Famous Austrian Leaders

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Whether you have a fascination for the alpine mountains or are interested in imperial architecture or are allured by the fusion of historic sites and contemporary landscapes, Austria has it all. A parliamentary representative democracy comprising of nine federal states, Austria is ruled by the Federal President who is also the head of the state. Since the early times, Austria has had numerous nationals who took up leadership position and guided the country towards modernization and advancement. It is for these efficient working and talented bunch of leaders that Austria today is one of the richest countries in the world with a per capita GDP of $52,216. The country has a high standard of living and ranks at the 21st position in the human development index. Much of this has been due to its highly efficient leaders. Some of the popular Austrian leaders include Franz Jonas, Bruno Kreisky, Rudolf Kirchschläger, Kurt Waldheim, Barbara Prammer, and so on. Heinz Fischer is the incumbent President of Austria. He has constantly committed himself to the welfare state and Austrian neutrality. Know more about the life and works of famous Austrian leaders.
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 1 
Archduke Franz Ferdinand
(The person whose assassination sparked the First World War)
Archduke Franz Ferdinand
14
Birthdate: December 18, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: June 28, 1914
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the eldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig, was the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. He was also the inspector general of the Austro-Hungarian army. His assassination by Young Bosnia member Gavrilo Princip triggered Austria’s conflict with Serbia, leading to World War I.
 2 
Sebastian Kurz
(Former Chancellor of Austria (2017 – 2019, 2020 – 2021))
Sebastian Kurz
7
Birthdate: August 27, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Sebastian Kurz has been the Austrian chancellor since January 2020. He held the same position from 2017 to 2019, thus also becoming the youngest chancellor of Austria, at 31. He has also chaired the Austrian People's Party since 2017 and been the foreign affairs minister from 2013 to 2017.
 3 
Otto von Habsburg
(Last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary and Former Member of the European Parliament)
Otto von Habsburg
4
Birthdate: November 20, 1912
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Reichenau an der Rax, Austria
Died: July 4, 2011

Otto von Habsburg was the son of Charles I, the last emperor of Austria. A staunch opponent of Nazism, he called for the unification and integration of Europe. He had been a European Parliament member and spearheaded the Pan-European Picnic at the Austrian-Hungarian border during the 1989 revolution.

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 4 
Ernst Kaltenbrunner
(Former President of the ICPC and Director of the Reich Security Main Office (1943 - 1945))
Ernst Kaltenbrunner
4
Birthdate: October 4, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ried im Innkreis, Austria
Died: October 16, 1946

Ernst Kaltenbrunner was an SS official who played a major role in the Holocaust during the Nazi era. From 1943 to 1945, Kaltenbrunner served as chief of the Reich Main Security Office, which housed the offices of SD, Kripo, and Gestapo. His most influential period as an SS official coincided with the period during which the genocide of Jews intensified.

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 5 
Kurt Waldheim
(Fourth Secretary-General of the United Nations )
Kurt Waldheim
4
Birthdate: December 21, 1918
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sankt Andrä-Wördern, Austria
Died: June 14, 2007

While he claimed he studied at the University of Vienna during World War II, documents recovered later suggested that Kurt Waldheim was in fact part of the German army in the Balkans. Waldheim later became the president of Austria and the secretary-general of the United Nations.

 6 
Klemens von Metternich
(Chancellor of the Austrian Empire from 1821 to 1848)
Klemens von Metternich
4
Birthdate: May 15, 1773
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Koblenz, Germany
Died: June 11, 1859
After being appointed the Austrian ambassador to France, Klemens von Metternich met Napoleon many times and apparently had a brief affair with Napoleon’s sister, Caroline, too. He duped Napoleon into thinking he supported France against Russia, and secretly made an alliance with Russia, Prussia, and Britain, to eventually overthrow Napoleon.
 7 
Adolf Hitler
(Nazi Dictator and Chancellor of Germany (1933-1945))
Adolf Hitler
244
Birthdate: April 20, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Braunau am Inn, Austria
Died: April 30, 1945

One of the most powerful leaders of the 20th century, Adolf Hitler was a German dicator whose policies started the WWII that resulted in the death of millions of people. He had a visceral hatred for Jews and during his regime nearly six million Jews were killed in Holocaust.

 8 
Prince Eugene of Savoy
(Austrian Army Commander)
Prince Eugene of Savoy
4
Birthdate: October 18, 1663
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 21, 1736

Prince Eugene of Savoy was a field marshal who served in the army of the Austrian Habsburg dynasty and of the Holy Roman Empire. One of the most influential military commanders of his generation, Prince Eugene served three Holy Roman emperors in a career spanning 60 years. Consequently, he played important roles in many battles, including the Battle of Turin.

