Benito Juarez was a Mexican lawyer and politician. He served as the 26th president of Mexico from 1858 to 1872, becoming the first president of Mexico who was of indigenous origin. He died of a heart attack in 1872. To date, he is revered as "a preeminent symbol of Mexican nationalism and resistance to foreign intervention."
German military leader Erich Ludendorff gained fame with the victories at Liège and Tannenberg during World War I. He promoted the theory that Marxists, Jews, and Freemasons were responsible for Germany’s defeat in the war. He later became a military theorist, writing books such as The Total War.
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.
Also known as Charles the Great, Charlemagne ruled as the king of the Franks, king of the Lombards, and emperor of the Romans at different time periods. Not surprisingly, he had a major impact during the Early Middle Ages as he went about uniting the majority of central and western Europe, for which he is called the Father of Europe.
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.
William Wallace was a Scottish knight who played an important role in the First War of Scottish Independence. Since his death, Wallace has been viewed as an iconic figure whose story of bravery and valor has inspired several works of art, including the Academy Award-winning film Braveheart. Wallace has also inspired video games and brewery companies, such is his popularity.
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.
India's first Minister of Law and Justice, B. R. Ambedkar inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement. He also fought against social discrimination prevalent in India at that time. Widely regarded as the chief architect of the Constitution of India, Ambedkar was posthumously honored with India's highest civilian award - The Bharat Ratna.
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.
Mehmed II reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire on two separate occasions; from 1444 to 1446 and again from 1451 to 1481. During his first reign, Mehmed II defeated the military expedition led by John Hunyadi. During his second reign, Mehmed II strengthened the Ottoman navy and conquered Constantinople at age 21, which ended the Byzantine Empire.
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.
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.
One of the main patriarchs of the famed Medici family that ruled Florence, Italian banker Cosimo de' Medici was one of the richest men of his time. Medici was also a great patron of art and architecture. He also arranged a search for ancient manuscripts and opened a public library.
Henry Clay was an American statesman who represented Kentucky in the US House of Representatives as well as US Senate. Considered one of the most important political figures of his era, Clay helped found the Whig Party and the National Republican Party. He is also considered one of the greatest speakers in the history of the US House of Representatives.
The current associate justice of the Supreme Court of the US, Samuel Alito is only the second Italian American to serve on the court. Samuel Alito's journey from being an adjunct professor to one of the most powerful men in the American justice system is quite inspirational.
Remembered as the most successful fighter pilot in the history of aerial warfare, Erich Hartmann completed 1,400 missions in his Messerschmitt Bf 109 and shot down 352 Allied planes. Known for his dogfighting strategy, he inspired the popular biography The Blond Knight of Germany and became a flight instructor post-retirement.
Politician Michele Bachmann is a member of the Republican Party. She represented Minnesota in the United States House of Representatives and is the first Republican woman to represent the state in Congress. She is a lawyer by qualification and a founder of the House Tea Party Caucus. She has been criticized for her homophobic views and anti-abortion stance.
Georg von Trapp, or Captain von Trapp, was an Austrian naval officer who led the Trapp Family Singers, the family that inspired the play and the film The Sound of Music. An able military man, he had also been part of World War II and was knighted by the Austrian government.
Irish politician, Michael Higgins, took office as the ninth president of Ireland in November 2011. Previously, he served as minister for arts, culture, and the Gaeltacht and mayor of Galway. As the president, he has actively addressed issues related to justice, social equality, social inclusion, anti-sectarianism, and anti-racism. He is also a poet, writer, and sociologist.
Sergey Lavrov is a Russian diplomat and politician. Since 2004, he has been serving as the foreign minister of Russia. An alumnus of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), he began his diplomatic career in 1972. Considered a brilliant diplomat, he was later appointed to the post of minister of foreign affairs. He is multi-lingual.
Author, academic, and public policy fellow David Eisenhower teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. Best known for his Pulitzer Prize-shortlisted book Eisenhower at War: 1943-1945, he is the grandson of former U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower and the son of John Eisenhower. He is also the son-in-law of Richard Nixon.
François Duvalier was a Haitian politician. From 1957 to 1971, he served as the president of Haiti. Over the course of his political career, Duvalier's regime became despotic and totalitarian. In 1964, Duvalier declared himself President for Life and remained in power until his death. Since his demise, several books have been written about his rule in Haiti.
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.
German general Kurt von Schleicher was the last Chancellor of the German Reich, or Weimar Republic, before Adolf Hitler came to power. He was killed on Hitler’s orders during the purge called the Night of the Long Knives. He had attempted to form an anti-Hitler coalition called the Querfront.
Former Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe was born into a family of print media moguls and grew up to become an advocate. The United National Party leader had also been in the news for his rounds of peace talks with the LTTE. He is married to academic Maitree Wickremasinghe.
Ian Smith was a politician who served as the prime minister of Rhodesia (today known as Zimbabwe) from 1964 to 1979. Born to British immigrants in the Southern Rhodesian Midlands, he was a controversial figure who personified “White Rhodesia.” While his detractors denounced him as "an unrepentant racist," his supporters hailed him as "a political visionary.”