Famous Mexican Leaders

From the might of the Aztecs to its conquests by Spain, from the stone cities of the Maya to the bustling streets of the Mexico City, Mexico has had a rich heritage and history. Culturally vibrant and historically enriched, the country has witnessed upward accession in its more than 10000 years of existence. From being colonially ruled for more than three centuries to gaining its independence and later re-building the country’s heritage, Mexico has seen and braved it all. And much of that has been possible due to its remarkably talented and outstanding leaders who have helped the country progress even when the tides weren’t in their favour. Though the country today follows a presidential system of government, it wasn’t so always. Mexico has had several forms of government throughout history. However, under the current constitution, the President of the United Mexican States serves as the executive head of the country. His post is vested with executive powers and is responsible for the smooth functioning of the country, politically, socially and economically. Briefly go through this section and find out in details about the life and works of famous Mexican leaders.

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 
Pancho Villa
(Governor of Chihuahua (1913-14))

Pancho Villa
14
Birthdate: June 5, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: La Coyotada, Mexico
Died: July 20, 1923
Military leader Pancho Villa was a significant figure of the Mexican Revolution. He supported the ouster of dictator Porfirio Diaz and later fought to remove Victoriano Huerta from power. He also allied with Emiliano Zapata and fought against Venustiano Carranza. He remains immortalized in many films and novels.

 2 
Benito Juarez
(Lawyer, Politician)

Benito Juarez
13
Birthdate: March 21, 1806
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Pablo Guelatao, Mexico
Died: July 18, 1872

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." 

 3 
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
(President of Mexico (Since 2018))

Andrés Manuel López Obrador
15
Birthdate: November 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tepetitán, Tabasco, Mexico
Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been serving as Mexico’s 58th president since December 2018. He led the Party of the Democratic Revolution from 1996 to 1999 and was elected Head of Government of Mexico City. He established the National Regeneration Movement in 2014 and led it till 2017.
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 4 
Emiliano Zapata
(Revolutionary)

Emiliano Zapata
10
Birthdate: August 8, 1879
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Anenecuilco, Mexico
Died: April 10, 1919
Emiliano Zapata was a key figure in the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 and led the agrarian movement known as Zapatismo. As the leader of the Liberation Army of the South, he contributed to the fall of Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz and later fought against Venustiano Carranza.
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 5 
Stephen Austin
(Politician)

Stephen Austin
8
Birthdate: November 3, 1793
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Austinville, Virginia
Died: December 27, 1836

Stephen Austin, also known as the Father of Texas, was born to a lead-mining businessman in Missouri who later bought a piece of land from the Mexican government. Austin developed the land and mediated between American and Mexican people for control over it, eventually leading to the Texas Revolution.

 6 
Vicente Fox
(62nd President of Mexico from 1 December 2000 to 30 November 2006)

Vicente Fox
8
Birthdate: July 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: León, Guanajuato, Mexico

Initially the CEO of Coca-Cola Mexico, Vicente Fox increased the sales of the soft drink in Mexico by 50%. He later focused on politics, joining the National Action Party and leading the country as its president. He has a rare condition called polydactyly, meaning he has 6 toes in both feet.

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 7 
Felipe Calderón
(Former President of Mexico)

Felipe Calderón
14
Birthdate: August 18, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Morelia

The son of politician Luis Calderón Vega, who co-founded the National Action Party, or PAN, Felipe Calderón campaigned for the party even in his early days. He later led Mexico as its president. In 2018, he formed his own party, México Libre, its registration was rejected for lack of transparency regarding its funding.

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 8 
Lázaro Cárdenas
(President of Mexico)

Lázaro Cárdenas
11
Birthdate: May 21, 1895
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jiquilpan, Mexico
Died: October 19, 1970

Lázaro Cárdenas had a difficult childhood and supported his family doing odd jobs after his father’s death. He rose to be the president of Mexico and was known for his efforts to implement the objectives of the Mexican Revolution, such as nationalization of industries and making loans available to farmers.

 9 
Francisco I. Madero
(Revolutionary)

Francisco I. Madero
5
Birthdate: October 30, 1873
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Parras de la Fuente, Mexico
Died: February 22, 1913

Apart from being the president of Mexico, Francisco I. Madero was also a social reformist. Born into an affluent landowning family, Madero grew up to challenge the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz and was one of the initiators of the Mexican Revolution. He was assassinated in a right-wing coup.

