Famous Polish Leaders

Find out more about the greatest Polish Leaders, including Pope John Paul II, Rosa Luxemburg, Wojciech Jaruzelski, Ewa Kopacz and Janusz Korwin-Mikke.

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 Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa
Famous As: Former President of Poland
Birthdate: September 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Popowo, Gmina Tłuchowo, Poland

Lech Walesa is a Polish dissident and statesman. From 1990 to 1995, Walesa served as the first elected president of Poland. A Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Walesa was adjudged Time Person of the Year in 1981. In 1999, he was named in the magazine's most important people of the 20th century list. 

 2 Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg
Famous As: Marxist economist
Birthdate: March 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zamosc, Poland
Died: January 15, 1919
Polish Marxist and socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg was a member of parties such as the SPD, the USPD, and the KPD. Luxemburg was an anti-war activist and taught economics and Marxism at SPD's Berlin training center. She was assassinated by the Freikorps troops during the German Revolution

 3 Witold Pilecki

Witold Pilecki
Famous As: Nazi-era Polish Army Officer
Birthdate: May 13, 1901
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Olonets
Died: May 25, 1948

Known as prisoner number 4859 at the Auschwitz concentration camp, Witold Pilecki voluntarily got himself arrested to be sent to the camp, so that he could start an anti-Nazi resistance movement. He set up the underground campaign ZOW and was eventually able to escape. Nevertheless, he was executed by communists.

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 4 Konstantin Rokossovsky

Konstantin Rokossovsky
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: December 1, 1896
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: August 3, 1968

Konstantin Rokossovsky was a Soviet and Polish officer. One of the most important Red Army commanders during the Second World War, Rokossovsky also served as Poland's Defence Minister from 1949 to 1956. He also served as the Marshal of Poland and as the Marshal of the Soviet Union.

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 5 Kazimierz Pułaski

Kazimierz Pułaski
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: March 6, 1745
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: October 11, 1779

Kazimierz Pułaski was a Polish nobleman, military commander, and soldier. Dubbed the father of the American cavalry, Pulaski is credited with creating the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reorganizing the American cavalry. He played an important role in the American Revolutionary War and is remembered for fighting for the independence of Poland and the United States.

 6 Tadeusz Kościuszko

Tadeusz Kościuszko
Famous As: Statesman, Engineer
Birthdate: January 31, 1746
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mieračoŭščyna
Died: October 15, 1817

Tadeusz Kościuszko was a Polish-Lithuanian statesman, military leader, and military engineer. Thanks to his participation in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's fight against Prussia and Russia and his role in the American Revolutionary War, Tadeusz Kościuszko is widely regarded as a national hero in the United States, Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania.

 7 Józef Piłsudski

Józef Piłsudski
Famous As: Chief of State of Poland (1918-1922)
Birthdate: December 5, 1867
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Zalavas, Lithuania
Died: May 12, 1935

Józef Piłsudski was a Polish statesman and one of the most influential personalities in Polish politics post World War I. From 1918 to 1922, he served as the Chief of State. From 1926 to 1935, he was regarded as the de facto leader of the Second Polish Republic and was largely viewed as the father of Interwar Poland.

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 8 John III Sobieski

John III Sobieski
Famous As: Military leader, Politician
Birthdate: August 17, 1629
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Olesko
Died: June 17, 1696

Well-educated and well-traveled, John III Sobieski initially joined the Swedes as a soldier, in opposing Polish ruler John Casimir. He then switched to the Polish side. He gradually rose through the ranks to become a grand marshal and a grand-hetman, and eventually became the king of Poland.

 9 Faustyna Kowalska

Faustyna Kowalska
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: August 25, 1905
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Głogowiec, Poland
Died: October 5, 1938

Polish Catholic nun Faustyna Kowalska is remembered for her diary, which recorded her multiple visions of Jesus and was later published. She later got an artist to paint the Image of the Divine Mercy, based on her visions. Known as the Apostle of Divine Mercy, she was canonized as a saint in 2000.

 10 Sigismund III Vasa

Sigismund III Vasa
Famous As: King
Birthdate: June 20, 1566
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gripsholm Castle
Died: April 30, 1632

Sigismund III Vasa was the elder son of Swedish king John III Vasa. As the king of Poland and Sweden, he not only enjoyed prosperity but also tried to unite the two states, although he ended up creating conflicts between them. His lust for power also resulted in the Zebrzydowski Rebellion.