 9 
Georg von Trapp
(Naval officer)
Georg von Trapp
4
Birthdate: April 4, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zadar, Croatia
Died: May 30, 1947

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.

 10 
Arthur Seyss-Inquart
(Austrian Nazi Politician and Chancellor of Austria for 2-Days in March 1938 Before its Annexation)
Arthur Seyss-Inquart
5
Birthdate: July 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stonařov, Czechia
Died: October 16, 1946

Arthur Seyss-Inquart was an Austrian politician who was part of the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I. A Nazi propagandist, Seyss-Inquart was convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes at the Nuremberg trials and sentenced to death. He was executed on 16 October 1946 in Nuremberg Prison.

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1552
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: January 20, 1612

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as the King of the Romans and as the King in Germany between 1576 and 1612. Best remembered as an intellectual aficionado of occult arts, Rudolf is often seen as the founding father of the Scientific Revolution. He devoted his time to astrology and alchemy in an attempt to find the Philosopher's Stone.

 12 
Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria
(Archduke of Austria)
Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria
3
Birthdate: July 30, 1833
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 19, 1896

Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria was the younger brother of both Maximilian I of Mexico and Franz Joseph I of Austria. Ludwig is remembered as the father of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria whose assassination in Sarajevo is widely regarded as the most immediate cause of the First World War. Ludwig's grandson Charles I was the last emperor of Austria.

 13 
Engelbert Dollfuss
(Politician, Diplomat, Lawyer)
Engelbert Dollfuss
3
Birthdate: October 4, 1892
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Texingtal
Died: July 25, 1934

Engelbert Dollfuss was an Austrian politician best remembered for his service as Chancellor of Austria from 1932 to 1934. In 1933, Dollfuss assumed dictatorial powers after dissolving the parliament. He then went on to ban the Austrian Nazi Party and strengthened his own political organization, The Fatherland Front. Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated by Nazi agents in 1934.

 14 
Archduke Karl of Austria
(Former Member of the European parliament)
Archduke Karl of Austria
4
Birthdate: January 11, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Starnberg, Germany

The son of Archduke Otto von Habsburg, Karl von Habsburg was initially banished from Austria along with his family. Not only has he served the military but he has also been the president of the Pan-European Union. He has also represented Austria in the European Parliament.  

 15 
Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi
(Pioneer of European Integration and Founding President of the ‘Paneuropean Union')
Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi
4
Birthdate: November 16, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Died: July 27, 1972

Son of an Austro-Hungarian diplomat father and a Japanese mother, Richard Nikolaus Graf Coudenhove-Kalergi, also known as Aoyama Eijiro in Japan, grew up to be a skilled politician and established the Pan-European Union. He was the first to receive the Charlemagne Prize and also had citizenships of Czechoslovakia and France.

 16 
Franz Jägerstätter
3
Birthdate: May 20, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sankt Radegund, Austria
Died: August 9, 1943

Franz Jägerstätter was an Austrian conscientious objector who served during the Second World War. He opposed the Nazis and refused to fight for Nazi Germany during the war. He was executed for his stance against Nazi Germany and was later declared a martyr by the Catholic Church.

Zita of Bourbon-Parma
3
Birthdate: May 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tuscany, Italy
Died: March 14, 1989
Eleonore von Habsburg
3
Birthdate: February 28, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria

Eleonore von Habsburg is an Austrian gemologist, jewelry designer, and one of the most popular members of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. Renowned for her good looks, Habsburg is also known for her work as a fashion model. Apart from walking the runway for popular brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Eleonore von Habsburg has also been featured in many advertisement campaigns.

Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1557
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: March 20, 1619

Apart from serving as the Holy Roman Emperor, Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor also served as the Archduke of Austria, King of Croatia and Hungary, and King of Bohemia between 1612 and 1619. His reign resulted in the Bohemian Revolt, which was the initial theatre of the famous Thirty Years War.

 20 
Kurt Schuschnigg
(Former Chancellor of Austria)
Kurt Schuschnigg
3
Birthdate: December 14, 1897
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Riva del Garda, Italy
Died: November 18, 1977

Kurt Schuschnigg was an Austrian politician who served as the Chancellor of Austria from 1934 to 1938. He opposed the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany for which he was arrested in 1938. Schuschnigg was liberated by the US Army in 1945 post which he moved to the USA where he started working as a professor at Saint Louis University. 

 21 
Jörg Haider
(Politician, Businessperson)
Jörg Haider
3
Birthdate: January 26, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bad Goisern
Died: October 11, 2008

Jörg Haider was an Austrian politician best remembered for his work as the Governor of Carinthia. A controversial figure, Haider is known to have visited Saddam Hussein just before the start of the 2003 Iraq War. On 11 October 2008, Jörg Haider died in a car accident, at the age of 58.

