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
4
Famous As: Abolitionist and Political activist
Birthdate: February 29, 1822
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dorchester County, Maryland, United States
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 Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd
4
Famous As: Actress, Political activist
Birthdate: April 19, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Granada Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States

Ashley Judd is a popular American actress who is vocal about topics, such as sexual assault. As a three-time rape survivor—as claimed by her—Ashley serves as an inspiration to rape survivors around the world. Known for her humanitarian work, Ashley has worked on gender equality for over a decade. She is also famous for her political activities.

 3 Danny Glover

Danny Glover
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States

Danny Glover is an American actor whose career has spanned more than four decades. Apart from being an actor, Danny Glover has had a major impact as an activist; he has made his presence felt as an activist in countries like Brazil, Iraq, Venezuela, Israel, and many African countries.

 4 Manute Bol

Manute Bol
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: October 16, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gogrial, Sudan
Died: June 19, 2010

Known for his 7’ 7” frame, Manute Bol made headlines as one of the tallest NBA players ever. Born in Sudan, he was initially a soccer player but quit it because of his height. He later moved to the US to represent basketball teams such as the Golden State Warriors.

 5 Bradley Whitford

Bradley Whitford
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 10, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Best known as Josh Lyman from The West Wing, Bradley Whitford is a Juilliard-trained and Primetime Emmy-winning actor. Also known for his roles in series such as The Mentalist and movies such as Billy Madison, he also launched the charity Clothes off Our Back, which mostly donates to children’s non-profits.

 6 Carrie Symonds

Carrie Symonds
7
Famous As: Boris Johnson'Partner
Birthdate: 1988 AD
Birthplace: East Sheen, South London
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. 

 7 George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw
4
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: July 26, 1856
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Portobello, Dublin, Ireland
Died: November 2, 1950

Nobel Prize-winning playwright and author George Bernard Shaw was best known for his realism and his support for women’s rights and socialism. His ideas gave rise to the word “Shavian.” His drama Pygmalion inspired the musical My Fair Lady. His other notable works include Candida and Man and Superman.

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 8 Angela Davis

Angela Davis
7
Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: January 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham

Activist, philosopher, academic and author, Angela Davis is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She has worked in the areas of feminism, class, race and the US prison system. She has also received criticism for supporting the erstwhile Soviet Union and has been accused of supporting political violence.

 9 Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault
4
Famous As: Philosopher & Historian
Birthdate: October 15, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poitiers, France
Died: June 25, 1984

If others thought the body was the prison of the soul, Paul-Michel Foucault felt the other way round. The French philosopher, literary critic and Leftist who interpreted the link between power and knowledge, was a post-structuralist whose theories have left a mark on anthropology, psychology and criminology. The feminist was one of the noted personalities to have died of HIV/AIDS.

 10 Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny
4
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: June 4, 1976
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Butyn', Russia

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.

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 11 Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof
5
Famous As: Lead Singer of The Irish Rock Band 'The Boomtown Rats'
Birthdate: October 5, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dún Laoghaire, Ireland
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.

 12 Rowan Blanchard

Rowan Blanchard
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 14, 2001
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Rowan Blanchard is best known as Rebecca Wilson from Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. Named one of Time’s Most Influential Teens in 2015, she also appeared as Riley Matthews in the Disney series Girl Meets World and was seen in the series The Goldbergs and Snowpiercer, too.
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 13 Jesse Jackson

Jesse Jackson
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Famous As: United States Shadow Senator from the District of Columbia (1991-97)
Birthdate: October 8, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
Civil rights activist and politician Jesse Jackson, father of former U.S. representative Jesse Jackson Jr., is also a Baptist minister. He has been a shadow U.S. senator from the District of Columbia and established organizations that merged into the non-profit Rainbow/PUSH. He also hosted CNN’s Both Sides with Jesse Jackson.

 14 Serj Tankian

Serj Tankian
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: August 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

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.

 15 Abbie Hoffman

Abbie Hoffman
6
Famous As: Anti-War Activist, Social activist
Birthdate: November 30, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
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.

 16 Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel
5
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sighetu Marmației, Romania
Died: July 2, 2016

Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Elie Wiesel is best remembered for his book Night, which relates his traumatic experience as a Jewish prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps. After surviving the Holocaust, he became a journalist and a human rights activist, and also helped in establishing the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

 17 Afeni Shakur

Afeni Shakur
5
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: January 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lumberton, North Carolina, United States
Died: May 2, 2016

Afeni Shakur was a political activist best known as the mother of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. Afeni Shakur was an important member of the popular political organization Black Panther Party where she mentored new members like Jamal Joseph, Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, and Cleo Silvers.

 18 Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader
4
Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: February 27, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Winsted, Connecticut, United States
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

 19 Tom Hayden

Tom Hayden
6
Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: December 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
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.

 20 Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 14, 1986
French author and existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir is best remembered for her feminist treatise The Second Sex and her novels The Mandarins and She Came to Stay. Her literary contributions also include essays, biographies, and her autobiographical works. She won the Prix Goncourt and the Jerusalem Prize.

 21 Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti
4
Famous As: Multi-instrumentalist
Birthdate: October 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Abeokuta, Nigeria
Died: August 2, 1997
Political activist and Afrobeat inventor Fela Kuti initially performed with his band Koola Lobitos and later renamed it Nigeria '70. He was inspired by the Black Power movement, which also gradually transformed his musical style. He married 27 women in 1978, to mark the anniversary of the Kalakuta Republic attack.

