Famous Polish Leaders

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Find out more about the greatest Polish Leaders, including Pope John Paul II, Rosa Luxemburg, Wojciech Jaruzelski, Ewa Kopacz and Janusz Korwin-Mikke.
Vote for Your Favourite Polish Leaders
 1 
Lech Walesa
(Former President of Poland)
Lech Walesa
8
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
(Revolutionary Socialist, Marxist Philosopher & Anti-War Activist)
Rosa Luxemburg
17
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 
Konstantin Rokossovsky
(Soviet and Polish Military Officer)
Konstantin Rokossovsky
5
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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 4 
Kazimierz Pułaski
5
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.

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 5 
Tadeusz Kościuszko
(Polish Military Engineer and Statesman)
Tadeusz Kościuszko
4
Birthdate: February 4, 1746
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Belarus
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.

 6 
Józef Piłsudski
(Prime Minister of Poland (1926 - 1928))
Józef Piłsudski
3
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.

 7 
John III Sobieski
(Military leader, Politician)
John III Sobieski
3
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.

 8 
Faustyna Kowalska
5
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.

Sigismund III Vasa
3
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.

 10 
Donald Tusk
(President of the European Council)
Donald Tusk
10
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.

 11 
Ignacy Jan Paderewski
(Former Prime Minister of Poland, Pianist)
Ignacy Jan Paderewski
4
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.

 12 
Andrzej Duda
(Politician)
Andrzej Duda
12
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. 

 13 
Władysław Sikorski
(Politician, Military personnel)
Władysław Sikorski
3
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.

 14 
Mateusz Morawiecki
(Prime Minister of Poland)
Mateusz Morawiecki
6
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.

Sigismund II Augustus
3
Birthdate: August 1, 1520
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kraków
Died: July 7, 1572
 16 
Jogaila
(King)
Jogaila
4
Birthdate: 1362 AD
Birthplace: Vilnius
Died: June 1, 1434
 17 
Lech Kaczyński
(Former President of Poland)
Lech Kaczyński
8
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.

 18 
Jarosław Kaczyński
(Deputy Prime Minister of Poland)
Jarosław Kaczyński
7
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.
 19 
Janusz Korwin-Mikke
(Politician, Bridge player, Economist, Journalist, Esperantist)
Janusz Korwin-Mikke
7
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.

 20 
Aleksander Kwaśniewski
(Former President of Poland)
Aleksander Kwaśniewski
6
Birthdate: November 15, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Białogard
 21 
Wojciech Jaruzelski
(President of the Republic of Poland 1989-1990, Prime Minister of Poland 1981-1985)
Wojciech Jaruzelski
5
Birthdate: July 6, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kurów, Poland
Died: May 25, 2014

Wojciech Jaruzelski was a Polish politician and military officer. From 1981 to 1989, he was the dictator of the Polish People's Republic. He also served as the prime minister and president of Poland during his influential political career. He also served as the Polish People's Army's last commander-in-chief; Polish People's Army became the Polish Armed Forces in 1990.

 22 
Władysław Anders
(General in the Polish Army)
Władysław Anders
3
Birthdate: August 11, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Błonie, Poland
Died: May 12, 1970
 23 
Edward Rydz-Śmigły
(Commander-In-Chief and Inspector General of the Polish Armed Forces (1935 - 1939))
Edward Rydz-Śmigły
3
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.

 24 
Zbigniew Religa
(Surgeon, Physician, University teacher)
Zbigniew Religa
4
Birthdate: December 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Miedniewice, Masovian Voivodeship
Died: March 8, 2009
 25 
Józef Poniatowski
(Polish General, Minister of War and Army Chief)
Józef Poniatowski
3
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.

 26 
Beata Szydło
(Prime Minister)
Beata Szydło
5
Birthdate: April 15, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oświęcim, Poland
 27 
Bronisław Komorowski
5
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.

 28 
Bona Sforza
(Queen of Poland Grand Duchess of Lithuania (18 April 1518 – 1 April 1548))
Bona Sforza
3
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.

 29 
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.

 30 
Ewa Kopacz
(Politician)
Ewa Kopacz
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Skaryszew, Poland
 31 
Ferdinand Lassalle
(Writer, Politician, Economist, Lawyer, Philosopher)
Ferdinand Lassalle
5
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.

