POLTICIAN

  • Fidel Castro

    Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was born near Birán, Cuba, in 1926. Beginning in 1958 Castro and his forces began a campaign of guerrilla warfare which led to the overthrow of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. As the country's new leader, Castro implemented communist domestic policies and initiated military and economic relations with the Soviet Union that led to strained relations with the United States that culminated in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Under Castro, improvements were made to health care and education, while he maintained a dictatorial control over the country and brutally persecuted or imprisoned anyone thought to be enemies of the regime. Thousands of dissidents were killed or died trying to flee the dictatorship. Castro was also responsible for fomenting communist revolutions in countries around the world.

  • Vladimir Lenin

    Vladimir Lenin founded the Russian Communist Party, led the Bolshevik Revolution and was the architect of the Soviet state. He was the posthumous source of "Leninism," the doctrine codified and conjoined with Marx's works by Lenin’s successors to form Marxism-Leninism, which became the Communist worldview. He has been regarded as the greatest revolutionary leader and thinker since Marx.

  • George Bush Jnr

    Born in July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, George W. Bush was the 43rd president of the United States. He narrowly won the Electoral College vote in 2000, in one of the closest and most controversial elections in American history. Bush led the United States' response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and initiated the Iraq War. Before his presidency, Bush was a businessman and served as governor of Texas.

  • Joseph Stalin

    Born on December 18, 1879, in Gori, Georgia, Joseph Stalin rose to power as General Secretary of the Communist Party, becoming a Soviet dictator upon Vladimir Lenin's death. Stalin forced rapid industrialization and the collectivization of agricultural land, resulting in millions dying from famine while others were sent to camps. His Red Army helped defeat Nazi Germany during WWII.

  • Haile Selassie

    Born in Ethiopia in 1892, Haile Selassie was crowned emperor in 1930 but exiled during World War II after leading the resistance to the Italian invasion. He was reinstated in 1941 and sought to modernize the country over the next few decades through social, economic and educational reforms. He ruled until 1974, when famine, unemployment and political opposition forced him from office.

  • Dalai Lama

    The Dalai Lama was born Lhamo Thondup on July 6, 1935 in Taktser, China. At age 15, he assumed political power of Tibet as the Dalai Lama. The People's Republic of China invaded that same year. Fearing assassination, he and thousands of followers fled to Dharamsala in northern India, where they established an alternative government. Since then, the Dalai Lama has taken numerous actions in hopes of establishing an autonomous Tibetan state within the People's Republic of China. However, the Chinese government has shown no signs of moving toward peace and reconciliation with Tibet. The Dalai Lama has also conducted hundreds of conferences, lectures and workshops worldwide, as part of his humanitarian efforts. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In December 2008, the Dalai Lama announced his semi-retirement after having gallstone surgery.

  • Barack Obama

    Born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Barack Obama is the 44th and current president of the United States. He was a community organizer, civil-rights lawyer and teacher before pursuing a political career. He was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and to the U.S. Senate in 2004. He was elected to the U.S. presidency in 2008, and won re-election in 2012 against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

  • Vladimir Putin

    In 1999, Russian president Boris Yeltsin dismissed his prime minister and promoted former KGB officer Vladimir Putin in his place. In December 1999, Yeltsin resigned, appointing Putin president, and he was re-elected in 2004. In April 2005, he made a historic visit to Israel—the first visit there by any Kremlin leader. Putin could not run for the presidency again in 2008, but was appointed prime minister by his successor, Dmitry Medvedev. Putin was re-elected to the presidency in March 2012. In 2014, he was reportedly nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Benazir Bhutto

    Benazir Bhutto was born on June 21, 1953, in Karachi, Pakistan, the child of former premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. She inherited leadership of the PPP after a military coup overthrew her father's government and won election in 1988, becoming the first female prime minister of a Muslim nation. In 2007, she returned to Pakistan after an extended exile, but, tragically, was killed in a suicide attack.

  • Eva Perón

    Eva Perón was born on May 7, 1919, in Los Toldos, Argentina. After moving to Buenos Aires in the 1930s, she had some success as an actress. in 1945, she married Juan Perón, who became president of Argentina the following year. Eva Perón used her position as first lady to fight for women's suffrage and improving the lives of the poor, and became a legendary figure in Argentine politics. She died in 1952.