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Back by popular demand is the Original Dictators Contest. 16 of the last century's most fearsome autocrats have been selected and pitted randomly against one another to compete for the title Dictator of Dictators.
Click here if you want to see the Second Dictators Contest

 

Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda

After practicing medicine in Edinburgh and London throughout the 1950s Banda returned to his homeland of Nyasaland to see through independence. The country changed its name to Malawi and he eventually became Prime Minister in 1961, declaring himself President-for-Life in 1971. One of the few African regimes to trade openly with apartheid South Africa he ruled unopposed until the general elections of 1994. Died in 1997.

 

Jean Bédel Bokassa

As commander-in-chief of the army of the Central African Republic led a coup and installed himself in power in 1965. He declared himself President for life and later Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Empire. Overthrown in 1979. Had a rather disturbing penchant for drinking blood and was rumoured to eat the flesh of human babies.

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz

Revolutionary leader who overthrew Fulgencio Batista (qv) way back in 1959 to become leader of Cuba, and there he has stayed until this very day. In present company something of a benign leader though was almost responsible for kicking off World War III in the early '60s.

 

Nicolae Ceausescu

Took over the reigns of power of the Communist Party of Romania, and thus the state, in 1965. Showed a brave defiance of the Soviet Union throughout his rule which earned him plaudits and friends all over the World. His appeal started to fade as the repercussions of his unsustainable cash crop society and increasingly brutal Police State began to be felt. Ousted and executed (on television) Christmas Day 1989.

Full Biography

 

Jean Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvalier

Son and heir to the legendary leader of Haiti, Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier (qv) Baby Doc continued the legacy of greed and corruption, though with a degree of style, not least when he was married and had television sets placed on every high street in the land so his adoring citizens could watch. Forced out of power in 1989.

 

Adolf Hitler

A man hardly in need of an introduction. After all what can one say about someone who kicked off the most destructive conflict in the history of the World, liquidated twelve million undesirables and destroyed his own country, enslaving half of the population under the Soviet yoke for fifty years?

Full Biography

 

Kim Il Sung

By far the longest serving dictator of the 20th century, Kim ruled North Korea from the end of the Second World War until his death in 1994. Responsible for one of the most brutal regimes on the face of the planet and for a devastating war with his Southern Neighbour which still troubles the peninsular today. Created the World's first Communist Dynasty when he ceded rule to his son, Kim Jong Il (qv) , upon his death.

Full Biography

 

Mao Zedong

Leader of the Communist party of China who fought alongside the nationalist troops of Chiang Kai Shek (qv) during the Japanese occupation of the 30s and 40s then turned against him to take control of the entire country. Commanded near total rule and Godlike respect from his victory in 1949 until his death in 1976 and fostered a personality cult that is still the paradigm for autocrats.

Full Biography

 

Ferdinand Edralin Marcos

Notoriously corrupt President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. His rule was marked by the usual characteristics of kleptocracy, martial law and political assasination. The last of which proved to be the undoing of him when the wife of one of his victims, Corazon Aquino, led a popular revolution that overthrew him in 1986. Died in exile three years later.

Full Biography

 

Joseph Désiré Mobuto Sese Seko

Former Army Chief of Staff who took control of the The Belgian Congo (and renamed it Zaire) Ruled unhindered from 1965 to 1997, when he was forced from power by an invading army from Rwanda. Wrote the book on tyrannical extravagance by, amongst other pastimes, chartering Concorde for family shopping trips & building palaces in the jungle. Died in exile in Morocco, 1997.

Full Biography

 

Benito Mussolini

Credited with inventing the doctrine of Fascism along side Umberto Moscha, the former Italian journalist took power following the March on Rome and immediately set out to rebuild the Roman Empire in 20th Century clothes. Incredibly popular for a time especially during and immediately following the invasion of Abyssinia Mussolini fell out of favour as his country was torn apart during the Second World War. Overthrown in 1943 he was rescued by the Wehrmacht and installed as President of the Republic of Salo until his capture and execution in 1945.

Full Biography

 

Augusto Pinochet Ugarte

Led the military coup that overthrew the Socialist government of Chile in 1973, and eventually established himself as the singular leader following a short rule by military junta. Ruled until 1990 when he was rejected in general elections. Retained his position as a Senator until 2002.

 

Saloth Sar (Pol Pot)

Only in power in Kampuchea (Cambodia) between 1975 and 1979 but those four years were witness to bloodshed and terror on the most grotesque scale. Eventually forced from power by an invading Vietnamese army Pol Pot fled the capitol but continued a guerrilla war until his death in 1998.

 

Mu'ammer Quathafi

Sixties revolutionary who overthrew then succeeded King Idris of Libya in 1969. Remains leader of that country's Revolutionary Command Council and as such de facto head of state. Keen supporter of terrorist causes around the World who in recent years has shifted his focus from the Middle East to Africa.

 

Antonio Salazar Oliveira

This former economist turned Dictator of Portugal was remembered for longevity of rule and...not much else. Like Franco (qv) kept his (Fascist) country out of WWII and despite ruling over one of the great European Empires never once stepped foot outside of his country of birth.

 

Joseph Vissarionovitch Stalin

Born in Georgia he became General Secretary of the Central Committee of the USSR in 1922, and held the post until his death. Engaged in massive purges within the party and instituted programs that killed millions of ordinary soviet citizens. Thankfully he died in 1953.

Full Biography

 
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