Social Activists

Social activists play a vital role in bringing about positive change in the society. Here is a list of famous social activists from all over the world. This list of famous social activists includes names like Ben Shapiro, Jeffrey Wright, Torrey DeVito, Mena Suvari, Bryan Stevenson and many more.

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 Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Kate Walsh is best known as Dr. Addison Montgomery from Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. Fans also loved her as Mrs. Baker from the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. Kate is also known for her political activism. She has also launched a beauty and lifestyle brand named Boyfriend LLC.

 2 Karamo Brown

Karamo Brown
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Famous As: Television host
Birthdate: November 2, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 3 Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt was an American actress, comedian, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Renowned for her distinctive singing style, Kitt recorded several chartbusting songs during the 1950s. Also a well-known activist, Eartha Kitt established a non-profit organization called the Kittsville Youth Foundation, which helped underprivileged youths in Los Angeles. She was also an ardent advocate for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

 4 Marlo Thomas

Marlo Thomas
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 5 Torrey DeVitto

Torrey DeVitto
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Torrey DeVitto is best known as Melissa Hastings from Pretty Little Liars, Dr. Natalie Manning in Chicago Med, and Carrie in One Tree Hill. Fans also loved her in The Vampire Diaries and Army Wives. She is a Hospice ambassador and has supported campaigns for mental-health awareness and animal rights.

 6 Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian, Nepalese

 7 Mena Suvari

Mena Suvari
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 13, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Mena Suvari soared to fame with her SAG Award-winning role of Angela Hayes in American Beauty. Fans also loved her in the American Pie movies and the horror anthology American Horror Story. She also appeared as Edie in Six Feet Under. Mena endorses Lancôme cosmetics and uses cruelty-free products only.
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 8 Carroll O’Connor

Carroll O’Connor
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 2, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: June 21, 2001

Carroll O'Connor was an American actor, director, and producer. In a TV career that spanned 40 years, O'Connor popularized several fictional characters, including Archie Bunker from the sitcom All in the Family, for which he received four Emmy Awards. In 1996, he was ranked 38th on the 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list published by TV Guide.

 9 Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 7, 1965
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Jeffrey Wright is a popular American actor. A self-made man, Jeffrey Wright overcame many childhood problems, including the demise of his father, to become an award-winning actor. Jeffrey Wright serves as an inspiration to many black Americans. In 2011, he established a gold exploration company called Taia Lion Resources, which provided employment to several Americans.

 10 Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu
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Famous As: Anti-Apartheid Activist
Birthdate: October 7, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: South African
Desmond Tutu is known for his anti-Apartheid activism in South Africa. The first black Archbishop of Cape Town, he has also been the Bishop of Johannesburg. His efforts to eradicate AIDS, poverty, anti-LGBT sentiments, and human rights violations earned him the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 11 Shabana Azmi

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

 12 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.

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 13 John C McGinley

John C McGinley
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 3, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
John C. McGinley is best known as Perry Cox from Scrubs and as Bob Slydell from Office Space. He has also been part of films such as Two Tickets to Paradise. His son Max’s battle with Down syndrome inspired him to work with organizations that spread awareness about the condition.

 14 Thich Quang Duc

Thich Quang Duc
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Famous As: Vietnamese monk
Birthdate: 1897 AD
Nationality: Vietnamese
Died: June 11, 1963

 15 Laurie Holden

Laurie Holden
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Laurie Holden is an American-Canadian model, actress, and producer. She is best known for her portrayal of Andrea in the popular horror television series The Walking Dead, for which she received the 2012 Satellite Award and 2013 Saturn Award. Also known for her human rights activism and charity work, Laurie Holden works closely with organizations that campaign against human trafficking.

 16 Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson
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Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: November 14, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Lawyer and social justice activist, Bryan Stevenson, is known for challenging bias against the poor and minorities in the criminal justice system. He advocates for the poor, fights for children’s rights, and condemns the death penalty. He is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. He was honored with the Benjamin Franklin Award from the American Philosophical Society.

 17 Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 3, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Spanish, Irish, American

 18 Matt McGorry

Matt McGorry
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

Matt McGorry is best known as John Bennett from the iconic Netflix series Orange Is the New Black and as Asher Millstone from How to Get Away with Murder. He is a feminist and a social activist, too. He was initially a fitness trainer and a bodybuilder.

 19 Brene Brown

Brene Brown
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Famous As: Researcher
Birthdate: November 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 20 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.

 21 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.

