Political Activists

Political activists are people who get involved in the political process for the sake of promoting, impeding or raising awareness about a certain issue or set of issues. Political activism typically involves engagement beyond just voting, whether it is through protest, demonstration or lecture. Political activists often pertain on taking a clear stance on an issue, voicing an opinion and working to ensure that the change desired by the political activists comes to take place. Demonstrations of political activism that are performed in an attempt to end a corrupt or unjust system tend to be more disruptive, which sometimes becomes violent. Mahatma Gandhi was one of the most influential non- violent political activists the world ever witnessed. Political activism is most effective when performed with large groups. Community organizers and political leaders see the most sweeping change when the demonstrations and activities are unique enough that the voices of the activists draw a great deal of attention. This is why creative acts of resistance by political activists tend to be so powerful and tend to encourage common people for their participation to bring about the necessary change in the democracy. Browse this section to explore about the life and works of various famous political activists from all over the world.

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 Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman
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Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: February 29, 1822
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: March 10, 1913

Born to parents who were bonded slaves, Harriet Tubman life was a difficult one from the very beginning. Yet with her remarkable courage and determination, she not only escaped slavery herself, but also led other enslaved people to freedom. The prominent political activist and abolitionist was also the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the American Civil War.

 2 Carrie Symonds

Carrie Symonds
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Famous As: Boris Johnson'Partner
Birthdate: 1988 AD
Nationality: British
Carrie Symonds, the fiancée of British prime minister Boris Johnson, is the first unmarried partner of a prime minister to stay at 10 Downing Street. A former Conservative Party press officer, she now works with Oceana. She was the youngest victim to testify against serial sexual offender John Worboys. 

 3 Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 4 Manute Bol

Manute Bol
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Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: October 16, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Sudanese, American
Died: June 19, 2010

 5 Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

Fran Drescher is an American actress and comedian. Characterized by her thick New York accent and nasal voice, Fran Drescher serves as an inspiration to many cancer patients as she successfully fought off the disease after suffering from uterine cancer. She is also an outspoken LGBT rights activist and healthcare advocate.

 6 Bradley Whitford

Bradley Whitford
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 10, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 7 Michael Moore

Michael Moore
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Famous As: Documentary Filmmaker
Birthdate: April 23, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Michael Moore is best known for his documentaries that criticize right-wing politicians and capitalism. He won an Academy Award for Bowling for Columbine, and the Palme d'Or for Fahrenheit 9/11, which was also the highest-grossing U.S. documentary of all time. He has also created Sicko and The Awful Truth.
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 8 Nathuram Godse

Nathuram Godse
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Famous As: Assassin of Mahatma Gandhi
Birthdate: May 19, 1910
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian
Died: November 15, 1949

Nathuram Godse was an Indian man who gained notoriety for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi, a popular figure in India's successful campaign for independence from British rule. He was an advocate of Hindu nationalism and opposed many of Gandhi’s political views. He shot Gandhi thrice at point-blank range on 30 January 1948. Godse was later executed for this crime.

 9 Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov
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Famous As: Chess Player
Birthdate: April 13, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Russian

Garry Kasparov is a Russian chess player. A grandmaster, Kasparov is a former World Chess Champion who was ranked No. 1 for 255 months during his career that spanned 21 years. After his retirement, Garry Kasparov focused on writing and politics; he founded a social movement called the United Civil Front, which is part of an opposition coalition in Moscow.

 10 Alfre Woodard

Alfre Woodard
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 8, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Alfre Woodard is an American actress. Considered one of the most accomplished and versatile actresses of her generation, Woodard was named in The New York Times' The 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century list in 2020. Also a political activist, Woodard is credited with founding Artists for a New South Africa, which aims at advancing equality in South Africa.

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 11 Abbie Hoffman

Abbie Hoffman
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Famous As: Anti-War Activist
Birthdate: November 30, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: April 12, 1989

The co-founder of the Youth International Party, Abbie Hoffman was an American social and political activist. A popular exponent of the Flower Power movement, Abbie Hoffman played a major role in the events leading up to the violent confrontations with the cops during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. He remains an iconic figure of the counterculture era.

 12 Beppe Grillo

Beppe Grillo
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian

Beppe Grillo is an Italian actor, comedian, politician, and blogger. The co-founder of a political party called Five Star Movement, Grillo turned to the internet in the early-2000s to popularize his ideas. After launching a website called beppegrillo.it, which became an influential website, he started writing influential blogs, which made him a leading Italian popularizer of digital utopianism.

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 13 Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 5, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Irish
Irish singer Bob Geldof gained fame as part of the rock band Boomtown Rats, which delivered hits such as Rat Trap. He formed the charity supergroup Band Aid and organized concerts to eradicate poverty in Africa. He also appeared as Pink in the movie Pink Floyd – The Wall.

