Famous American Political Leaders

Is a career in politics a far-fetched thought for you? Does the slick world of democracy disgust you? Does the venal world of politics make you sick to your stomach? If yes, then you certainly need to explore the lives of some of America's famous political leaders to know why politics is not half as repulsive as it appears to the modern minds. Agreed, modern-day politics is a pandemonium, full of vile, self-serving, gold-digging, and power-monging politicians who will not bat a lid before trading off their conscience and countrymen to fill their coffers and quell their personal interest. That said, history is pregnant with influential political leaders like John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronal Reagan who led their nation to greatness with their ideologies, sacrifice and service. So put aside your apolitical thoughts, forget the media stories and check out for yourself the biographies, trivia and interesting facts about America's famous political leaders. We bet, you will be inspired.

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 American Political Leaders

 1 Barack Obama

Barack Obama
75
Famous As: 44th U.S. President
Birthdate: August 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

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 John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy
30
Famous As: 35th President of the United States
Birthdate: May 29, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
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.

 3 Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
15
Famous As: American President.
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: April 15, 1865

A self-educated lawyer, Abraham Lincoln rose from modest background to become one of the greatest presidents of America. The 16th president of the country, who is also known as Honest Abe and the Great Emancipator, played a crucial role in establishing a truly democratic government, abolished slavery, modernised economy and led the country during the American Civil War.

 4 Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan
24
Famous As: 40th U.S. President
Birthdate: February 6, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
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.

 5 Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr
19
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: January 15, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: April 4, 1968

A leader in the civil rights movement in the mid-twentieth century, Martin Luther King Jr. is best remembered for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience. A man of Christian faith who was inspired by Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent activism, he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting racial inequality.  

 6 Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt
24
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 30, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: April 12, 1945

 7 Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower
4
Famous As: 34th U.S. President
Birthdate: October 14, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
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.

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 8 Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
21
Famous As: 3rd U.S. President
Birthdate: April 13, 1743
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: July 4, 1826

The 2nd Vice President and the 3rd President of America, Thomas Jefferson was one of the Founding Fathers of USA and the principal draftsman of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was a staunch advocate of democracy and a strong believer of individual rights and religious freedom, despite the fact that he himself owned nearly 600 slaves.

 9 Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson
4
Famous As: 7th President of the United States
Birthdate: March 15, 1767
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: June 8, 1845

Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of USA. His presidential reign has been termed as Jacksonian democracy and witnessed the shift of political power from established elites to ordinary voters. Coming from humble beginnings, Jackson knew the struggle of the masses and thus, worked towards creating a more inclusive country.  His picture has been featured on the front side of $20 bill since 1928.

 10 Robert F. Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy
7
Famous As: Brother of President John F. Kennedy
Birthdate: November 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: June 6, 1968

Robert F Kennedy, the brother of the 35th US president John F Kennedy, was a politician who served as US Attorney General and as US Senator. He was known as a civil rights and human rights activist and fought against organised crime and the Mafia. He opposed America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. He was assassinated by a 24-year-old Palestinian.

 11 Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz
13
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Ted Cruz is the US Senator from Texas since 2013. He also made a bid for the presidential office in 2016 when he threw in his hat for the nominee from the Republican party but ended as a runner-up and later on endorsed the Republican party candidate Donald Trump, who was ultimately elected President. 

 12 Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman
4
Famous As: 33rd President of the United States
Birthdate: May 8, 1884
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
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.

 13 Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant
4
Famous As: 18th U.S. President
Birthdate: April 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: July 23, 1885

The 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant held office from 1869 to 1877. He led the Union Army as Commanding General of the United States Army during the American Civil War and was a war hero. As president, he stabilized the post-war national economy and created the Department of Justice. Historians generally recognize his presidential accomplishments.

 14 Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson
8
Famous As: 28th U.S. President
Birthdate: December 28, 1856
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: February 3, 1924

From presidential cabin of Princeton University to presidential office of the White House, Woodrow Wilson ushered a series of progressive reforms that changed the American politics forever. The 28th President of USA, Woodrow Wilson introduced several ground-breaking policies including the Federal Reserve Act. He played a key role in founding the first intergovernmental organisation—the League of Nations—for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

 15 John Adams

John Adams
9
Famous As: 2nd U.S. President
Birthdate: October 30, 1735
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: July 4, 1826

One of the Founding Fathers of America, John Adams was a statesman, attorney, and diplomat who served as the second president of the United States. He was a principal leader of the American Revolution. As a lawyer, he was devoted to the right to counsel and presumption of innocence. His administration has been favorably ranked by historians and scholars.

 16 Aaron Burr

Aaron Burr
11
Famous As: 3rd Vice President of United States
Birthdate: February 6, 1756
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: September 14, 1836

A soldier, lawyer and one of the founding Fathers of America, Aaron Burr rose to become the third Vice president of the United States. His turbulent political career, which included bitter rivalry with Alexander Hamilton, concluded when he mortally wounded Hamilton in a duel and was later charged with treason.

