Revolutionaries

A revolution is a drastic and sudden change which is instigated or propagated by a revolutionary, which means that revolutionaries, as the name suggests, are people who take up the cause of bringing about change in an existing system. Revolutions, in the past, have been responsible for changes in political, religious and even economic ideologies. A revolutionary is generally the one person who decides that he or she has had enough of the perceived injustice enforced by a system and decides to directly or indirectly; take steps to facilitate the removal of the unjust system. The history of the world has shown us examples of such instances in the form of various movements, instigated or propagated by individuals that have led to the complete collapse of entire governments and resulted in the establishment of a new regime or government that is supposed to correct the wrongs of the one it’s replacing. The word revolution can also apply to non-political revolutions like the field of technology and industry which saw its biggest boom during the industrial revolution. During this period production methods saw an increasing shift from manual production to the use of machines to produce goods. Even though, at times, the word revolutionary is used in conjunction with science and art more often than not, it relates to the political aspect of revolutions. Listed below is a list of some of the notable revolutionaries with their complete biographies that include timelines, trivia and life stories.
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 1 Muammar Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi
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Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Libya
Birthdate: June 7, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Libyan
Died: October 20, 2011
A revolutionary, politician and political theorist, Muammar Gaddafi seized power in Libya from King Idris in a bloodless coup in 1969 and became its authoritarian dictator for more than 40 years. He initially gained popularity and support; however, later, his increased dominance, support for international terrorism, and human rights violation turned people against him. He was eventually overthrown.

 2 Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak
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Famous As: Indian teacher
Birthdate: July 23, 1856
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Indian
Died: August 1, 1920
Indian nationalist and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak, also known as Lokmanya Tilak, promoted the concept of Swaraj, or self-rule. He was part of the freedom-fighter trio know as Lal Bal Pal, along with fellow Indian National Congress members Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal.
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 3 Paul Revere

Paul Revere
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Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: January 1, 1735
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: May 10, 1818
Paul Revere was a silversmith from Boston and a Patriot in the American Revolution who is remembered for alerting his fellow Patriots, during a midnight ride, about the approaching British forces prior to the battles of Lexington and Concord. He remains immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem Paul Revere's Ride.

 4 Simon Bolivar

Simon Bolivar
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Famous As: Revolutionary & Military Leader
Birthdate: July 24, 1783
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Venezuelan
Died: December 17, 1830
After losing his parents as a child, Simon Bolivar also lost his Spanish wife to yellow fever later and thus decided to devote himself to politics. He was the first president of Gran Colombia and Bolivia, and also led Peru and Venezuela in their fight for freedom, against Spain.
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 5 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.

 6 Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
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Famous As: Founding Father of the United States
Birthdate: January 29, 1737
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British, American
Died: June 8, 1809

English-born American political activist, philosopher, and revolutionary, Thomas Paine, is credited to have penned some of the most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution. His works inspired the common people of America and motivated them to fight for independence from British rule. He was ostracized for criticizing Christianity and died a lonely man.

 7 Chandra Shekhar Azad

Chandra Shekhar Azad
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Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: July 23, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Indian
Died: February 27, 1931
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 8 Tecumseh

Tecumseh
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Famous As: Native American Leader
Birthdate: February 29, 1768
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: October 5, 1813

Tecumseh was a Shawnee chief, diplomat, orator, and warrior. He is best known for promoting resistance to the United States' expansion onto Native American lands. He also promoted tribal unity and is credited with forming a Native American confederacy. He died trying to unite Native Americans and is considered an iconic folk hero in Canadian, Indigenous, and American history.

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 9 Pancho Villa

Pancho Villa
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Famous As: General
Birthdate: June 5, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Mexican
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.

 10 Emiliano Zapata

Emiliano Zapata
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Famous As: Mexican Political figure
Birthdate: August 8, 1879
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Mexican
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.

 11 Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma
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Famous As: Fourth President of South Africa
Birthdate: April 12, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: South African

Jacob Zuma is a South African politician and fourth president of South Africa. During his presidency, which lasted from 2009 to 2018, Zuma was accused of racketeering and corruption which ultimately led to his resignation. Apart from being a politician, Zuma also runs the Jacob Zuma Foundation, which aims at building houses for the poor and sending children to school.