 22 Bobby Seale

Bobby Seale
6
Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: October 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liberty, Texas Liberty, Texas, United States

 23 Stokely Carmichael

Stokely Carmichael
4
Famous As: Political activist
Birthdate: January 29, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: November 15, 1998

Stokely Carmichael was a significant part of the American civil rights movement and the worldwide Pan-African movement. He was associated with the Black Panther Party and the All-African People's Revolutionary Party. The Black Power movement leader later adopted the name Kwame Ture and traveled extensively through Africa.

 24 Sophie Scholl

Sophie Scholl
4
Famous As: Anti-Nazi Activist
Birthdate: May 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Forchtenberg, Germany
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.

 25 Omarosa Manigault

Omarosa Manigault
4
Famous As: Writers
Birthdate: February 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio, United States

 26 Stephen Stills

Stephen Stills
6
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 3, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States

 27 Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman
4
Famous As: Political activist
Birthdate: June 7, 1869
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kaunas, Lithuania
Died: May 4, 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.

 28 Ralph Waite

Ralph Waite
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 22, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: White Plains, New York, United States
Died: February 13, 2014
Ralph Waite is best remembered for his Emmy-nominated roles of John Walton Sr. in The Waltons and Slater in Roots. Fans also loved him in series such as NCIS and Bones, and in movies such as Cliffhanger. He was a U.S. Marine and also ran for Congress as a Democrat.

 29 Megalyn Echikunwoke

Megalyn Echikunwoke
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 28, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Spokane, Washington, United States

 30 Melissa Mathison

Melissa Mathison
4
Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: June 3, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
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.

 31 Betty Ford

Betty Ford
5
Famous As: Former First Lady of the United States
Birthdate: April 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: July 8, 2011

Betty Ford served as the First Lady of the US from 1974 to 1977. One of the most popular First Ladies in history, Ford was a passionate supporter of abortion rights and worked towards raising breast cancer awareness. She commented on topics like sex, drugs, abortion, and equal pay. In 1991, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 32 James Brady

James Brady
5
Famous As: White House Press Secretary
Birthdate: August 29, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Centralia, Illinois, USA
Died: August 4, 2014

 33 Jack Kemp

Jack Kemp
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 13, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: May 2, 2009

 34 Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump Jr.
6
Famous As: Son of Donald Trump & Political Activist
Birthdate: December 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of former US President Donald Trump joined his father’s business at Trump Organization in 2001 and later became its executive vice president. He takes keen interest in politics and was also involved in his father’s presidential campaign. Many of his controversial statements have attracted huge criticism. He is also an author and a television personality.

 35 Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
3
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: September 13, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, USA
Died: July 12, 1944

 36 Jane Addams

Jane Addams
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cedarville, Illinois, U.S.
Died: May 21, 1935

Jane Addams was an American social worker, reformer, settlement activist, public administrator, sociologist, and author. Addams was a prominent leader in the history of women's suffrage and social work in the USA. She is credited with co-founding one of America's most popular settlement houses, the Hull House in Chicago. Addams is also credited with co-founding the American Civil Liberties Union.

 37 Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky
6
Famous As: Community Organizer
Birthdate: January 30, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: June 12, 1972

 38 Laura Loomer

Laura Loomer
4
Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: May 21, 1993
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: North Miami, Florida, USA

 39 Candace Owens

Candace Owens
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Famous As: Conservative Author, Political Commentator & Activist
Birthdate: April 29, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stamford, Connecticut, United States

A political activist of color, Candace Owens first gained visibility as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Having changed her political stance since then, she is now known for her increasingly pro-Trump activism. Her support for Trump and criticism of Black Lives Matter have made her a controversial figure.

 40 Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

One of the most popular African American politicians of the U.S., Democratic Party member Stacey Abrams is also the founder of the non-profit Fair Fight Action. A voting rights activist and a minority leader, she became the first Black woman to win the gubernatorial nomination of any state in the U.S.

 41 Elizabeth Dole

Elizabeth Dole
5
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Salisbury, North Carolina, USA

 42 Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 9, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

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.

 43 Steve Schmidt

Steve Schmidt
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: North Plainfield, New Jersey, United States

 44 Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer
5
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 11, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

 45 Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly
4
Famous As: Radio personality, Lawyer, Political activist, Journalist
Birthdate: August 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Louis
Died: September 5, 2016

American attorney and author Phyllis Schlafly was a major figure of paleoconservativism and was against feminism, LGBT rights, and abortion. She was also behind the STOP ERA campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment, and her life and times were portrayed in the series Mrs. America, which had Cate Blanchett playing her.

 46 Beppe Grillo

Beppe Grillo
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy

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.

 47 Enrique Tarrio

Enrique Tarrio
0
Famous As: Chairman of the Proud Boys, Florida state director of Latinos for Trump
Birthdate: 1985 AD
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States

 48 Katrina Pierson

Katrina Pierson
3
Famous As: Political Activists
Birthdate: July 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kansas, USA

 49 Doug Stanhope

Doug Stanhope
3
Famous As: Stand-up comedian
Birthdate: March 25, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

 50 Robert Ryan

Robert Ryan
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 11, 1909
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: July 11, 1973