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Leaders in History Articles

Every so often, a leader emerges whose legacy seems larger-than-life. Some of them inspire us and invite us to envision a better future, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Others had tumultuous lives and careers that read like a cautionary tale, such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry VIII. Still others were tyrants, politicians on the wrong side of history, and various other leaders whose examples we’d do well not to follow, like Russia’s Ivan the Terrible and Andrew Johnson, the first US president to be impeached.

If you want to know more about the people who stood out from their contemporaries, for better or worse, you’ve come to the right place. Our research on historical leaders examines not just who they were and what they did, but the lasting impact they’ve had on the world.

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The 10 Best Books By and About Winston Churchill

The prime minister was also a prolific writer and historian.

8 Absorbing Biographies of World Leaders

Explore the lives of people who had a large impact on their nation and the world.

Isaac Newton's Historic Feud With a Conman

He was determined to take down William Chaloner, an audacious coiner.

Remembering Queen Elizabeth II, 1926—2022

Elizabeth II died peacefully after a historic 70 years on the throne.

10 Funniest Royal Names

From Constantine the Dung-Named to Charles the Bald.

6 Fascinating Coups That Have Shaken the World

Sudden and illegal seizures of power have the capacity to change world history.

10 Famous Speeches That Shaped History

These powerful speeches continue to linger in the public imagination.

14 Fascinating Books About the Founding Fathers of America

They were more than a stuffy group of old men—in fact, many of them were young and rowdy.

5 Royal Figures Who Were Assassinated

These tragic murders reverberated throughout their kingdoms.

Wyatt’s Rebellion Nearly Upended the English Monarchy

Politician Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger sought to overthrow Mary I.

10 Political Scandal Books That Read Like Thrillers

Sometimes the truth is stranger—and more alarming—than fiction.

Toussaint Louverture: Self-Freed Slave and Hero of the Haitian Revolution

In 1791, the people of Haiti rose up against their oppressors.

15 Books About Fascinating First Ladies

The new Showtime series The First Lady has piqued our interest in the lives of these remarkable women.

Beware the Ides of March...

The Roman holiday was marked by religious observances before Julius Caesar's notorious murder.