 12 Gavrilo Princip

Gavrilo Princip
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Famous As: Assassinator of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Birthdate: July 25, 1894
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Bosnian, Czech, Serbian
Died: April 28, 1918
Gavrilo Princip was a Bosnian Serb member of the Young Bosnia movement who wished to end the Austro-Hungarian reign in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He thus assassinated Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, at age 19. This eventually contributed to the start of World War I

 13 Lala Lajpat Rai

Lala Lajpat Rai
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Famous As: Freedom Fighter
Birthdate: January 28, 1865
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Indian
Died: November 17, 1928

Lala Lajpat Rai was an Indian politician who played a major role in the Indian Independence movement. He is credited with inspiring many young men, including Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad, to join the freedom struggle through journalistic writings and activism. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari

 14 Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte
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Famous As: Emperor of the French
Birthdate: August 15, 1769
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: French
Died: May 5, 1821
French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte ruled as the French emperor from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815. He strengthened France’s position in Europe through the Napoleonic Wars and extended his kingdom. However, he was eventually defeated by the Seventh Coalition at the Battle of Waterloo and sent to exile. 

 15 Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg
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Famous As: Marxist Theorist
Birthdate: March 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German, Polish
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

 16 Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro
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Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Cuba
Birthdate: August 13, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Cuban
Died: November 26, 2016

Serving as the Cuban prime minister from 1959 to 1976 and as president from 1976 to 2008, Fidel Castro was one of the most prominent Cuban leaders in the history. As the longest-reigning non-royal head of the 20th and 21st centuries, Castro was responsible for making Cuba a communist state.

 17 Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo
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Famous As: Political and Spiritual Leader
Birthdate: August 15, 1872
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian
Died: December 5, 1950

Sri Aurobindo was an Indian philosopher, poet, yogi, teacher, and nationalist. He was one of the most influential leaders of the Indian independence movement before becoming a spiritual reformer, focusing on spiritual evolution and human progress. He is credited with founding the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, which continues to serve spiritual aspirants from all over the world.

 18 Bobby Sands

Bobby Sands
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Birthdate: March 9, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Irish
Died: May 5, 1981

Robert Gerard Sands, better known as Bobby Sands, was a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) member, who died during a 1981 hunger strike, along with nine other strikers, protesting against the removal of Special Category Status from IRA prisoners. He had helped plot the 1976 Balmoral Furniture Company bombing.

 19 Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Lenin
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Famous As: Former Premier of the Soviet Union
Birthdate: April 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: January 21, 1924

Vladimir Lenin played a key role in the history of Russian politics by developing a political ideology called Leninism. During and after his lifetime, Lenin had a massive influence over international communist movement. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and significant personalities of the 20th century.

 20 Mangal Pandey

Mangal Pandey
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Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: July 19, 1827
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Indian
Died: April 8, 1857
Indian soldier Mangal Pandey was a significant figure in the Indian rebellion of 1857, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, or First War of Independence. Pandey was a sepoy of the British East India Company’s 34th BNI Regiment. His life inspired the Bollywood movie Mangal Pandey: The Rising

 21 Toussaint Louverture

Toussaint Louverture
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Famous As: Leader of the Haitian Revolution
Birthdate: May 20, 1743
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: French
Died: April 7, 1803

Haitian general,  Toussaint Louverture, was the most prominent leader of the Haitian Revolution. A revolutionary leader, he was devoted to the cause of Haitian independence and fought hard until he was killed by the French in a treacherous manner. The revolution continued after his death, leading to Haiti’s independence. He is now known as the Father of Haiti.

 22 Jean-Jacques Dessalines

Jean-Jacques Dessalines
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Famous As: Haitian General
Birthdate: September 20, 1758
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Guinean, Haitian
Died: August 17, 1806

Jean-Jacques Dessalines was an important figure and leader of the Haitian Revolution. He went on to rule an independent Haiti, which became the first country to abolish slavery permanently. Considered one of Haiti's founding fathers, Dessalines reigned as the emperor of Haiti from 1804 until his murder in 1806. Today, he is regarded as an icon of Haitian nationalism.

