Although, throughout the course of history many great leaders have come and gone. We will make an attempt to briefly describe the ten greatest leaders of all time. Granted, this is a subjective list and can be subject to vigorous debate, however, we will give a brief synopsis of our top ten picks.
10. Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon was a military leader and France’s first emperor. He was born on 8/15/1769 in Corsica. Corsica is a Mediterranean island off the coast of France. Napoleon is one of the best known leaders in the Western world. Napoleon was responsible for revolutionizing military training and organization. He created the well know Napoleonic Code. He created a long lasting Cocordat with the Roman Catholic papacy.
Napoleon was the French emperor from 1804 – 1815. The Napoleonic Code, which was his legal reform, has had a large impact on civil law of numerous jurisdictions throughout the world. However, his fame cam mostly from his leadership in wars against France, call the Napoleonic Wars. As a result of his success in these wars, frequently against enemies with superior numbers, he is regarded as one of the best military leaders of all time and arguable one of the greatest leaders of all time.
9. Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi entered the world as an ordinary boy. However, he had great determination to excel at whatever he did. Subsequent to completing law school in London, he became the leader of the struggle to free India from colonial rule. Gandhi’s methods of a non-violent approach to protest was his hallmark. His protests, which were enacted through civil disobedience finally were a success, and India was free from colonial rule in 1947. His primary traits were resilience, leading by example, knowledge, and people-skills. Achieving freedom from colonial rule for his people makes Gandhi one of the greatest leaders of all time.
8. Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister and emotional leader of the U.K. From 1940-45. Churchill rallied the people to defend themselves during the Nazi attacks of WW II. He cooperate with his allies and led Britain in defeating Hitler in 1945. His time as Prime Minister was a time of destruction and fear that resulted from the German attacks. Churchill was best remembered for his unyielding perseverance, determination, fearlessness, and devotion to his nation.
7. Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln was the sixteenth U.S. President. He is one the most renowned leaders in history. He was President during the U.S. Civil War, where he worked to keep the nation together. He was also famous for abolishing slavery in America with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. He gave many inspiring addresses to the people, including the famous Gettysburg address. His most notable characteristics were honesty, persistence, determination and courage.
6. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King was a member of the clergy, activist and leader in the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960′s. He is renowned for his role in advancing civil rights with means that were non-violent.
In 1964, Dr. King was awarded a Noble Peace Prize for fighting racial inequality via non-violent means. In 1965 he helped to organize marches from Selma to Montgomery. In the last years of his existence he expanded his fight for inequality to the issues of poverty and the Vietnam War. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee where in planned to lead a march in support of striking sanitation workers. Dr. King was best known for his courage, perseverance, and non-violent approach to forcing change.
5. Nelson Mandela
Mr. Mandela was born in South Africa in 1918. He became involved in movements against apartheid in his 20′s. He became a member of the African National Congress in the early 1940′s. He then organized a peaceful and non-violent campaign against apartheid and the South African government which supported it. Mandela was imprisoned in South Africa from 1964-82. During the period of his imprisonment his public reputation grew. Upon his release from prison, he was considered the most prominent leader in black South Africa and he was a strong symbol of resistance in the anti-apartheid movement. While he was imprisoned he refused to alter his position on apartheid to gain his freedom.
In 1993 Mandela and then President de Klerk of South Africa were jointly give the Nobel Peace Prize for working to abolish apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s President in 1994. In 2009 Mr. Mandela’s birthday was designated Mandela Day, to promulgate peace and celebrate his legacy.
4. Julius Caesar
Caesar was certainly one of the most prominent and successful military leaders in all of history. He was also an accomplished political leader. He was the leader of numerous successful military campaigns and was responsible for an expanding Roman Empire. In addition, he reformed the government of Rome and create the framework for history’s greatest empire. His personal characteristics included great strategic planning, boldness, and decisiveness.
3. Alexander The Great
Alexander the Great was born on in 356 B.C. He was certainly the greatest military commander of his time and arguably the greatest military commander of all time. He was the conqueror of the Macedonian state and he then unified many Greek city states. He led numerous military campaigns where he conquered a large swath of the world, including Persia, Babylon, and much of Asia. While contemplating conquering Rome and Carthage he became ill with malaria and perished in 323 BC. At the age of 33.
2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR was born on 1/30/1882 in Hyde Park,NY. He as afflicted with polio in 1921 and both his legs were paralyzed as a result. He was elected to the U.S. Presidency in 1933 and he was the sole U.S. President to be elected to four consecutive terms. Roosevelt led the nation through the Great Depression. He created government reforms that are called the New Deal. Roosevelt also led the United States through World War II and declared war on the Japanese and Germans subsequent to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt died in the Spring of 1945 just prior to the conclusion of World War II. He was succeeded by Harry S. Truman.
1. George Washington
George Washington was born on 2/22/1732 in Virginia. He was the commander of the army of colonials during the American Revolutionary War. He then went on to become the first U.S. President. He served two terms from 1789-1797. He passed away on 12/14/1799.
No one was more instrumental in the founding of the United States than George Washington. In addition to being a great military leader, he was also an excellent statesman and he was able to guide the new found republic in its first view years of existence. His steadfast resolve, perseverance, and leadership under fire where his finest personal characteristics.