 22 
Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen
(Austrian Field-Marshal and Third Son of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II)
Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen
3
Birthdate: September 5, 1771
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: April 30, 1847

Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen, son of Emperor Leopold II, was a major force behind strengthening the Austrian army in early 19th century. He is remembered for his exploits in the French Revolutionary Wars. Though initially successful in the Napoleonic Wars, he was defeated in the Battle of Wagram.

 23 
Archduke Franz Karl of Austria
(Archduke of Austria)
Archduke Franz Karl of Austria
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1802
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: March 8, 1878

Archduke Franz Karl of Austria is best remembered as the father of Maximilian I of Mexico and Franz Joseph I of Austria who served as the emperors of the Second Mexican Empire and Austria respectively. Karl is also remembered as the grandfather of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria whose murder is considered the most immediate cause of World War I.

 24 
Alexander Van der Bellen
(Austrian Economics Professor Who Later Became the President of Austria)
Alexander Van der Bellen
0
Birthdate: January 18, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Initially an economics professor at the University of Vienna, Alexander Van der Bellen later stepped into politics and became the Federal Spokesperson of the Green Party, before taking over as the president of Austria. A self-proclaimed centrist-liberal, he was previously a member of the Social Democratic Party.

 25 
Joseph Radetzky von Radetz
(Governor-General of Lombardy–Venetia)
Joseph Radetzky von Radetz
3
Birthdate: November 2, 1766
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sedlčany, Czechia
Died: January 5, 1858

Joseph Radetzky von Radetz had almost become a national hero in Austria for his military successes. Known as Vater, or Father Radetzky, in the army circle, the field marshal had also served as the Habsburg Empire’s chief of the general staff. One of his iconic victories was at the Battle of Custoza.  

 26 
Franz Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf
(Austrian general who played a central role in World War I)
Franz Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf
3
Birthdate: November 11, 1852
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Penzing, Vienna, Austria
Died: August 25, 1925

Austrian-Hungarian conservative propagandist Franz Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf was also one of the country’s greatest military strategists. He designed the Habsburg Empire’s campaigns at World War I. Known as a ruthless army man, he was often criticized for discounting the human factors. He also penned two autobiographies after the war.

 27 
Karl Radek
(Politician, University teacher, Journalist)
Karl Radek
4
Birthdate: October 31, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lviv
Died: May 19, 1939

Austrian Communist International leader Karl Radek had been imprisoned for a year for his association with the Russian Revolution. Born Karol Sobelsohn, he changed his name to Radek, after a character in the book Syzyfowe prace. He lost his life during the Great Purge initiated by Joseph Stalin.

 28 
Karl Renner
(Politician, Librarian, Diplomat, Lawyer)
Karl Renner
4
Birthdate: December 14, 1870
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dolní Dunajovice
Died: December 31, 1950

Remembered as the Father of the Republic in Austria, Karl Renner led his country as its third president. Previously, he had also led the first Austrian republic. Born into a humble family of wine-growers, he studied law and began his political career with the SDAP.

 29 
Bruno Kreisky
(Chancellor of Austria (21 August 1970 – 24 May 1983))
Bruno Kreisky
2
Birthdate: January 22, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 29, 1990

At 72, Bruno Kreisky ended his term as the oldest chancellor of Austria in the post-World War II era. The Social Democratic Party leader had been a doctor of law and had worked as a journalist, too. His 13-year stint as a chancellor was the longest-ever in republican Austria.

 30 
Heinz-Christian Strache
(Politician, Dental technician)
Heinz-Christian Strache
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1969
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna

Apart from being a dental technician, Heinz-Christian Strache has also been a prominent politician of Austria. He had not just chaired the far-right Freedom Party but had also served as the Vice Chancellor of his country. He was later found guilty of corruption, in relation to illegal donations to his party.

 31 
Karl Lueger
(Politician, Lawyer)
Karl Lueger
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1844
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wieden
Died: March 10, 1910

Remembered for establishing the Austrian Christian Social Party, Karl Lueger had been the mayor of Vienna and was the man behind modernizing the city. Hailing from a working-class family, he had initially studied law. His views are often termed anti-Semitic and were praised by Hitler in Mein Kampf.

 32 
Lothar Rendulic
(Army Group Commander in the Wehrmacht During World War II)
Lothar Rendulic
3
Birthdate: October 23, 1887
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wiener Neustadt, Austria
Died: January 17, 1971

One of the 3 Austrians who became colonel general in the German army, Lothar Rendulic was also a qualified lawyer. He commanded the German army in Yugoslavia, Finland, and Norway, and also served as a commander-in-chief in the Eastern Front. Following his imprisonment for war crimes and release, he became an author.