 23 Birsa Munda

Birsa Munda
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Famous As: Tribal Leader Who Revolted Against the British Rule
Birthdate: November 15, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Indian
Died: June 9, 1900

 24 Robert Catesby

Robert Catesby
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Famous As: Conspirator
Birthdate: March 3, 1572
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: November 8, 1605

 25 Chief Joseph

Chief Joseph
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Famous As: Nez Perce leader
Birthdate: March 3, 1840
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: September 21, 1904

 26 Hu Yaobang

Hu Yaobang
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Famous As: Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
Birthdate: November 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Chinese
Died: April 15, 1989

Hu Yaobang served as the Chinese Communist Party's general secretary from 1982 to 1987. Prior to his position as the general secretary, Hu served as the party's chairman from 1981 to 1982. Under Deng Xiaoping's leadership, Hu Yaobang rose to prominence and played a crucial role in the Boluan Fanzheng program, which was initiated by Deng.

 27 Louis Riel

Louis Riel
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 22, 1844
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Canadian
Died: November 16, 1885

Louis Riel was a Canadian politician. He is credited with founding the province of Manitoba. He holds a significant place in the history of the Métis people as he served as their political leader in pre-Manitoba Northwest Territories. Louis Riel is regarded as a folk hero by the Métis and other Canadian minorities for his efforts to defend their rights.

 28 Jose Marti

Jose Marti
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 28, 1853
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Cuban
Died: May 19, 1895

Son of Spanish immigrants, Jose Marti spent his childhood in a strife-torn Cuba and attended high school on financial aid. Marti’s poems, essays, and articles were laced with his patriotic vigor to free Cuba from the Spanish rule. He died battling on the field at Dos Ríos.

 29 Georges Danton

Georges Danton
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Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: October 26, 1759
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: French
Died: April 5, 1794

Georges Danton was a major figure in the early stages of the French Revolution. While many historians state that he played a key role in the establishment of the First French Republic, a few scholars refute this claim. He served as the first president of the Committee of Public Safety and was beheaded by the advocates of revolutionary terror. 

 30 Jiang Qing

Jiang Qing
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 5, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Chinese
Died: May 14, 1991

 31 Mikhail Bakunin

Mikhail Bakunin
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 30, 1814
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Swiss, Russian
Died: July 1, 1876

Mikhail Bakunin was a Russian socialist and anarchist. He is credited with founding an anarchist school of thought called collectivist anarchism. Regarded as one of the most influential personalities of anarchism, Mikhail Bakunin has had a major influence on thinkers like Peter Kropotkin, Herbert Marcuse, Errico Malatesta, Neil Postman, E. P. Thompson, and A. S. Neill.    

 32 Hong Xiuquan

Hong Xiuquan
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Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: January 1, 1814
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Chinese
Died: June 1, 1864

Hong Xiuquan was a Hakka Chinese revolutionary best remembered for leading the Taiping Rebellion against the much-feared and powerful Qing Dynasty. Credited with establishing the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, Hong Xiuquan later served as an inspiration to the Communists under Mao Zedong. In 1959, China established a small museum to honor his legacy.  

 33 Begum Hazrat Mahal

Begum Hazrat Mahal
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Famous As: Wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah
Birthdate: 1820 AD
Nationality: Indian, Nepalese
Died: April 7, 1879

Also known as Begum of Awadh, Begum Hazrat Mahal was the second wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. She is remembered for rebelling against the British East India Company during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Following her husband’s exile, she took over affairs in the state of Awadh. However, she was forced by the British to abandon Awadh.

