Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden reigned as the King of Sweden from 30 October 1611 until his death on 6 November 1632, at the age of 37. He is credited with transforming Sweden into a great European power. Considered one of the greatest modern military commanders, Gustavus Adolphus turned Sweden into one of Europe's primary military forces during the Thirty Years' War.
Former prime minister of Sweden, Olof Palme led the Swedish Social Democratic Workers’ Party and rose to be one of Sweden’s most internationally renowned politicians. A prominent lawyer, he started his political career as PM Tage Erlander’s personal secretary. He had also held the ministries of education and communications.
Swedish politician and former prime minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven grew up as a foster child and was initially a welder. After stepping into trade unionism, he rose to eventually lead the Social Democratic Party. However, his weak response to the COVID-19 pandemic led to his resignation.
Swedish sailor Carl Emil Pettersson, who worked for Neuguinea-Compagnie, was shipwrecked while on a work trip in the Pacific. He was washed ashore and eventually became the ruler of Tabar Island in Papua New Guinea, after marrying the princess of the island. He also owned plantations and unearthed a gold deposit.
Sigismund III Vasa was the elder son of Swedish king John III Vasa. As the king of Poland and Sweden, he not only enjoyed prosperity but also tried to unite the two states, although he ended up creating conflicts between them. His lust for power also resulted in the Zebrzydowski Rebellion.
Gustav III of Sweden, the eldest son of Adolf Fredrik, was a man of culture and a symbol of the Swedish Enlightenment. He is remembered for regaining control over the Swedish parliament and for introducing reforms such as free trade. He was assassinated at a masked ball.
Known as Sweden’s richest person, business magnate Stefan Persson has been the chairman of fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz, better known as H&M, which was founded by Persson's father, Erling. He was ranked 94 on the Forbes list of billionaires in 2022. He also works to counter substance abuse.
Serbian military leader Dragoljub Mihailović headed the Yugoslavian underground army known as the Chetniks, during World War II. He had also fought in the Balkan Wars and World War I, but post-World War II, he was convicted of treason and executed by the communist powers of Yugoslavia.
11 Carl Bildt
Former prime minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt has been heading WHO’s ACT-accelerator as its special envoy, in the wake of COVID-19. He has also been the foreign minister of Sweden and has served as the EU's special envoy to Yugoslavia. He has also co-chaired the Dayton Peace Conference.
12 Hans Blix
Hans Blix is a Swedish politician and diplomat who served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1978 to 1979. An advocate of world peace, Blix served as the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1981 to 1997. In 2007, Hans Blix was honored with the Sydney Peace Prize. In 2014, he received the Fulbright Prize.
Toomas Hendrik Ilves is an Estonian politician who served as the President of Estonia from 9 October 2006 to 10 October 2016. He also served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs on two occasions; from 1996 to 1998 and again from 1999 to 2002. Toomas Hendrik Ilves also led the Social Democratic Party during the 1990s.
14 Anna Lindh
Anna Lindh was a Swedish lawyer and politician who served as the Minister for the Environment from 1994 to 1996. She then went on to serve as the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1998 until her murder in 2003. In April 2004, Anna Lindh was honored posthumously by the EastWest Institute with the Statesman of the Year Award.
Frederick I of Sweden reigned as the King of Sweden from 24 March 1720 until his death on 5 April 1751. His reign is seen largely as unsuccessful as Frederick lost interest in state affairs after the first few years as the king and chose instead to focus on hunting and love affairs. Frederick I was succeeded by William VIII.
Swedish king Gustaf V was the eldest son of King Oscar II. His motto was “With the people for the Fatherland.” Post-World War I, he became a mere constitutional monarch, as the parliamentary government came into full-fledged effect. He was also the first Swedish king to not have a formal coronation.
Barbro Holmberg is a Swedish politician best known for her service as the Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy from 10 October 2003 to 6 October 2006. From 21 January 2008 to 31 July 2015, she also served as the Governor of Gävleborg.
Staffan de Mistura is an Italian-Swedish diplomat and former politician. He is best known for his association with the United Nations (UN) where he served in various agencies for four decades. From 2014 to 2019, Staffan de Mistura served as the UN Special Envoy for Syria. He is the current UN Personal Envoy for Western Sahara.
Göran Persson is a Swedish politician who served as the Prime Minister of Sweden from 22 March 1996 to 6 October 2006. An influential politician, Persson also served as the Minister for Education from 1989 to 1991. From 1994 to 1996, he served as the Minister for Finance. Persson has received many awards including the Raoul Wallenberg Award.