 11 Hyman Rickover

Hyman Rickover
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: January 27, 1900
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Maków Mazowiecki, Congress Poland Russian Poland
Died: July 8, 1986

Hyman Rickover was an admiral who served in the U.S. Navy. Rickover is credited with overseeing the development of naval nuclear propulsion before controlling its operations for 30 years. He also supervised the development of the first commercial pressurized water reactor, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station. Hyman Rickover is one of only four people to receive two Congressional Gold Medals.

 12 Donald Tusk

Donald Tusk
Famous As: President of the European Council
Birthdate: April 22, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gdańsk

Born to former Polish slave laborers of the Nazi period, Donald Tusk initially wished to become a footballer but was drawn to the Solidarity movement. He later formed the LDC and the PO parties. He has been the president of the European Council.and now presides over the EPP.

 13 Stanisław August Poniatowski

Stanisław August Poniatowski
Famous As: King of Poland
Birthdate: January 17, 1732
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Voŭčyn, Belarus
Died: February 12, 1798

Stanisław August Poniatowski reigned as the King of Poland from 1764 to 1795. He is best remembered as the last ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Poniatowski made several attempts to reform and strengthen the ailing Commonwealth, which proved to be difficult due to several external and internal oppositions. He is often criticized for his failure to prevent the partitions.

 14 Erich von Falkenhayn

Erich von Falkenhayn
Famous As: General
Birthdate: September 11, 1861
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Białochowo, Poland
Died: April 8, 1922

Erich von Falkenhayn was a war leader who played a major role during World War I where he served as the Chief of the German General Staff from 1914 to 1916. He also served as the Prussian Minister of War from 1913 to 1915. Although his reputation was attacked by certain groups, many regard Falkenhayn as a great German general.

 15 Ignacy Jan Paderewski

Ignacy Jan Paderewski
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Poland, Pianist
Birthdate: November 6, 1860
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kurylivka, Ukraine
Died: June 29, 1941

Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a Polish musician who went on to become the third Prime Minister of Poland after being a spokesman for Polish independence for a long time. He also played a significant role as the nation's foreign minister in 1919 when he signed the Treaty of Versailles, an important event that marked the end of World War I.

 16 Władysław Sikorski

Władysław Sikorski
Famous As: Politician, Military personnel
Birthdate: May 20, 1881
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tuszów Narodowy
Died: July 4, 1943

Władysław Sikorski was a Polish political and military leader. He played important roles in both the First and Second World War. A supporter of Polish independence prior to the war, Sikorski fought in the Polish Legions during World War I. He was also an influential figure in the newly created Polish Army that took part in the Polish–Soviet War.

 17 Andrzej Duda

Andrzej Duda
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 16, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kraków, Polish People's Republic Poland

Andrzej Duda is a Polish politician, lawyer, and the current President of Poland. Duda has been in the forefront of the ongoing Polish constitutional crisis where his government has been blamed for its inability to adhere to the Polish and European constitutional law. Despite the crisis, Andrzej Duda was awarded Poland's highest honor, Order of the White Eagle. 

 18 Sigismund II Augustus

Sigismund II Augustus
Famous As: King
Birthdate: August 1, 1520
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kraków
Died: July 7, 1572

 19 Carl Friedrich Goerdeler

Carl Friedrich Goerdeler
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 31, 1884
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Piła, Poland
Died: February 2, 1945

Born to Prussian parents, Carl Friedrich Goerdeler grew up to be part of the German army during World War I. He later served as the mayor of Leipzig and strongly condemned the Holocaust. He was eventually hanged by the Gestapo for being part of the 20th July coup against Adolf Hitler.

 20 Jogaila

Famous As: King
Birthdate: 1362 AD
Birthplace: Vilnius
Died: June 1, 1434

 21 Jarosław Kaczyński

Jarosław Kaczyński
Famous As: Statesmen
Birthdate: June 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
The current deputy prime minister of Poland, Jarosław Kaczyński had initially gained fame as a child actor in the movie Those Two Who Would Steal the Moon, along with his twin, Lech. After getting his law degree, he became active in trade unionism and then joined full-fledged politics.