 17 Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson - 17 President of the United States of America From April 15, 1865 to March 4, 1869
4
Famous As: 17th U.S. President
Birthdate: December 29, 1808
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: July 31, 1875

The 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency while serving as the vice president when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Born in poverty, Andrew Johnson did not attend school. However, he worked his way up to become a prominent politician—an inspiring story indeed!

 18 Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland
4
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: March 18, 1837
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: June 24, 1908

Grover Cleveland, a Democratic Party member, was the President of the United States from 1885 to 1889 and then again from 1893 to 1897. He is known for his campaign for political reform and fiscal conservatism. However, he was unable to deal with the economic depression in his second term as President, which led to massive decline in his popularity.

 19 John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams
4
Birthdate: July 11, 1767
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: February 23, 1848

The sixth president of the United States of America John Quincy Adams played a key role in shaping America during its formative years. He helped develop the Monroe Doctrine, which eventually became a vital tenet of the U.S. foreign policy. He is also widely regarded as one of the greatest secretaries of state and diplomats in the American history.

 20 James Madison

James Madison
4
Famous As: 4th President of the United States
Birthdate: March 16, 1751
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: June 28, 1836

James Madison played an important role in drafting the US Constitution and the US Bill of Rights and is hailed as the Father of the Constitution. He also co-wrote The Federalist Papers, considered to be a seminal work of political science. As president, he led the country into the 1812 war and historians place him as an above-average president.

 21 Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding
4
Famous As: President of the U.S
Birthdate: November 2, 1865
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: August 2, 1923

The 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding assumed office in 1921 shortly after the end of WWI and became very popular. He died in 1923 while still in office. Later, various scandals that occured during his presidency were uncovered and his image suffered a serious setback. His presidency is today ranked amongst the worst in the American history.

 22 Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt
4
Famous As: Former First Lady of the United States
Birthdate: October 11, 1884
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: November 7, 1962

Feminist and civil rights icon Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the longest-serving U.S First Lady. She was a prominent human rights activist, wrote columns, and hosted a radio show. She was named to Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century in 1999.

 23 Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover
6
Famous As: 31st U.S. President
Birthdate: August 10, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: October 20, 1964

The 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, was sworn into the office in 1929, the year the Great Depression struck the American economy. Earlier, Hoover was a successful mining engineer and had earned a reputation of a humanitarian who fed numerous Europeans during and after WWI. His policies during the depression, though, could not provide relief to people.

 24 Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo
17
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 30, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

 25 Joe Biden

Joe Biden
83
Famous As: 46th President of the United States
Birthdate: November 20, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Joe Biden is the president-elect of the United States and will become the 46th president when he will assume the charge on 20 January 2021. Biden is the oldest person ever elected to the White House. One of the youngest senators in the US history and Delaware’s longest-serving senator, Joe Biden served as the 47th vice president of the United States from 2009 to 2017.

 26 William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft
4
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: September 15, 1857
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: March 8, 1930

The 27th president of the United States, William Howard Taft also served as the tenth Chief Justice of the US; he is the only person in the history of the US to have held both the offices. He had a great impact as chief justice and has been regarded as the greatest US chief justices of all time.

 27 William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison
4
Birthdate: February 9, 1773
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: April 4, 1841

The ninth president of the US, William Henry Harrison died 31 days into his presidential term, becoming the shortest-serving US president ever. His demise caused a brief constitutional crisis pertaining to the succession to the presidency. Subsequently, Vice President John Tyler became the new president, setting an important precedent in terms of transfer of the presidency in such situations.

 28 Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham
17
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 9, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 29 Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge
2
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: July 4, 1872
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: January 5, 1933

The 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge started his career as a lawyer before becoming an influential American politician. A man of few words with a dry sense of humor, Calvin Coolidge represented the middle class, which worked in his favor. Despite being a reclusive politician, Coolidge gave 520 press conferences, making himself available to reporters quite often.

 30 James A. Garfield

James A. Garfield
2
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: November 19, 1831
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: September 19, 1881

The 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield began his career as an attorney. Born into poverty, he struggled throughout his childhood and youth to become a respected lawyer. He eventually entered politics and rose through the ranks to be elected the president. Unfortunately, he was assassinated less than seven months after he took office.

 31 Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon
30
Famous As: 37th President of the United States
Birthdate: January 9, 1913
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
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.

 32 James Buchanan

James Buchanan
4
Famous As: 15th U.S. President
Birthdate: April 23, 1791
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: June 1, 1868

James Buchanan was a prominent American lawyer who served as the 15th president of the United States. He is often criticized for failing to address the issue of slavery and is consistently ranked among America's worst presidents. His life and work inspired the 2019 film Raising Buchanan in which he was played by René Auberjonois.

