Popular Dictators of All Time

A dictator is a ruler who assumes sole and supreme power but without inherited ascension. Most of the dictators successfully do it and others are just being called dictators as a formality. Few of these dictators drew special attention and became infamous because of the atrocities they carried out.

Here is the list of the most popular dictators of all time. Some were good, some tried too, others just didn’t want to be.

Muammar al-Qaddafi (Libya)


Gained power in 1969. He helped Libya a lot but at the same time, did some unethical things too. A group started to protest against Qaddaffi due to his crimes against humanities and caught him on 20th October, 2011 and killed him.

King Abdullah (Saudi Arabia)


The king of Saudi Arabia was enthroned on August 3, 2005. He is one of the world’s oldest reigning monarchs. He topped the 500 Most Influential Muslims list for two uninterrupted years in 2009 and 2010.

Fidel Castro (Cuba)


Castro was the prime minister of cuba from 1959 to 1976 and then stayed president from 1976 to 2008. In 1961, his anti-imperialist views, as well as a suspected relationship with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrishchev alarmed United States. They wanted to end his government. To counter this threat, Castro allowed soviet union to store nuclear weapons which led to the event Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe)


He was elected into power in 1980. Became the head of state in 1987. Mugabe-led government embarked on a controversial fast-track land reform due to which several sanctions were imposed on him by the US government.

Hosni Mubarak (Egypt)


Former Egyptian politician and military commander. Served as the fourth president of Egypt from 1982 to 2011. He was the longest serving ruler of the Egypt. Egypt military was of the view that he was involved in the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat.

Adolf Hitler (Germany)

Adolf Hitler

A German politician and the leader of National Socialist German Workers Party. He was the chancellor of Germany and also the head of the state. Killing Jews was his hobby and he wanted to end the race of Jews.

Ayub Khan (Pakistan)


He was 5 stars ranked General and Field Marshal in the Pakistan Army and the first military dictator. Served as the second president of Pakistan from 1958 to 1969. He became the first native Commander in Chief in 1951. Khan was frustrated from the country’s corruption and that’s why introduced martial law and became the president of the country.

Bashar al Assad (Syria)


President of Syria and Regional Secretary of the Ba’ath Party. Al Assad was elected in 2000 and 2007 but was unopposed each time.

Saddam Hussein (Iraq)

Saddam Hussein

5th president of Iraq and also a leading member of the Ba’ath Party. In 2003 US invaded Iraq due to the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq ( however there were not any ). On 5 November 2006, he was convicted of charges related to the 1982 killing of 148 Iraqi and was sentenced to death by hanging.

Idi Amin (Uganda)


A military leader and president of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. His rule was categorized by human rights abuse, political repression, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption and miss management.


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