 22 Mateusz Morawiecki

Mateusz Morawiecki
Famous As: Prime Minister of Poland
Birthdate: June 20, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland

Mateusz Morawiecki is a Polish historian, economist, and politician. The current Prime Minister of Poland, Morawiecki has also held other important positions; between 2015 and 2018, he served as the Minister of Development as well as the Minister of Finance. Mateusz Morawiecki also served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland from 2015 to 2017.

 23 Lech Kaczyński

Lech Kaczyński
Famous As: Former President of Poland
Birthdate: June 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: April 10, 2010

Former president of Poland Lech Kaczyński had also served as the mayor of Warsaw. Son of an engineer father and a philologist mother, he had starred in a movie as a child actor, along with his twin brother. A qualified lawyer, he had initially been part of anti-communist underground movements.

 24 Janusz Korwin-Mikke

Janusz Korwin-Mikke
Famous As: Politician, Bridge player, Economist, Journalist, Esperantist
Birthdate: October 27, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw

Janusz Korwin-Mikke is a Polish politician, author, and paleolibertarian. He is credited with founding the Eurosceptic and right-wing libertarian political party Wolność. Counted among the most controversial politicians of his time, Korwin-Mikke is known for his absurd remarks and allegations. Janusz Korwin-Mikke became a member of the Sejm in 2019.

 25 Karl Radek

Karl Radek
Famous As: Politician, University teacher, Journalist
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.

 26 Haym Salomon

Haym Salomon
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: April 7, 1740
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leszno, Poland
Died: January 6, 1785

Polish-American businessman Haym Salomon not only contributed to the establishment of the Philadelphia synagogue Mikveh Israel, but also lent huge amounts of interest-free money to soldiers and other borrowers during the American Revolutionary War. The financier eventually died in poverty, with the American government owing thousands of dollars to him.

 27 Aleksander Kwaśniewski

Aleksander Kwaśniewski
Famous As: Former President of Poland
Birthdate: November 15, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Białogard

 28 Zbigniew Religa

Zbigniew Religa
Famous As: Surgeon, Physician, University teacher
Birthdate: December 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Miedniewice, Masovian Voivodeship
Died: March 8, 2009

 29 Władysław Anders

Władysław Anders
Famous As: General in the Polish Army
Birthdate: August 11, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Błonie, Poland
Died: May 12, 1970

 30 Edward Rydz-Śmigły

Edward Rydz-Śmigły
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 11, 1886
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berezhany, Ukraine
Died: December 2, 1941

Edward Rydz-Śmigły was a Polish statesman, politician, poet, Marshal of Poland, painter, and supreme commander of Poland's armed forces. He was a much admired and respected public figure in Poland during the interwar period and was widely regarded as a national hero for his service as an army commander during World War I and the Polish–Soviet War.

 31 Beata Szydło

Beata Szydło
Famous As: Prime Minister
Birthdate: April 15, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oświęcim, Poland

 32 Józef Antoni Poniatowski

Józef Antoni Poniatowski
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: May 7, 1763
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 19, 1813

Polish military general Józef Antoni Poniatowski was initially part of the Austrian army and was later drafted into the Polish army on the instructions of his uncle, King Stanisław II August Poniatowski. Best remembered for his exploits in the Napoleonic Wars, he was later made a marshal but drowned after being wounded.

 33 Maksim Litvinov

Maksim Litvinov
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: July 17, 1876
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Białystok, Russian Empire
Died: December 31, 1951

Soviet diplomat Maksim Litvinov believed in disarmament and was behind the adoption of the Kellogg–Briand Pact and the Litvinov Protocol. He had also been the Soviet Ambassador to the US and later served as the deputy commissar for foreign affairs. He was the grandfather of Russian-American author Pavel Litvinov.

 34 Bronisław Komorowski

Bronisław Komorowski
Famous As: President
Birthdate: June 4, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oborniki Śląskie

Former president of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski also served as Minister of Defense and the Marshal of the Sejm. Hounded by the communist regime in Poland, he and his family had to move from place to place, till they settled in Warsaw, where he grew up since his teens.

