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.

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 1 Barack Obama

Barack Obama.
152
Famous As: 44th U.S. President
Birthdate: August 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawai, USA

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.
49
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.

 3 Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln.
27
Famous As: American President.
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hodgenville, Kentucky, United States
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.
41
Famous As: 40th U.S. President
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.

 5 Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr..
32
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: January 15, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
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 Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson.
29
Famous As: 3rd U.S. President
Birthdate: April 13, 1743
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shadwell, Virginia, United States
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.

 7 Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt.
33
Famous As: 26th U.S. President
Birthdate: October 27, 1858
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City, 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.

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 8 Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower.
13
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.

 9 F D Roosevelt

F D Roosevelt.
12
Famous As: 32nd President of the United States
Birthdate: January 30, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hyde Park, New York, United States
Died: April 12, 1945

F D Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States and was in the office from 1933 to1945. Qualified as a lawyer, he entered politics as an ambitious young man, inspired by his relative Theodore Roosevelt, a fellow politician. F D Roosevelt had an illustrious political career and is rated by scholars among the nation's greatest presidents.

 10 Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton.
11
Famous As: 42nd President of the United States
Birthdate: August 19, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hope, Arkansas, U.S.

Bill Cinton was the 42nd president of the United States who served for two terms from 1993 to 2001. He was the third-youngest president in the American history and presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history. The second-term of his presidency was rocked by the infamous Monica Lewinsky sex-scandal for which he was impeached and later acquitted.

 11 Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon.
41
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.

 12 Robert F. Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy.
17
Famous As: Brother of President John F. Kennedy
Birthdate: November 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts
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.

 13 Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman.
15
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.

 14 Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson.
13
Famous As: 7th President of the United States
Birthdate: March 15, 1767
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Waxhaws
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.

 15 Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant.
10
Famous As: 18th U.S. President
Birthdate: April 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Point Pleasant, Ohio, United States
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.

 16 John Adams

John Adams.
19
Famous As: 2nd U.S. President
Birthdate: October 30, 1735
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Braintree, Massachusetts, United States
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.

 17 Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson.
24
Famous As: 28th U.S. President
Birthdate: December 28, 1856
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Staunton, Virginia, United States
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.

 18 Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt.
12
Famous As: Former First Lady of the United States
Birthdate: October 11, 1884
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
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.

 19 James Madison

James Madison.
9
Famous As: 4th President of the United States
Birthdate: March 16, 1751
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Conway
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.

 20 Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland.
11
Famous As: Former U.S. President
Birthdate: March 18, 1837
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Caldwell, New Jersey, United States
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.

 21 John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams.
10
Famous As: 6th U.S. President
Birthdate: July 11, 1767
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Braintree, Massachusetts, United States
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.

 22 William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft.
10
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: September 15, 1857
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cincinnati
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.

 23 Aaron Burr

Aaron Burr.
20
Famous As: 3rd Vice President of United States
Birthdate: February 6, 1756
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
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.

 24 Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding.
14
Famous As: President of the U.S
Birthdate: November 2, 1865
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Blooming Grove, Ohio, United States
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.

 25 Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge.
9
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: July 4, 1872
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Plymouth Notch, Vermont
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.

 26 Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson.
13
Famous As: 17th U.S. President
Birthdate: December 29, 1808
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
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!

 27 James A. Garfield

James A. Garfield.
7
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: November 19, 1831
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moreland Hills
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.

 28 Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover.
16
Famous As: 31st U.S. President
Birthdate: August 10, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Branch
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.

 29 William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison.
11
Birthdate: February 9, 1773
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Charles City County
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.

 30 Rand Paul

Rand Paul.
20
Famous As: US Senator
Birthdate: January 7, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pittsburgh

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.

 31 James Buchanan

James Buchanan.
13
Famous As: 15th U.S. President
Birthdate: April 23, 1791
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cove Gap
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.

 32 Ron DeSantis

Ron DeSantis.
7
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.