 14 Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly
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Famous As: Radio personality, Lawyer, Political activist, Journalist
Birthdate: August 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: September 5, 2016

 15 Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal
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Famous As: Anti Corruption Activist, Politician
Birthdate: August 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian
Indian politician Arvind Kejriwal is the incumbent chief minister of Delhi and the founder of the Aam Aadmi Party. The Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning leader is an IIT-KGP alumnus and was initially a joint commissioner of income tax with the IRS. His book Swaraj highlights burning issues such as corruption.

 16 Tom Hayden

Tom Hayden
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Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: December 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: October 23, 2016

Tom Hayden was a prominent social/political activist, and a champion for civil rights and anti-war campaigns. Also known as Jane Fonda’s ex-husband, he had contributed to the Port Huron Statement and stood trial in the Chicago Seven Case. He was part of the California State Assembly and the California Senate.

 17 Rick Harrison

Rick Harrison
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Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: March 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Rick Harrison, co-owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, shot to fame with the History Channel show Pawn Stars. His memoir, License to Pawn, became a New York Times bestseller. Named the National Pawnbrokers Association’s 2010 Pawnbroker of the Year, he also appeared on the game show Pawnography

 18 Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
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Famous As: Independence Activist, Reformer
Birthdate: May 28, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Indian
Died: February 26, 1966

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was an Indian politician and independence activist. He formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva and was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha. He was known for his strong oratory skills and was an eloquent writer. He was initially charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but was later acquitted.

 19 Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader
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Famous As: Political Activist, Attorney
Birthdate: February 27, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed was his critique of the safety measures of U.S. automobile manufacturers. His activism has led to the passage of acts such as the Consumer Product Safety Act. One of Time’s 100 Most Influential Americans, he inspired the documentary An Unreasonable Man

 20 Serj Tankian

Serj Tankian
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: August 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Lebanese, American

Serj Tankian is an Armenian-American record producer, singer, and songwriter. Tankian is credited with co-founding the popular band System of a Down. Renowned for his wide vocal range and unusual delivery, Serj Tankian is widely considered one of the best heavy metal vocalists of all time. Also a political activist, Tankian co-founded Axis of Justice, a non-profit organization.

 21 Jaya Prada

Jaya Prada
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 3, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Indian

 22 Shabana Azmi

Shabana Azmi
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Indian

 23 Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 6, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Mike Farrell is an American actor known for playing, Captain B.J. Hunnicutt, in the popular war comedy-drama TV series, M*A*S*H. Farrell's journey from being born into a working-class family to becoming a famous Hollywood actor is quite inspiring. Also a political and social activist, Farrell has worked on several activist campaigns. In 2001, he was honored with PETA's Humanitarian Award.

 24 Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 9, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

A popular actress, producer, and activist, Rosario Dawson is known as much for her involvement in politics and philanthropy as for her work in films and television. A strong supporter of various charitable organizations, such as One Campaign and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Rosario came out as member of the LGBT community in 2020.

 25 Omarosa Manigault

Omarosa Manigault
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Famous As: Writers
Birthdate: February 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 26 Lauren Southern

Lauren Southern
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Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: June 16, 1995
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Canadian

 27 John Denver

John Denver
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 31, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: October 12, 1997

John Denver was one of the highest-selling and most popular singers during the 1970s. He was known for folk, pop and country music. Some of his greatest songs are Take Me Home Country Roads, Leaving on a Jet Plane, Rocky Mountain High, Sunshine on My Shoulders and Annie's Song. He died when a plane he was piloting crashed in California.

 28 Steve Biko

steve biko
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Famous As: Anti-apartheid Activist
Birthdate: December 18, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: South African
Died: September 12, 1977

Civil rights activist Steve Biko, or the Father of Black Consciousness, is remembered for his work against apartheid in South Africa. He founded the Black Consciousness Movement while still a medical school student. He was banned by the pro-apartheid regime in 1973. He was beaten to death in custody.

 29 Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst
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Famous As: Leader of the British Suffragette Movement
Birthdate: July 4, 1858
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: June 14, 1928
Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist best remembered for helping women earn the right to vote in elections by organizing the UK suffragette movement. For playing a major role in achieving women's suffrage in the UK, Pankhurst was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century list in 1999.

 30 Bobby Seale

Bobby Seale
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Famous As: Political activist
Birthdate: October 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 31 Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny
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Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: June 4, 1976
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Russian

Described by The Wall Street Journal as the man Vladimir Putin fears most, Alexei Navalny is widely regarded as Russia's opposition leader. He is famous for his accusations of corruption in Russia and Putin's government. In 2011, he created the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which was dissolved in 2020. In August 2020, there was an attempt to assassinate him, when he was poisoned during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow.

