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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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10 Enlightening Books About Little-Known and Hidden History

From an odd use of mummies to the man who survived two atomic bombings.

Founding Father Button Gwinnett and His Deadly Rivalry

This little-known figure had a short but fascinating life.

Teddy Roosevelt's Legendary Rough Riders

This cavalry regiment was celebrated for its role in the Spanish-American War.

Explore the Fascinating Life of Britain's Newest Leader, King Charles

He spent years with an up-close look at what it's like to rule Britain—and now the responsibility rests on his shoulders.

17 Eye-Opening Books About John F. Kennedy

Closing the gap between fact and fiction.

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.