 33 John Tyler

John Tyler.
8
Famous As: 10th U.S. President
Birthdate: March 29, 1790
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Charles City County
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.

 34 Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor.
8
Famous As: Military Leader and the 12th President of United States
Birthdate: November 24, 1784
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barboursville, Virginia, U.S.
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.

 35 Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren.
8
Birthdate: December 5, 1782
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kinderhook
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.

 36 James K. Polk

James K. Polk.
7
Birthdate: November 2, 1795
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pineville
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.

 37 Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett.
5
Birthdate: August 17, 1786
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Greene County
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.

 38 Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison.
6
Famous As: 23rd President of the United States
Birthdate: August 20, 1833
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: North Bend
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.

 39 Nelson Rockefeller

Nelson Rockefeller.
5
Famous As: 41st Vice President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: July 8, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bar Harbor, Maine, United States
Died: January 26, 1979
Grandson of businessman John D. Rockefeller, Nelson Rockefeller was the U.S. vice president from 1975 to 1977 and the New York governor from 1959 to 1973. An arts connoisseur, he was the president of the Museum of Modern Art. He had also worked with Franklin Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.

 40 Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders.
46
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 8, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

The current junior US Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders is the longest-serving nonpartisan politician in the history of the United States Congress. Sanders is an ardent advocate of progressive policies and is well-known for his opposition to neoliberalism and economic inequality. He also supports paid parental leave, universal and single-payer healthcare, and labor rights.

 41 William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst.
6
Famous As: Newspaper Baron
Birthdate: April 29, 1863
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: August 14, 1951

William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper publisher, businessman, and politician. He is credited with developing America's largest newspaper chain, Hearst Communications. Today, Hearst Communications has grown into a multinational business information and mass media conglomerate. William Randolph Hearst’s life and work inspired the creation of Charles Foster Kane, the main character in the 1941 drama film, Citizen Kane.

 42 George Washington

George Washington.
20
Famous As: First U.S. President
Birthdate: February 22, 1732
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Westmoreland County, Virginia, United States
Died: December 14, 1799

America’s first president, George Washington led the country with integrity, firmness and prudence that made him one of the greatest presidents in American history. He became a national hero before assuming presidency, when he led the Continental Army to victory against the British during the American Revolution.

 43 Chester A. Arthur

Chester A. Arthur.
4
Famous As: 21st President of the USA
Birthdate: October 5, 1829
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fairfield, Vermont
Died: November 18, 1886
Chester A. Arthur became the 21st president of the U.S. in 1881, after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, and served till 1885. Arthur represented Elizabeth Jennings Graham in the 1854 case against segregation in streetcars. He signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act and rebuilt the U.S. Navy.

 44 Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson
6
Famous As: Businessperson
Birthdate: March 23, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wichita Falls, Texas, United States

 45 Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio.
9
Famous As: U.S. Senator from Florida
Birthdate: May 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Miami

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.

 46 William McKinley

William McKinley.
12
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: January 29, 1843
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Niles
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.

 47 Trey Gowdy

Trey Gowdy.
5
Famous As: U.S. Representative
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.

 48 Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar.
17
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 25, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Plymouth, Minnesota, United States
Politician and lawyer Amy Klobuchar became the first elected female U.S. senator from Minnesota in 2007. She has earlier served as the Hennepin County attorney. She contested in the Democratic presidential primaries in 2020, before withdrawing to endorse Joe Biden. She has authored two books and has won numerous awards.

 49 Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown.
4
Famous As: 34th and 39th Governor of California
Birthdate: April 7, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
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.

 50 Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney.
15
Famous As: Former Vice President of the United State
Birthdate: January 30, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States

Dick Cheney was the vice president of the US from 2001 to 2009. He is considered to be one of the most powerful vice presidents ever and also one of the most unpopular politicians in the history of the US. He played an important role in America’s response to the September 11 attacks and backed the US invasion of Iraq.