 22 Columba Bush

Columba Bush
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Famous As: Philanthropist
Birthdate: August 17, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Mexican, American

Columba Bush is a Mexican-American philanthropist who started hogging the limelight after marrying American politician Jeb Bush. From 1999 to 2007, she served as First Lady of Florida and used her platform to deal with issues, such as substance abuse and domestic violence. She has also been active in advocating the artworks of artists like Salvador Dalí and Frida Kahlo.

 23 Jason Ralph

Jason Ralph
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 7, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

Jason Ralph is an American actor best known for playing Quentin Coldwater in the popular fantasy television series, The Magicians. Jason Ralph is credited with co-founding Strangemen Theater Company. Since the company’s founding in 2010, Ralph has been serving as its artistic director, producing many award-winning plays.

 24 Betty Ford

Betty Ford
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Famous As: Former First Lady of the United States
Birthdate: April 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
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.

 25 Robin Cavendish

Robin Cavendish
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Famous As: Advocate
Birthdate: March 12, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: August 8, 1994

 26 Gautami

Gautami
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Indian

 27 Yolanda King

Yolanda King
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Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: May 15, 2007

African American activist, Yolanda King, was the first-born child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Exposed to social justice activism at a young age, she grew up to be an outspoken supporter of civil rights and LGBTQA+ rights. She was also known for her artistic endeavors. She died of heart disease at 51. 

 28 Essence Atkins

Essence Atkins
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 7, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Essence Uhura Atkins is best known for her roles as Dee Dee Thorne in Half & Half and as Suzanne Kingston in Are We There Yet? Fans also loved her in the NBC sitcom Marlon. She has also appeared in the parody film A Haunted House and its sequel.

 29 Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 28, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Chinese
Named Art Review’s most powerful artist in 2011, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has become a symbol of resilience against the authoritarian Chinese government. Jailed and banned from leaving the country once, he is known for using various media, such as sculpture, photos, and documentaries, to reflect Chinese human-rights abuses.

 30 Amala Akkineni

Amala Akkineni
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 12, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Indian

 31 Will Geer

Will Geer
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 9, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: April 22, 1978
Actor and social activist Will Geer actively participated in the labor movements of the the 1930s and 1940s in New York and Southern California. He traveled across the U.S. with singer Woody Guthrie, during the Great Depression. Hollywood blacklisted him as a result of his leftist activities.

 32 Mariette Hartley

Mariette Hartley
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

Mariette Hartley is an American actress who won the Primetime Emmy Award for her portrayal of Dr. Carolyn Fields in the popular television series, The Incredible Hulk. She also has several Primetime Emmy Award nominations under her belt. An advocate of suicide prevention and medications for bipolar disorder, Mariette Hartley works towards increasing awareness of the disorder.

 33 David Bale

David Bale
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: September 2, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British, South African
Died: December 30, 2003

David Bale was an English entrepreneur and animal rights activist. He worked closely with The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, which aims at protecting endangered mountain gorillas, and served as one of its board members. Apart from his work as an activist for animal rights and environmental causes, David Bale is also known as the father of actor Christian Bale.

 34 Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier
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Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: September 12, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 35 Chirlane McCray

Chirlane McCray
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Famous As: Writer, Social Activist
Birthdate: November 29, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 36 Sheryl Lee Ralph

Sheryl Lee Ralph
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

 37 Lauren Parsekian

Lauren Parsekian
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Famous As: Director, Activist, Actress
Birthdate: December 8, 1986
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 38 Betty DeGeneres

Betty DeGeneres
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Famous As: Speech Therapist
Birthdate: May 20, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 39 Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: May 8, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Canadian

Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker Naomi Klein is known for her criticism of corporate globalization and capitalism. She became internationally known following the release of her alter-globalization book No Logo. She often appears on global and national lists of top influential thinkers and is the recipient of the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize. She is a prominent environmentalist as well.

 40 Abigail Disney

Abigail Disney
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Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: January 24, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 41 Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin
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Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: March 17, 1912
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: August 24, 1987

 42 Alexandra Paul

Alexandra Paul
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 29, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 43 Anne-Marie Johnson

Anne-Marie Johnson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 18, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 44 Cassie Scerbo

Cassie Scerbo
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 30, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 45 Rahul Bose

Rahul Bose
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 27, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian

 46 Denise Nicholas

Denise Nicholas
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 12, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 47 Daniel Franzese

Daniel Franzese
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 9, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 48 Donna Rice

Donna Rice
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

 49 Boots Riley

Boots Riley
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: April 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 50 Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune
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Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: July 10, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: May 18, 1955
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