 34 Denmark Vesey

Denmark Vesey
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Famous As: Carpenters
Birthdate: 1767 AD
Nationality: American
Died: July 2, 1822

 35 Apolinario Mabini

Apolinario Mabini
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Famous As: Revolutionary leader
Birthdate: July 23, 1864
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Filipino
Died: May 13, 1903

 36 Grace O'Malley

Grace O'Malley
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Famous As: Pirate
Birthdate: 1530 AD
Nationality: Irish
Died: June 18, 1603

 37 Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky

Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky
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Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: September 11, 1877
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Belarusian, Russian
Died: July 20, 1926

 38 Alexei Rykov

Alexei Rykov
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 25, 1881
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 15, 1938

Alexei Rykov was a Russian Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet politician. He served as the  Premier of Russia and the Soviet Union in the 1920s. A key player in the 1905 Russian Revolution, he often came into political conflict with Vladimir Lenin. He oversaw the implementation of the "War Communism" economic policy during the Russian Civil War.

 39 Nestor Makhno

Nestor Makhno
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Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: November 7, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Ukrainian
Died: July 25, 1934
Remembered for his guerrilla tactics, his Robin Hood image, and his Black Army that kept the Red and White armies away from a part of Ukraine, Nestor Makhno lost his father as an infant. He began working on farms at age 7 and grew up to be an anarchist revolutionary. 

 40 Samora Machel

Samora Machel
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Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: September 29, 1933
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Mozambican
Died: October 19, 1986

Mozambican military leader and politician Samora Machel had humble beginnings and grew up facing racism. Though he initially trained as a nurse, he later got involved in the Mozambican struggle for independence against the Portuguese. He died in a mysterious plane crash in northeastern South Africa.

 41 Yakov Yurovsky

Yakov Yurovsky
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Famous As: Soviet Era Executioner
Birthdate: June 19, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Russian
Died: 1938 AD

Yakov Yurovsky was a Russian Old Bolshevik. Also a Soviet Revolutionary, he acted as the chief executioner of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia and his family on the night of 17 July 1918. A watchmaker by trade, he was a Chekist for a short time. In his later life, he allegedly expressed remorse over his role in the executions.

 42 Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
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Famous As: Political and Spiritual Leader
Birthdate: February 6, 1890
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Pakistani
Died: January 20, 1988

 43 Mikhail Kalinin

Mikhail Kalinin
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Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: November 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian
Died: June 3, 1946

Mikhail Kalinin was a Soviet politician and an Old Bolshevik revolutionary. From 1919 to 1946, Kalinin served as head of state of the Soviet Union. After Kalinin's death, three major cities of the Soviet Union were named or renamed in his honor.

 44 Grigory Zinoviev

Grigory Zinoviev
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Famous As: Bolshevik Revolutionary
Birthdate: September 23, 1883
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: August 25, 1936

Born to dairy farmers in Russia, Grigory Zinoviev was homeschooled and had started working at 14. An Old Bolshevik, he joined Russian revolutionary activities and became a close aide of Vladimir Lenin. Joseph Stalin later got him ousted from the party thrice. Zinoviev was eventually arrested and executed.

 45 Kenneth Kaunda

Kenneth Kaunda
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Famous As: Teacher
Birthdate: April 28, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Zambian

Kenneth Kaunda is a Zambian former politician. He served as the first president of Zambia from 1964 to 1991. A major figure in Zambia’s struggle for independence from British rule, he became the first president of independent Zambia. As the president, he implemented many educational and economic reforms to accelerate the rate of modernization in the country.

 46 Imre Nagy

Imre Nagy
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 7, 1896
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Hungarian
Died: June 16, 1958

 47 Lev Kamenev

Lev Kamenev
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Famous As: Revolutionary, Political Leader
Birthdate: July 18, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Russian
Died: August 24, 1936

A communist and an Old Bolshevic, Lev Kamenev was a close aide of Vladimir Lenin. Born to revolutionary parents, Kamenev was exiled but returned to Russia after the February Revolution. At the onset of the Great Purge, he was ousted from his party, arrested, and executed by a firing squad.

 48 M. N. Roy

M. N. Roy
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Famous As: Indian Revolutionary
Birthdate: March 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Indian
Died: January 25, 1954

 49 Usman dan Fodio

Usman dan Fodio
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Famous As: Teacher
Birthdate: December 15, 1754
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Nigerian
Died: April 20, 1817

 50 Manuela Sáenz

Manuela Sáenz
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Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: December 27, 1797
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Ecuadorian
Died: November 23, 1856
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