 10 
Venustiano Carranza
(President of Mexico (1917-20))

Venustiano Carranza
4
Birthdate: December 28, 1859
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cuatrociénegas Municipality, Mexico
Died: May 21, 1920

Venustiano Carranza was one of the most important leaders of the Mexican Revolution, which transformed the Mexican government and culture. A powerful and influential person, Carranza served as the head of state for two years before serving as the 44th president of Mexico from 1916 to 1920.

 11 
Enrique Peña Nieto
(President of Mexico (2012-18))

Enrique Peña Nieto
27
Birthdate: July 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Atlacomulco de Fabela

Mexican politician Enrique Peña Nieto served as the 64th President of Mexico from 2012 to 2018. He was previously the Governor of the State of Mexico. He joined politics in the mid-1980s as a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He was a controversial president and his tenure saw a rise in drug trade and corruption.

 12 
Porfirio Díaz
(33rd President of Mexico)

Porfirio Díaz
15
Birthdate: September 15, 1830
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oaxaca, Mexico
Died: July 2, 1915

Porfirio Díaz was a Mexican politician and general. He served as president of Mexico for 31 years, which included seven terms between 1876 and 1911. The entire period of his presidency is referred to as the Porfiriato. His life inspired the 1944 Mexican historical film, Porfirio Díaz. Over the years, he has also been depicted in other films like Juarez.

 13 
Érik Morales
(Boxer, Politician)

Érik Morales
4
Birthdate: September 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tijuana, Mexico

One of the most consistent boxers of his time, Mexican boxer Érik Morales was the first from his country to earn world titles in 4 different weight categories. Nicknamed El Terrible, the boxing legend created a controversy after testing positive for a banned drug in 2012. He later stepped into politics.

 14 
Antonio López de Santa Anna
(8th President of Mexico)

Antonio López de Santa Anna
11
Birthdate: February 21, 1794
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Xalapa, Mexico
Died: June 21, 1876

Antonio López de Santa Anna was a Mexican general and politician. His significant contribution in post-independence Mexican politics during the first half of the 19th century has led historians to refer to this period as the Age of Santa Anna. Santa Anna was played by Joaquim de Almeida in a deleted scene in the 1998 film The Mask of Zorro.

 15 
Álvaro Obregón
(President of Mexico (1920-24))

Álvaro Obregón
6
Birthdate: February 19, 1880
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Siquisiva, Siquisiva, Mexico
Died: July 17, 1928
Mexican general Álvaro Obregón who later became the president of Mexico is remembered for his role in ending a series of political conflicts following the revolution of 1910. His reign witnessed the rise of Mexican muralism and significant educational and land reforms. He was assassinated while dining with his friends.

 16 
Carlos Salinas de Gortari
(60th President of Mexico (1988 - 1994))

Carlos Salinas de Gortari
11
Birthdate: April 3, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

Economist Carlos Salinas de Gortari boasts of a PhD from Harvard. The former Mexican president is known for opening up his country to foreign investments. Riddled with controversies and corruption scandals, he stepped down and went into exile later. He is considered one of the most-hated Mexican leaders ever.

 17 
Plutarco Elías Calles
(47th President of Mexico (1924 - 1928))

Plutarco Elías Calles
4
Birthdate: September 25, 1877
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Guaymas, Mexico
Died: October 19, 1945

Remembered for modernizing the revolutionary forces of Mexico, military leader Plutarco Elías Calles later served his country as its president. Initially a schoolteacher, he later joined Madero’s campaign against dictator Porfirio Diaz. He also established the National Revolutionary Party and was a supporter of social justice and labor rights.

 18 
Victoriano Huerta
(Former President of Mexico)

Victoriano Huerta
9
Birthdate: March 22, 1850
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Agua Gorda, Mexico
Died: January 13, 1916

Born to indigenous parents, in a poverty-stricken family, Victoriano Huerta became one of the few literate people in his community. He later rose through the ranks of the Mexican army, launched a coup against President Francisco Madero, got him executed, and then took over as the new president.