 33 John Kasich

John Kasich
0
Famous As: Former Governor of Ohio
Birthdate: May 13, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

The 69th Governor of Ohio John Kasich played an important role in the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and the 1996 welfare reform legislation. Kasich has also played an important role as a television news host. Despite being a Republican, Kasich is a prominent critic of Donald Trump; he supported Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election.

 34 Rand Paul

Rand Paul
7
Famous As: US Senator
Birthdate: January 7, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

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.

 35 Jesse Ventura

Jesse Ventura
5
Birthdate: July 15, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

WWE legend Jesse Ventura, known by his ring name “The Body,” also served as the mayor of Brooklyn from 1991 to 1995 and as the governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003. He had previously served the U.S. Navy. He has also appeared in films and written several books.

 36 John Tyler

John Tyler
2
Famous As: 10th U.S. President
Birthdate: March 29, 1790
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: January 18, 1862

The tenth president of the United States, John Tyler was dubbed His Accidency as he became the president after the sudden death of President William Henry Harrison when the former was serving as the vice president. Tyler's acceptance of full presidential powers set a prominent precedent and served as a model for succession to the future presidents.

 37 Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 1, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

 38 Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren
2
Birthdate: December 5, 1782
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: July 24, 1862

Martin Van Buren was an American statesman credited with co-founding the Democratic Party, one of the world's oldest and contemporary political parties. He served as the eighth president of the US and later became a prominent anti-slavery abolitionist leader. He also played a key role in forming the two-party system in the US.

 39 Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor
2
Famous As: Military Leader and the 12th President of United States
Birthdate: November 24, 1784
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: July 9, 1850
Zachary Taylor was the 12th U.S. president, from March 1849 till his death in July 1850, thus spending just 16 months in office. His heroism in the Mexican–American War had earned him the title of major general. A novice in political affairs, he was the last president who owned slaves.

 40 James K. Polk

James K. Polk
2
Birthdate: November 2, 1795
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: June 15, 1849

The 11th president of the United States, James K. Polk was an advocate of Jacksonian democracy. He is credited with extending the territory of the US during the Mexican–American War. During his presidency, the US annexed the Mexican Cession, the Oregon Territory, and the Republic of Texas.

 41 William McKinley

William McKinley
4
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: January 29, 1843
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: September 14, 1901

The 25th President of the United States, William McKinley led America to victory in the Spanish-American War. During his presidency, he played a major role in promoting American industry by raising protective tariffs, which in turn boosted the country's economic growth. He also played a key role in the American Civil War.

 42 Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush
0
Famous As: Former Governor of Florida
Birthdate: February 11, 1953
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Jeb Bush, son of former president George H. W. Bush and younger brother of former president George W. Bush, served as a Florida governor for two terms, becoming the first Republican to achieve the feat. His policies included educational reforms, the Medicaid privatization program, and the Everglades conservation plan.

 43 Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison
2
Famous As: 23rd President of the United States
Birthdate: August 20, 1833
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: March 13, 1901

Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd U.S. President and is remembered for his efforts to pass the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act. A qualified lawyer, he was the great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V. Known for strengthening the Navy, he also attempted to secure the voting rights of African–Americans.

 44 Herman Cain

Herman Cain
9
Famous As: Businessperson
Birthdate: December 13, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: July 30, 2020

 45 Elijah Cummings

Elijah Cummings
0
Famous As: Former United States Representative
Birthdate: January 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: October 17, 2019

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.

 46 Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson
0
Famous As: Businessperson
Birthdate: March 23, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 47 Joseph McCarthy

Joseph McCarthy
2
Birthdate: November 14, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: May 2, 1957

Joseph McCarthy was an American politician who is remembered for his smear tactics; he falsely accused his adversaries as communists and Soviet spies for his own benefits. The practice of making such accusations of treason came to be known as McCarthyism, a term which is widely used today to refer to unsubstantiated and reckless accusations.

 48 Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown
0
Famous As: 34th and 39th Governor of California
Birthdate: April 7, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Jerry Brown has been both the 34th and the 39th governor of California, from 1975 to 1983 and 2011 to 2019, respectively, making him the oldest and the sixth-youngest California governor, between the two terms. He has also been the Oakland mayor, an attorney general, and a secretary of state.

 49 Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett
0
Birthdate: August 17, 1786
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: March 6, 1836
American folk hero Davy Crockett, or the "King of the Wild Frontier,” was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee and part of the Texas Revolution. He opposed the Indian Removal Act. He was killed by the Mexican army the Battle of the Alamo.

 50 Trey Gowdy

Trey Gowdy
0
Famous As: U.S. Representative
Birthdate: August 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
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.