 32 Cenk Uygur

Cenk Uygur
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Famous As: Political Activist, Show Host
Birthdate: March 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Turkish, American

Cenk Uygur is a Turkish-American journalist, attorney, media host, and political commentator. He is credited with creating a commentary and sociopolitical news program titled The Young Turks (TYT). He is also credited with co-founding Justice Democrats, a progressive political action committee in the United States.

 33 Norman Lear

Norman Lear
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Famous As: Television Writer
Birthdate: July 27, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

TV writer and producer Norman Lear is best known for producing hit sitcoms such as All in the Family, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, and Sanford and Son. He is also part of the Malibu Mafia and a liberal activist. He also established People for the American Way.

 34 Prescott Bush

Prescott Bush
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 15, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: October 8, 1972

 35 Stephen Stills

Stephen Stills
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 3, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

 36 Melissa Mathison

Melissa Mathison
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Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: June 3, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: November 4, 2015

Melissa Mathison was a screenwriter and an activist for the Tibetan independence movement. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, for a while but quit before graduating. She was acquainted with Francis Ford Coppola who encouraged her to pursue a screenwriting career. She was once married to actor, Harrison Ford, and had two children.

 37 Dennis Weaver

Dennis Weaver
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 4, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: February 24, 2006
Dennis Weaver is best known as Chester Goode/Proudfoot from Gunsmoke and as Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud from McCloud. He initially ran track and field, but his failure to qualify for the U.S. Olympic decathlon team made him join films. He had also been the president of the Screen Actors Guild.

 38 Bianca Jagger

Bianca Jagger
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 2, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Nicaraguan, British

Bianca Jagger is a Nicaraguan social rights advocate. She is credited with founding the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, where she is currently serving as the chairperson. For her work as a humanitarian, Jagger has received several awards, including the Champion of Justice Award. A former actress, Jagger appeared in many movies and TV shows throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

 39 Laura Loomer

Laura Loomer
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Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: May 21, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 40 Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky
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Famous As: Community Organizer
Birthdate: January 30, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: June 12, 1972

 41 Ilona Staller

Ilona Staller
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Famous As: Politician, Singer
Birthdate: November 26, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Hungarian

Ilona Staller is a former porn star, singer, and politician. She achieved popularity by appearing in Telefono rosso, the first Italian hardcore pornography production, and then went on to pose nude in Playboy's editions around the world. In 1980, an erotic series titled La Cicciolina was made based on Ilona Staller's life and career.

 42 Sean Pertwee

Sean Pertwee
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Sean Pertwee is an English actor and narrator. The son of actor, Jon Pertwee, Sean followed in the footsteps of his father to establish himself in the entertainment industry. Apart from playing important roles in films like Dog Soldiers, he is also known for his work as a narrator in TV shows, such as Zero Hour and MasterChef: The Professionals.

 43 Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 27, 1869
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: May 14, 1940

Emma Goldman was a writer and anarchist political activist. She played an important role in popularizing the anarchist political philosophy in Europe and North America in the early and mid-20th century. Her lectures and writing spanned a wide variety of subjects, such as atheism, militarism, freedom of speech, homosexuality, capitalism, and free love.

 44 Dick Durbin

Dick Durbin
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 45 Sophie Scholl

Sophie Scholl
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Famous As: Anti-Nazi Activist
Birthdate: May 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German
Died: February 22, 1943

Sophie Scholl was a German anti-Nazi political activist who was involved with a non-violent resistance group called White Rose. Scholl was executed by guillotine at the age of 21 for distributing anti-war leaflets. Since her death, Sophie Scholl has been viewed as an iconic figure. Her life and work have inspired several films, including Sophie Scholl – The Final Days.

 46 Kennedy Montgomery

Kennedy Montgomery
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Famous As: Commentator
Birthdate: September 8, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Political commentator and host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, began her career as MTV VJ “Kennedy” on the alternative rock shows 120 Minutes and Alternative Nation. She has authored two books and has also hosted Fox network shows such as Kennedy and Outnumbered. She has also been a panelist on The Five.

 47 Annie Besant

Annie Besant
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Famous As: Member of the London School Board
Birthdate: October 1, 1847
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: September 20, 1933

Annie Besant was a British theosophist, socialist, writer, orator, educationist, women's rights activist, and philanthropist. Despite being British, Besant supported India's freedom movement and even joined the Indian National Congress. She is also credited with co-founding Banaras Hindu University. Besant also helped launch the Indian Home Rule movement to campaign for democracy in the country.

 48 Gauri Lankesh

Gauri Lankesh
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Famous As: Activist, Journalist
Birthdate: January 29, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Indian
Died: September 5, 2017

 49 James Brady

James Brady
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Famous As: White House Press Secretary
Birthdate: August 29, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: August 4, 2014

 50 Javed Jaffrey

Javed Jaffrey
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 4, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Indian
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