Fredrik Reinfeldt is a Swedish lecturer, economist, and former politician. He served as the Prime Minister of Sweden from 6 October 2006 to 3 October 2014. By virtue of his victories in 2006 and 2010, Fredrik Reinfeldt became the only person to lead the Moderate Party to two successive general election victories.
21 Birger Jarl
The Swedish statesman and Jarl of Sweden, Birger Jarl virtually ruled Sweden from 1248 until his death in 1266 (on behalf of his son/king Valdemar). He had a crucial role in the consolidation of Sweden and establishing Swedish rule in Finland. He is also traditionally credited as the founder of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, though this is disputed.
Margot Wallstrom is a Swedish politician best known for serving as the Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden from 2014 to 2019. Over the course of her illustrious political career, Margot Wallstrom has also served as the Minister for Nordic Cooperation from 2016 to 2019 as well as the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2014 to 2019.
In October 2020, following the resignation of Swedish politician Jonas Sjöstedt, Nooshi Dadgostar was elected the chairman of the Left Party of Sweden. Between 2018–2020, she served as the deputy leader of the Left Party. Earlier, she became the member of Riksdag in 2014 and since then has been representing her constituency Stockholm County in the Swedish Parliament.
Zaida Catalán was a Swedish politician best remembered for leading Young Greens, the youth wing of the Swedish Green Party, between 2001 and 2005. Catalán was also renowned as an activist and dealt with issues concerning environment, human rights, and animal rights. In 2017, Catalán visited the Congo as part of a UN mission where she was kidnapped and murdered.
The leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, Tage Fritjof Erlander was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Sweden in 1946 and continued in the office for the next 23 years (1969). His tenure, which is one of the longest in any democracy, was marked by increase in social-welfare reforms like universal health insurance, pension additions and educational reforms.
Axel Oxenstierna was a Swedish statesman best remembered for his service as the Lord High Chancellor of Sweden from 1612 to 1654. Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential people in the history of Sweden, Oxenstierna played a key role in the Thirty Years' War. Over the years, he has been depicted in films, games, and literature.
27 Amanda Lind
Amanda Lind is a Swedish politician who served as the Minister for Democracy as well as the Minister for Culture from 2019 to 2021 in the cabinet of Stefan Löfven. Recognized and known for her distinctive hairstyle, Lind has been an important member of the Swedish Green Party since 1999.
Alice Bah Kuhnke was appointed the Swedish Minister of Culture and Democracy in October 2014 and continued in the office till January 2019. Thereafter, in 2019 she was elected as one of the 20 Members of the European Parliament in Sweden. The Swedish politician, who played a role in establishing the think tank Sektor3, was a television personality earlier.
Gösta Ingvar Carlsson became the Prime Minister of Sweden and Leader of the Social Democratic Party after assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme. As PM, he served two terms (1986-1991, 1994-1996) while as the party leader he continued till 1996. The politician, who earlier also served as the Deputy Prime Minister, is recognised for leading Sweden into the European Union.
30 Alva Myrdal
Alva Myrdal was a Swedish politician, diplomat, and sociologist. She played a major role during the disarmament movement in Sweden, for which she was honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1982. She also chaired the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute after playing a key role in its creation. Throughout her career, Myrdal was honored with many prestigious awards.
31 Mona Sahlin
For someone, who at the age of seven founded the Swedish "Barbie Club" and joined a support group for Viet Cong at thirteen, leadership comes easily and Mona Sahlin is no exception to that. The first female leader of Swedish Social Democratic Party, she held several ministerial posts in the Swedish government. She took up writing and lecturing after her retirement.
32 Annie Loof
A member of the Swedish Liberal party, Cecilia Malmström was a Member of the European Parliament for Sweden from 1999 to 2006. Following this, she assumed the offices of Minister for European Union Affairs (2006-2010), European Commissioner for Home Affairs (2010-2014) and European Commissioner for Trade (2014-2019). Previously, she researched and taught European politics, regionalism and terrorism at Gothenburg University.
One of the prominent names in the formation of the Social Democratic Party of Sweden and also its leader from 1907 to 1925, Karl Hjalmar Branting served thrice as the Prime Minister of Sweden between 1920 and 1925. In 1921, the father of socialism in Sweden was awarded Nobel Peace Prize together with Norwegian diplomat Christian Lous Lange.
