The ten best known politicians of all time didn’t just make laws, they got people fired up in a way that few other people ever could. In this list, there are Presidents and presidential hopefuls, but each of the following individuals has had an indelible impact on American history and the landscape of politics.
- George Washington. Someone has to be the first and in this country, it was Mr. Washington. As one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, as well as its first President, George Washington became known as the “Father of His Country". Furthermore, as one of the most famous politicians of all time, the nation's capital, Washington D.C., is named in his honor.
- Thomas Jefferson. As the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson has a long history in American politics and we see the effects of all that he had accomplished even today. Jefferson was most notably one of the five men who drafted the Declaration of Independence, making him one of the most famous politicians of all time.
- Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln solidified himself as one of the most famous politicians of all time for his involvement in one of the most trying time in American history. He led the country through the American Civil War and successfully ended slavery in the United States. He was also the author of the Gettysburg Address and served as the 16th President until he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theatre.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As the leader of the United States through both World War II and the Great Depression, FDR, as he is commonly known, is one of the most famous politicians of all time because of his leadership in times of crisis. Roosevelt is often cited as not just one of the most famous, but also as one of the greatest American Presidents.
- John F. Kennedy. Unfortunately what makes John F. Kennedy one of the most famous politicians of all time is probably his untimely death by way of violent assassination. The first in a long line of public servants hailing from a political dynasty, John F. Kennedy captured America’s attention and admiration.
- Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon falls more appropriately on the infamous side of the most well-known politicians of all time. As the 37th President of the United States, he was implicated in and impeached for the Watergate scandal, resigning from his office in 1974.
- Bill Clinton. Though Bill Clinton accomplished much as the 42nd President of the United States (including lengthy peace time and economic prosperity), he is unfortunately most famous for his alleged relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Despite this, he left office with a 66% approval rating, the highest of any president since the end of World War II.
- Sarah Palin. As John McCain’s 2008 running mate, Sarah Palin shot to international recognition as a Vice Presidential hopeful. A Governor from Alaska, and virtually unknown before being tapped as McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin today has become one of the most famous politicians of all time.
- Hillary Clinton. Wife of Bill Clinton, Hillary has carved out recognition of her own as a Senator of New York and a Democratic rival of Barack Obama. Though she lost to Obama for the Democratic bid for Presidency in the 2008 election, Clinton shot to popularity for her clear and strong views and remains one of the most famous politicians of all time as the current Secretary of State.
- Barack Obama. As the 44th President of the United States, Obama is the first African American President elected in the United States. Defeating John McCain in 2008, Barack Obama made US history and took the Presidency on a message of hope and change. Combine that with winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, Obama is most certainly one of the most famous politicians of all time.