism of Black Lives Matter have made her a controversial figure.

 32 
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.

 33 
Elizabeth Dole
(Politician)

Elizabeth Dole
5
Birthdate: July 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Salisbury, North Carolina, USA

 34 
Steve Schmidt
(Politician)

Steve Schmidt
3
Birthdate: September 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: North Plainfield, New Jersey, United States

 35 
Barbara Boxer
(Politician)

Barbara Boxer
5
Birthdate: November 11, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

 36 
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.

 37 
Katrina Pierson
(Political Activists)

Katrina Pierson
3
Birthdate: July 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kansas, USA

 38 
Enrique Tarrio
(Chairman of the Proud Boys, Florida state director of Latinos for Trump)

Enrique Tarrio
0
Birthdate: 1985 AD
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States

 39 
Doug Stanhope
(Stand-up comedian)

Doug Stanhope
3
Birthdate: March 25, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

 40 

Robert Ryan
3
Birthdate: November 11, 1909
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: July 11, 1973

 41 

Lori Lightfoot
6
Birthdate: August 4, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Massillon, Ohio, United States

 42 

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.

 43 

Heather Thomas
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Greenwich, Connecticut, United States

 44 
Thomas E. Dewey
(Governor of New York (1943-54))

Thomas E. Dewey
3
Birthdate: March 24, 1902
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Owosso, Michigan, United States
Died: March 16, 1971

Thomas E. Dewey was an American politician, prosecutor, and lawyer. A member of the Republican Party, Dewey held the office of the governor of New York between 1943 and 1954. In 1952, Dewey played a major role in helping Dwight D. Eisenhower win the presidential election. After retiring from politics, Dewey served as a corporate lawyer from 1955 to 1971.

 45 
Lindsey Graham
(Politician)

Lindsey Graham
11
Birthdate: July 9, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Central, South Carolina, United States

 46 
Howard Dean
(Former Governor of Vermont)

Howard Dean
5
Birthdate: November 17, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: East Hampton, New York, USA

 47 
David H. Koch
(Co-owner of Koch Industries)

David H. Koch
4
Birthdate: May 3, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Died: August 23, 2019

 48 
Prescott Bush
(Politician)

Prescott Bush
4
Birthdate: May 15, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, USA
Died: October 8, 1972

 49 
Russell Means
(Activist)

Russell Means
5
Birthdate: November 10, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Porcupine, South Dakota, United States
Died: October 22, 2012

 50 
Dashiell Hammett
(Author of 'Hard-Boiled' Detective Novels & Short Stories)

Dashiell Hammett
3
Birthdate: May 27, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St. Mary's County, Maryland, United States
Died: January 10, 1961