Daughter of an asylum seeker from Zaire, Nyamko Sabuni has politics in her blood, possibly inherited from her left wing politician father. A member of the Liberal Party, she entered politics when an Ivorian refugee was killed by a Neo Nazi. She served as a minister from 2006 to 2013 and became the first ethnic minority to become a party leader.
Leader of the Opposition from 1915 to 1917, Anna Kinberg Batra served as a Member of the Riksdag for twelve long years. Beginning her political career with the youth wing of the Moderate Party, she later held various important party posts, concurrently running her own consultancy, serving as the head of information at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in 2005-2006.
Prime Minister of Sweden from 1932 until his death in 1946, Per Albin Hansson was the man who led Sweden into strict neutrality during the Second World War, maintaining trading relationship with both the warring sides. Perceived as the most successful Prime Minister in Swedish history, he also introduced a wide range of reforms that immensely benefitted the common citizens.
Former deputy prime minister of Sweden and Green Party leader Isabella Lovin is the daughter of artist Björn Lövin. Though she initially studied film and worked as a freelance reporter and editor for brands such as Femina, she later stepped into politics. She has also penned a book on fishing policy.
The current European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson assumed office in December 2019 succeeding the Greek politician Dimitris Avramopoulos. Earlier, the Swedish politician had also served as Minister for Employment in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s government, Minister for Welfare and Elderly Healthcare in Prime Minister Göran Persson's government and Minister for Schools in Ingvar Carlsson's and Göran Persson's government.
The German-Swedish lawyer and politician Walburga Habsburg Douglas serves as the vice-president of the Paneuropean Union and is also a board member of the Institute for Information on the Crimes of Communism. The former parliament member was born in Germany and is the daughter of last crown prince of Austria-Hungary and the granddaughter of the last Austrian emperor, Charles I.
Swedish national hero Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson was initially a mine owner. He later led the 1434 Engelbrekt rebellion against King Eric of Pomerania. He was eventually killed by Måns Bengtsson, an aristocrat and knight whose father had been involved in a legal battle with Engelbrektsson regarding the burning of a ship.
Former prime minister of Sweden Thorbjörn Fälldin grew up on a farm and later even acquired a farm. A conflict with the farm authorities led him to a political fight, causing his entry into politics. The Centre Party leader lived in a rented apartment during his tenure as the prime minister.
Swedish military commander Carl Gustaf Wrangel is best known for his exploits during the Thirty Years’ War. When Swedish king Charles XI was a minor, Wrangel served the Regency Council. As the governor-general of Swedish Pomerania, he gained a lot of fortune, which he spent on books and palaces.
44 Ann Linde
Ann Linde is a Swedish politician and the current Minister for Foreign Affairs. A popular figure in the Swedish political circuit, Ann Linde also served as the Minister for EU Affairs and Minister for Foreign Trade from 2016 to 2019.
Moderate Party politician Anna Konig Jerlmyr and the current mayor of Stockholm, Anna Konig Jerlmyr has previously also been the vice mayor for social affairs. She also co-leads the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and has been the president of Eurocities and a board member of Friends of Europe.
Respectfully remembered for her attempts to defend Sweden against Christian II of Denmark, Christina Gyllenstierna was known simply as Lady Christina during her lifetime. A leader of the Swedish resistant, she defended Stockholm—besieged by land and sea—for four months before she was persuaded to capitulate in exchange for a letter of amnesty for her family and her followers.
47 Ulla Lofven
Ulla Lofven is a Swedish trade unionist and politician. She is the wife of Stefan Löfven who served as the Prime Minister of Sweden from 2014 to 2021. Prior to her husband's election as party leader in 2012, Ulla was serving as an assistant under Carin Jämtin, the former party secretary of the Swedish Social Democratic Party.
Finnish statesman Johan Vilhelm Snellman was a major figure of the Fennoman movement that was geared toward establishing Finnish as a national language, replacing Swedish. He had been both a professor and a senator, and has switched the Finnish monetary standard from rubles to marks.
Swedish military engineer and field marshal Lennart Torstenson is remembered chiefly for his exploits in the Thirty Years’ War. He was eventually made a count and a member of the Swedish Council of State. In his later years, he became a close associate of Queen Christina.
Märta Stenevi is a Swedish politician who served as the Minister for Housing as well as the Minister for Gender Equality from 5 February 2021 to 30 November 2021. An important member of the Green Party, Märta Stenevi also served as the Secretary-General of the party from 2019 to 2021.