Famous Spanish Leaders

Whether you are looking for adventure or tranquillity, want to dive into the European cultural heritage or just be merry in the bustling cities and towns, have hands-on experience of culture and local life or delve on the historic past of extraordinary men and women, Spain is the place to be. A cultural paradise, Spain has been the epicentre of Europe’s exemplary history. And much of that have been due to its leaders, men with extraordinary feats and achievements who through their incessant toil and hard work gave nationals opportunities and freedom. It is to those outstanding Spaniards and leaders that we dedicate this segment to. Spain has had a wealth of some of the most remarkable world leaders and activists who have helped shaped much of Spain’s present and future. Whether it was fighting for human rights or developing sustainable farming practices, these leaders have truly left an impact on the world for centuries to come. Be it was Francisco Franco and his dictatorship or Miguel de Cervantes and his military prowess, Juan Carlos I and his kingship or incumbent Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy Brey, each of them have been legendary leaders. Check this section to know more about Spanish leaders.

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 
Philip II of Spain
(King of Spain (1556-1598))

Philip II of Spain
17
Birthdate: May 21, 1527
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: September 13, 1598
Philip II, son of Charles V, was a 16-th century king of Spain and Portugal. Also known as Philip the Prudent, he became the king of Ireland and England through his marriage to Mary I. Following Mary’s death, he attempted to overthrow Elizabeth I with his armada invasions, but failed.

 2 
El Cid
(Military leader)

El Cid
11
Birthdate: 1043 AD
Birthplace: Vivar, Burgos
Died: July 10, 1099
Spanish folk hero Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, or El Cid, was a Castilian knight from medieval Spain. He had been part of both Christian and Muslim armies and is also remembered for his heroic conquest of Valencia. He remains immortalized in the Spanish epic poem El Cantar de Mio Cid.

 3 
Felipe VI of Spain
(King of Spain (Since 2014))

Felipe VI of Spain
10
Birthdate: January 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain

Felipe VI of Spain is the current King of Spain, reigning since 2014. He ascended the throne upon the abdication of his father, Juan Carlos I. His mother is Queen Sofía. As the king, he is head of state and commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces as well. He also serves as the honorary president of several associations and foundations. 

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 4 
Francisco Pizarro
(Spanish conquistador)

Francisco Pizarro
5
Birthdate: June 26, 1478
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Trujillo, Spain
Died: June 26, 1541

Francisco Pizarro was a Spanish conquistador best remembered for his expeditions that eventually paved the way for the Spanish conquest of Peru. Along with Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Pizarro became the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean after crossing the Isthmus of Panama. After two failed expeditions to Peru, Pizarro led a third and successful campaign to conquer Peru.

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 5 
Stephen Austin
(Politician)

Stephen Austin
8
Birthdate: November 3, 1793
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Austinville, Virginia
Died: December 27, 1836

Stephen Austin, also known as the Father of Texas, was born to a lead-mining businessman in Missouri who later bought a piece of land from the Mexican government. Austin developed the land and mediated between American and Mexican people for control over it, eventually leading to the Texas Revolution.

 6 
Alfonso XIII of Spain
(King of Spain (1886-1931))

Alfonso XIII of Spain
3
Birthdate: May 17, 1886
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: February 28, 1941

Alfonso XIII began ruling as the king of Spain under the regency of his mother, María Cristina. His strategy of rotating governments led to 33 governments in 21 years. Known as El Africano for his support to those who wished to colonialize African countries, he eventually had to leave Spain.

 7 
Francisco Franco
(Former Caudillo of Spain)

Francisco Franco
47
Birthdate: December 4, 1892
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ferrol, Spain
Died: November 20, 1975

Francisco Franco overthrew the Second Spanish Republic by leading the Nationalist forces as their general during the Spanish Civil War. Subsequently, Franco ruled over Spain as a dictator from 1939 to 1975. He had such an impact as a dictator that the period between the Nationalist victory and Franco's death is known as Francoist Spain in the history of Spain.