 35 Bona Sforza

Bona Sforza
Famous As: Queen of Poland Grand Duchess of Lithuania (18 April 1518 – 1 April 1548)
Birthdate: February 2, 1494
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vigevano, Italy
Died: November 19, 1557

An ideal elite Renaissance woman, Bona Sforza was the queen of Poland and the wife of Sigismund I the Old. She is remembered for her fiery resistance to the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, when he suggested Bona be planted as a Habsburg spy to counter the Jagiellonian dynasty.

 36 Ferdinand Lassalle

Ferdinand Lassalle
Famous As: Writer, Politician, Economist, Lawyer, Philosopher
Birthdate: April 11, 1825
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: August 31, 1864

Enamoured by the ideas of French and German philosophers, Ferdinand Lassalle initially aspired to be a lecturer. He later joined the socialist cause and spearheaded Germany’s social democratic movement. He also introduced terms such as the iron law of wages and concepts such as Lassallism, or achieving socialist ideals through the state.

 37 Ewa Kopacz

Ewa Kopacz
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 3, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Skaryszew, Poland

 38 Edward Gierek

Edward Gierek
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 6, 1913
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Porąbka, Poland
Died: July 29, 2001

 39 Wenceslaus III of Bohemia

Wenceslaus III of Bohemia
Famous As: King
Birthdate: October 6, 1289
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prague
Died: August 4, 1306

 40 John Shalikashvili

John Shalikashvili
Famous As: Army General
Birthdate: June 27, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: July 23, 2011

 41 Jan Henryk Dąbrowski

Jan Henryk Dąbrowski
Famous As: Military General
Birthdate: August 29, 1755
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pierzchów, Poland
Died: July 6, 1818

 42 Władysław Gomułka

Władysław Gomułka
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 6, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Krosno
Died: September 1, 1982

 43 Avraham Stern

Avraham Stern
Famous As: Poet, Writer
Birthdate: December 23, 1907
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Suwałki
Died: February 12, 1942

Avraham Stern was one of the most important leaders of Irgun, a Zionist paramilitary organization. The members of this organization were recruited by the Israel Defense Forces at the beginning of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Avraham Stern is also credited with founding Lehi, a Zionist terrorist organization that aimed at evicting British authorities from Palestine. 

 44 Alexandre Colonna-Walewski

Alexandre Colonna-Walewski
Famous As: Statesman
Birthdate: May 4, 1810
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Walewice, Poland
Died: September 27, 1868

Widely known as the illegitimate son of Napoleon Bonaparte and his Polish noblewoman mistress, Countess Marie Walewska, Alexandre Colonna-Walewski was a French diplomat and politician. Apart from serving as a foreign minister, he is also believed to have collaborated with Alexandre Dumas on an opera.

 45 Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski

Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski
Famous As: Politician, Military officer
Birthdate: June 1, 1895
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Khorobriv, Ukraine
Died: August 24, 1966

 46 Gabriel Narutowicz

Gabriel Narutowicz
Famous As: First President of Poland
Birthdate: March 29, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Telšiai, Lithuania
Died: December 16, 1922

Polish professor of hydroelectric engineering and statesman Gabriel Narutowicz served as first President of Poland after the country regained sovereignty from partitioning powers. A pioneer of electrification, Narutowicz served as the Minister of Public Works and as the Minister of Foreign Affairs before becoming the first president of the Second Polish Republic. He was assassinated five days after assuming office as the head of state.

 47 Marek Edelman

Marek Edelman
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: 1919 AD
Birthplace: Gomel
Died: October 2, 2009

Marek Edelman was a Polish social and political activist and cardiologist. A well-known revolutionary, Edelman helped establish the Jewish Combat Organization which played a key role in launching the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. He was one of the most important leaders of the resistance movement. After the war, Marek Edelman went on to become a noted cardiologist.

 48 Bolesław III Wrymouth

Bolesław III Wrymouth
Famous As: Duke of Poland
Birthdate: August 20, 1086
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Płock, Poland
Died: October 28, 1138

 49 Ryszard Kaczorowski

Ryszard Kaczorowski
Famous As: Statesman, Politician
Birthdate: November 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Białystok
Died: April 10, 2010

 50 Emilia Plater

Emilia Plater
Famous As: Revolutionary, Noblewomen
Birthdate: November 13, 1806
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vilnius, Lithuania
Died: December 23, 1831