 32 
Edward Gierek
(Politician)
Edward Gierek
2
Birthdate: January 6, 1913
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Porąbka, Poland
Died: July 29, 2001
 33 
Wenceslaus III of Bohemia
(King of Hungary and Croatia (1301 - 1305), King of Bohemia and Poland (1305 - 1306))
Wenceslaus III of Bohemia
4
Birthdate: October 6, 1289
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prague
Died: August 4, 1306

Wenceslaus III became King of Hungary following the death of Andrew III whose only daughter, Elizabeth, was engaged to Wenceslaus. Wenceslaus renounced his hereditary rights to Austria and claim to Hungary before succeeding his father as King of Bohemia and Poland. His reign in Bohemia was however cut-short as he was assassinated before he could invade his rival's territories in Poland.

 34 
Władysław Gomułka
4
Birthdate: February 6, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Krosno
Died: September 1, 1982
 35 
Jan Henryk Dąbrowski
(Military General)
Jan Henryk Dąbrowski
2
Birthdate: August 29, 1755
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pierzchów, Poland
Died: July 6, 1818
 36 
Mordechai Anielewicz
(Polish Leader of the Jewish Fighting Organization Which Led the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising)
Mordechai Anielewicz
3
Birthdate: 1919 AD
Birthplace: Wyszkow, Poland
Died: May 8, 1943

Mordecai Anielewicz was a Polish political activist who was the leader of the Jewish Fighting Organization. He was a key player in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the largest Jewish insurrection during World War II. He was killed when the Germans found out his hideout and gassed the bunker. His image represents Jewish resistance during the Holocaust to this day. 

 37 
John Shalikashvili
(Army General)
John Shalikashvili
3
Birthdate: June 27, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: July 23, 2011
 38 
Avraham Stern
(Poet, Writer)
Avraham Stern
2
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. 

Alexandre Colonna-Walewski
2
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.

 40 
Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski
(Politician, Military officer)
Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski
2
Birthdate: June 1, 1895
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Khorobriv, Ukraine
Died: August 24, 1966
 41 
Gabriel Narutowicz
(First President of Poland)
Gabriel Narutowicz
2
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.

 42 
Marek Edelman
(Activist)
Marek Edelman
2
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.

 43 
Bolesław III Wrymouth
(Duke of Poland)
Bolesław III Wrymouth
2
Birthdate: August 20, 1086
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Płock, Poland
Died: October 28, 1138
 44 
Arthur Liebehenschel
(Military officer, Criminal)
Arthur Liebehenschel
0
Birthdate: November 25, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Poznań, Poland
Died: January 24, 1948
 45 
Ryszard Kaczorowski
(Statesman, Politician)
Ryszard Kaczorowski
2
Birthdate: November 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Białystok
Died: April 10, 2010
 46 
Jon Lech Johansen
(Cryptographer, Programmer, Computer scientist)
Jon Lech Johansen
2
Birthdate: November 18, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Harstad

Jon Lech Johansen is a Norwegian programmer best known for his work on reverse engineering data formats. He is credited with writing the DeCSS software, a free computer program which has the ability to decrypt content on a DVD video disc. A self-trained software engineer, Jon Lech Johansen was honored with the EFF Pioneer Award in April 2002. 

 47 
Emilia Plater
(Polish-Lithuanian Revolutionary and Noblewoman)
Emilia Plater
2
Birthdate: November 13, 1806
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vilnius, Lithuania
Died: December 23, 1831

Emilia Plater was a Polish-Lithuanian revolutionary and noblewoman. Often compared with France's Joan of Arc, Plater is seen as a national heroine in Belarus, Lithuania, and Poland. Emilia Plater's story has inspired numerous works of art and literature and she is often seen as a symbol of women empowerment in Lithuania.

 48 
Józef Bem
(Engineer)
Józef Bem
2
Birthdate: March 14, 1794
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tarnów, Poland
Died: December 10, 1850
 49 
Antoni Macierewicz
(Politician, Historian, Journalist, Trade unionist)
Antoni Macierewicz
2
Birthdate: August 3, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Warsaw
 50 
Józef Beck
(Statesman)
Józef Beck
3
Birthdate: October 4, 1894
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: June 5, 1944