 19 
Luis Donaldo Colosio
(Secretary of Social Development of Mexico (1992-93))

Luis Donaldo Colosio
4
Birthdate: February 10, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Magdalena de Kino, Mexico
Died: March 23, 1994

Mexican politician Luis Donaldo Colosio was contesting as a PRI presidential candidate when he was assassinated during a campaign, leading to a media frenzy. While the supposed shooter was eventually convicted, the fact that the multiple shots fired at him came from different directions gave rise to several conspiracy theories.

 20 

Subcomandante Marcos
5
Birthdate: June 19, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tampico, Mexico

One of the most talked-about guerrilla leaders since Che Guevara, Subcomandante Marcos led the Zapatista National Liberation Army. An excellent student in his youth, he briefly taught and later moved to the Chiapas, where he led a rebellion in support of the indigenous people. He is also a talented poet and author.

 21 
Ernesto Zedillo
(Economist, University teacher, Author)

Ernesto Zedillo
6
Birthdate: December 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mexico City

Ernesto Zedillo is a Mexican politician and economist who served as the 61st President of Mexico from 1994 to 2000. The 71-year streak of uninterrupted Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) rule was broken by the National Action Party when Zedillo lost his presidency. Ernesto Zedillo is currently serving as the director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.

 22 

Joaquin Murrieta
6
Birthdate: 1829 AD
Birthplace: Sonora
Died: July 25, 1853

 23 
Sergio Mayer
(Member of the Congress of the Union for the 6th district of Mexico City)

Sergio Mayer
3
Birthdate: May 21, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

 24 
Claudia Sheinbaum
(Scientist, Politician, and Head of government of Mexico City)

Claudia Sheinbaum
0
Birthdate: June 24, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

 25 
Guadalupe Victoria
(Politician, Military personnel, Lawyer)

Guadalupe Victoria
6
Birthdate: September 29, 1786
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tamazula
Died: March 21, 1846

 26 
Vicente Guerrero
(President of Mexico (1829))

Vicente Guerrero
6
Birthdate: August 10, 1782
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tixtla, Mexico
Died: February 14, 1831

A prominent figure of the Mexican War of Independence, Vicente Guerrero later also served as the president of Mexico. However, he was overthrown within 8 months of presidency. He was later convicted of treason and executed by a firing squad. He remains popular as Mexico’s "greatest man of color."

 27 

Gustavo Díaz Ordaz
6
Birthdate: March 12, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ciudad Serdán, Mexico
Died: July 15, 1979

 28 
Miguel de la Madrid
(Politician, Lawyer)

Miguel de la Madrid
6
Birthdate: December 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Colima
Died: April 1, 2012

Adolfo Lopez Mateos
4
Birthdate: May 26, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atizapán de Zaragoza
Died: September 22, 1969

 30 
José María Morelos
(Mexican Roman Catholic priest and revolutionary rebel leader who led the Mexican War of Independence movement)

José María Morelos
0
Birthdate: September 30, 1765
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Morelia, Mexico
Died: December 22, 1815

 31 
Laura Esquivel
(Novelist & Politician Best Known for Her Debut Novel 'Like Water for Chocolate')

Laura Esquivel
3
Birthdate: September 30, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

Mexican author Laura Esquivel soared to fame with her bestselling debut novel, Like Water for Chocolate, which was later made into a critically acclaimed film. She often includes magic realism and science fiction in her works. She has also been part of Mexican politics and represents the Morena Party in the Mexican Congress.

 32 
José López Portillo
(58th President of Mexico)

José López Portillo
4
Birthdate: June 16, 1920
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico
Died: February 17, 2004

 33 

Carlos Hank González
4
Birthdate: August 28, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mexico
Died: August 11, 2001

Carlos Hank González was a Mexican politician and businessman who established a business empire of transportation and banking interests. While growing his business, Carlos Hank was able to build political contacts which helped him pursue a career in politics. From 1969 to 1975, Carlos Hank González held the governor's office in the State of Mexico.