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 8 
Mariano Rajoy
(Former Prime Minister of Spain)

Mariano Rajoy
4
Birthdate: March 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Santiago de Compostela

Former Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy is a qualified lawyer and had stepped into politics at the tender age of 26. Under his leadership, the People’s Party shifted from being staunchly right to center-right. He was eventually ousted by a vote of no-confidence after the Catalan independence crisis.

 9 
Juan de Borbón
(Spanish royal)

Juan de Borbón
3
Birthdate: June 20, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Segovia, Spain
Died: April 1, 1993

 10 
Anne Hidalgo
(Politician)

Anne Hidalgo
3
Birthdate: June 19, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Fernando, Spain

 11 
Roland
(Military leader)

Roland
3
Birthdate: 0736 AD
Birthplace: Spain
Died: August 15, 0778

Ferdinand VI of Spain
3
Birthdate: September 23, 1713
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: August 10, 1759

 13 
Carles Puigdemont
(Politician)

Carles Puigdemont
10
Birthdate: December 29, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Amer, Girona, Catalonia, Spain

Born to a baker, Spanish journalist Carles Puigdemont had humble beginnings. He was drawn to politics while attending meetings with his uncle as a teenager and later joined the Catalan pro-independence movement, becoming the president of Catalonia. He went into exile in Belgium to evade arrest for misuse of funds.

 14 

Túpac Amaru
3
Birthdate: 1545 AD
Birthplace: Peru
Died: September 24, 1572

 15 
Florentino Pérez
(President ,civil engineer)

Florentino Pérez
6
Birthdate: March 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Madrid

Spanish business magnate and civil engineer Florentino Pérez leads Grupo ACS as its CEO. He is also famous as the president of the football club Real Madrid and has the reputation of hiring and firing managers at his will. A self-made billionaire, he brought in the Galácticos era in football.

 16 
Miguel López de Legazpi
(Navigator and Governor Who Established the First Spanish Settlement in the East Indies)

Miguel López de Legazpi
3
Birthdate: 1502 AD
Birthplace: Zumarraga, Spain
Died: August 20, 1572

 17 
Léon Degrelle
(Politician)

Léon Degrelle
4
Birthdate: June 15, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bouillon, Belgium
Died: March 31, 1994

While Belgian politician Léon Degrelle initially wished to study law, he stepped into politics after failing his law exams repeatedly. He later went on to establish the Rexist Party of Belgium. A Nazi supporter, he fought for the German army during Germany’s occupation of Belgium during World War II.

 18 
Magnus Maximus
(Roman Emperor)

Magnus Maximus
3
Birthdate: 0335 AD
Birthplace: Hispania
Died: August 28, 0388

 19 

José Antonio Primo de Rivera
4
Birthdate: April 24, 1903
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: November 20, 1936

 20 
Manuel Valls
(Politician)

Manuel Valls
4
Birthdate: August 13, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Barcelona

 21 
Francis Xavier
(Missionary)

Francis Xavier
5
Birthdate: April 7, 1506
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Javier, Spain
Died: December 3, 1552
Navarrese Catholic missionary and saint Francis Xavier co-founded the Society of Jesus. His mission focused on the Portuguese Empire in Asia. He is remembered for his efforts to spread Christianity in Goa. He extended his mission to Japan and Borneo but died before he could preach in China.

 22 
Miguel Primo de Rivera
(Politician, Military personnel)

Miguel Primo de Rivera
4
Birthdate: January 8, 1870
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Jerez de la Frontera
Died: March 16, 1930

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
3
Birthdate: August 4, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Valladolid

 24 
Joan Laporta
(Lawyer, Jurist, Politician, Professor)

Joan Laporta
3
Birthdate: June 29, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Barcelona

 25 
Manuel Azaña
(President of Spain 1936 – 1939)

Manuel Azaña
4
Birthdate: January 10, 1880
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alcala de Henares, Spain
Died: November 3, 1940

Luis Carrero-Blanco, 1st Duke of Carrero-Blanco
5
Birthdate: March 4, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santoña
Died: December 20, 1973

 27 

Antonio José de Sucre
3
Birthdate: February 3, 1795
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cumaná
Died: June 4, 1830

 28 
Felipe González
(Prime Minister of Spain)

Felipe González
4
Birthdate: March 5, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Seville, Spain

Spanish lawyer and PSOE politician Felipe González has been the longest-serving freely elected prime minister of Spain. Born to a livestock farmer in Seville, he had initially aspired to be a civil engineer but later switched to law. At 40, he was the youngest European head of government.