 33 
Heinz Fischer
(Politician, Jurist, University teacher)
Heinz Fischer
3
Birthdate: October 9, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Graz

Austrian politician Heinz Fischer has not just served as the president of his country but has also presided over the National Council. While he initially studied law and also taught political science, he later represented the Social Democratic Party and eventually became an independent politician.

 34 
Franz Josef Popp
(Engineer, Manager, Entrepreneur)
Franz Josef Popp
2
Birthdate: January 14, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: July 29, 1954

One of the three men who founded the iconic automobile company BMW, Franz Josef Popp was an Austrian engineer. He spearheaded innovative projects such as the production of air-cooled radial engines. Though he later joined the Nazi Party, he was warned for allowing a Jewish doctor treat his family.

Archduke Joseph August of Austria
2
Birthdate: August 9, 1872
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Alcsútdoboz, Hungary
Died: July 6, 1962

An Austro-Hungarian field marshal, Archduke Joseph August of Austria was born into the aristocratic family of Archduke Joseph Karl of Austria. A 72-carat diamond named after him is considered the world’s 12-largest diamond and was once owned by him. He was also associated with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

 36 
Werner Faymann
(Politician)
Werner Faymann
3
Birthdate: May 4, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna

While Werner Faymann initially studied law, he later began his political career chairing Socialist Youth Vienna. He has led Austria as its Chancellor and as the minister of transport, innovation, and technology. He has also been a UN special envoy for Youth Unemployment. He invited strong criticism after resigning from politics.

 37 
Alexander Löhr
(Luftwaffe World War II general)
Alexander Löhr
0
Birthdate: May 20, 1885
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Romania
Died: February 26, 1947
 38 
Pamela Rendi-Wagner
2
Birthdate: May 7, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

The daughter of prominent social psychologist Wolfgang Wagner, Pamela Rendi-Wagner is a renowned physician who specializes in tropical medicine and infectious diseases. She created history as the first women to chair the Social Democratic Party. She has also led the public health department of the Austrian government.

 39 
Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg
(Austrian Field Marshal and One of the Most Successful Allied Commanders in the Napoleonic Wars)
Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg
2
Birthdate: April 18, 1771
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 15, 1820

Austrian field marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, is best remembered for his exploits in the Napoleonic Wars. He was a prominent part of the Allied forces that defeated Napoleon in the Battle of Leipzig and led to his abdication. He had also been Austria’s ambassador to Russia.

Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria
2
Birthdate: December 8, 1756
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: The Hofburg, Vienna, Austria
Died: July 26, 1801
 41 
Archduke John of Austria
(Archduke of Austria)
Archduke John of Austria
2
Birthdate: January 20, 1782
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: May 11, 1859
Archduke Felix of Austria
2
Birthdate: May 31, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria
Died: September 6, 2011
Georg, Ritter von Schönerer
2
Birthdate: July 17, 1842
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 14, 1921
 44 
Nick Greiner
(37th Premier of New South Wales from 1988 to 1992)
Nick Greiner
0
Birthdate: April 27, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
 45 
Wilhelm Miklas
(President of the First Austrian Republic)
Wilhelm Miklas
2
Birthdate: October 15, 1872
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Krems an der Donau, Austria
Died: March 20, 1956

Austrian statesman and politician Wilhelm Miklas had been the president of the first Austrian republic. Initially a school headmaster, he joined politics as a member of the Christian Social Party. He later joined the right-wing conservative Fatherland Front. He was forced to resign when Austria united with Nazi Germany.

 46 
Eduard Freiherr von Böhm-Ermolli
(Austrian general during World War I who rose to the rank of field marshal in the Austro-Hungarian Army)
Eduard Freiherr von Böhm-Ermolli
2
Birthdate: February 12, 1856
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ancona, Italy
Died: December 9, 1941
Archduke Karl Ferdinand of Austria
2
Birthdate: July 29, 1818
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: November 20, 1874
Archduke Wilhelm of Austria
2
Birthdate: February 10, 1895
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lošinj, Croatia
Died: August 18, 1948

Archduke Wilhelm of Austria, or Vasyl Vyshyvani, the son of Archduke Karl Stephan, had been a Ukrainian army colonel. He had also served as a spy for the French and the British, against the Nazis and the Soviets. It is believed he was homosexual and a fine poet, too.

 49 
Arnold Deutsch
2
Birthdate: 1904 AD
Died: November 7, 1942
Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen
2
Birthdate: June 4, 1856
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Židlochovice, Czechia
Died: December 30, 1936