 34 
Miguel Alemán
(Politician)

Miguel Alemán
7
Birthdate: September 29, 1900
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Veracruz, Mexico
Died: May 14, 1983

Miguel Alemán Valdés was a Mexican politician best remembered for being the first civilian president of the country after a series of revolutionary generals. He served as the 53rd President of Mexico from 1946 to 1952. Miguel Alemán's administration marked the beginning of a period called Mexican Miracle, during which the country witnessed rapid industrialization.

 35 

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1934
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

 36 
Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong
(Secretary of the Interior in the cabinet of Enrique Peña Nieto)

Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong
4
Birthdate: August 5, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico

 37 

María Asunción Aramburuzabala
3
Birthdate: May 2, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mexico City

 38 
José Vasconcelos
(Writer, Philosopher, Politician, University teacher, Lawyer)

José Vasconcelos
4
Birthdate: February 28, 1882
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oaxaca
Died: June 30, 1959

Initially a lawyer, José Vasconcelos later led the National University of Mexico as its rector and also served as the Mexican minister of public education. Known for his belief in aesthetic monism, he soared to fame with his 5-part memoir, Ulises Criollo, which offered a mirror of the 20th-century Mexican society.

 39 
Jorge Hank Rhon
(19th Municipal president of Tijuana)

Jorge Hank Rhon
0
Birthdate: January 28, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Toluca, Mexico

 40 
Ricardo Flores Magón
(Political figure)

Ricardo Flores Magón
5
Birthdate: September 16, 1873
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, Mexico
Died: November 21, 1922

One of the most well-known Mexican anarchists, Ricardo Flores Magón initially studied law but soon got involved in student politics and was imprisoned multiple times. He also edited the anarchist newspaper Regeneración. One of the initiators of the Mexican Revolution, he later fled to the US, where he formed the Mexican Liberal Party.

 41 

Adolfo de la Huerta
6
Birthdate: May 26, 1881
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Guaymas, Mexico
Died: July 9, 1955

Adolfo de la Huerta was a Mexican politician who served as the 45th President of Mexico from June to November 1920. He also played an important role during the Mexican Revolution and is regarded as a prominent figure among Constitutionalists during the armed regional conflicts in Mexico. He also served as the third Governor of Sonora from 1919 to 1923.

 42 
Emilio Portes Gil
(President of Mexico)

Emilio Portes Gil
6
Birthdate: October 3, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ciudad Victoria, Mexico
Died: December 10, 1978

A qualified lawyer, Emilio Portes Gil had not just been the Attorney General of Mexico but had also served as the provisional president of Mexico, in place of the assassinated president-elect Álvaro Obregón. He had also been the president of Mexico’s National Revolutionary Party and Mexico’s first League of Nations representative.

 43 
Omar Fayad
(Governor of Hidalgo)

Omar Fayad
0
Birthdate: August 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zempoala, Hidalgo, Mexico

 44 
Jorge Kahwagi
(Businessperson, Politician, Boxer)

Jorge Kahwagi
0
Birthdate: May 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

 45 
Agustín Carstens
(Former Governor of the Bank of Mexico)

Agustín Carstens
0
Birthdate: June 9, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

 46 
José Antonio Meade
(Secretary of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico)

José Antonio Meade
0
Birthdate: February 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

 47 
Marcelo Ebrard
(Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico)

Marcelo Ebrard
0
Birthdate: October 10, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

 48 
Manuel González Flores
(31st President of Mexico)

Manuel González Flores
3
Birthdate: June 18, 1833
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Matamoros
Died: April 10, 1893

Manuel González Flores was a Mexican military general turned politician who served as the 35th President of Mexico from 1880 to 1884. Prior to joining politics, he played significant roles in the Mexican–American War and the Reform War, as an army man. His tenure as the president saw major diplomatic and domestic achievements. 

 49 
José Francisco Ruiz Massieu
(Former Governor of Guerrero from 1987 to 1993)

José Francisco Ruiz Massieu
0
Birthdate: July 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Acapulco, Mexico
Died: September 28, 1994

 50 
Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada
(President of Mexico)

Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada
3
Birthdate: April 24, 1823
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Xalapa, Mexico
Died: April 21, 1889

In spite of growing up as a poor orphan, who aspired to be a priest, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada ended up completing a law degree and became a professor. He later stepped into politics and, as a Liberal leader, led Mexico as its 31st president.