 29 
José María Aznar
(Politician)

José María Aznar
5
Birthdate: February 25, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Madrid

 30 
Sandro Rosell
(Entrepreneur, Businessperson)

Sandro Rosell
5
Birthdate: March 6, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Barcelona

 31 
Buenaventura Durruti
(Anarcho-syndicalist, Anarchist, Trade unionist)

Buenaventura Durruti
3
Birthdate: July 14, 1896
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: León
Died: November 20, 1936

 32 
John of Austria
(Military Officer)

John of Austria
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1547
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Regensburg, Germany
Died: October 1, 1578

 33 
Dolores Ibárruri
(Politician)

Dolores Ibárruri
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gallarta, Biscay, Spain
Died: November 12, 1989

Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy
3
Birthdate: January 10, 1480
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 1, 1530

The only daughter of Habsburg archduke Maximilian I, who became the Holy Roman Emperor, Margaret of Austria was also the duchess of Savoy by virtue of her marriage to Philibert II, Duke of Savoy. A patron of the arts, she owned a huge library and had several painters at her court.

 35 
Isabel Diaz Ayuso
(Politician)

Isabel Diaz Ayuso
4
Birthdate: October 17, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1519
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Avilés, Asturias, Spain
Died: September 17, 1574

Remembered as the founder of St. Augustine in Florida, USA, Spanish admiral and explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés has also been credited with planning the first regular trans-Atlantic convoys. Ruthlessly loyal to the Spanish king, he massacred the entire population of a nearby French post and established a string of forts along the Atlantic coast to protect Spanish interests.

James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick
3
Birthdate: August 21, 1670
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Moulins, France
Died: June 12, 1734

Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba
3
Birthdate: October 29, 1507
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Piedrahíta, Spain
Died: December 11, 1582

An adviser of King Charles I and, Philip II of Spain, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba was a Spanish general and diplomat. A master of logistics, he had an unshakable self-confidence, which helped him to sail through most adverse situations. Notable for his conquest of Portugal, he is also remembered for his tyranny as the governor-general of Netherlands.

 39 
Javier Solana
(Physicist, Diplomat, Politician, Professor)

Javier Solana
3
Birthdate: July 14, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Madrid

 40 
Lluís Companys
(Former President of the Government of Catalonia)

Lluís Companys
3
Birthdate: June 21, 1882
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: El Tarròs, Spain
Died: October 15, 1940

 41 

Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma
5
Birthdate: August 27, 1545
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: December 3, 1592

 42 
Ines Arrimadas
(Politician)

Ines Arrimadas
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain

 43 
Ada Colau
(Politician)

Ada Colau
3
Birthdate: March 3, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Ferdinand I of León
2
Birthdate: 1015 AD
Died: December 24, 1065

 45 
Emilio Mola
(Leader of the Nationalist coup of July 1936, which started the Spanish Civil War)

Emilio Mola
3
Birthdate: July 9, 1887
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Placetas, Cuba
Died: June 3, 1937

 46 
Ferran Soriano
(Businessperson)

Ferran Soriano
3
Birthdate: June 16, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Barcelona

 47 

Francisco de Quevedo
3
Birthdate: September 14, 1580
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 8, 1645

Spanish nobleman, politician and writer Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Santibáñez Villegas, KOS of the Baroque era is counted among the most prominent writers of Spain's Golden Age. Quevedo adhered to the conceptismo style compared to his lifelong rival, Luis de Góngora’s culteranismo style. His notable works include the picaresque novel El Buscón and the satirical prose Los Sueños.

 48 

Louis of Spain
3
Birthdate: August 25, 1707
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Buen Retiro Palace, Spain
Died: August 31, 1724

 49 
Pedro de Valdivia
(Explorer, Military personnel)

Pedro de Valdivia
2
Birthdate: April 17, 1497
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Castuera
Died: December 25, 1553

 50 

Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma
2
Birthdate: April 8, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 18, 2010