The world has seen some of the greatest leaders to date. From the Indian political ethicist Mahatma Gandhi to the American statesman Abraham Lincoln, there exist some great leaders from history who showcased one-of-a-kind traits during their times. Their unique personality and traits are the reasons people still remember them today and try to follow their principles. Here is a list of some great leaders from history who have inspired millions in the past and will continue to inspire generations to come.
Born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi was born in British India in 1869. He was an ordinary boy until he started non-violent civil disobedience that inspired several nations. After marriage at 13, Gandhi sailed to London from where he achieved his Law degree. He spent his major part of his career days in South Africa where he witnessed racial discrimination. After returning to India and joining the Indian National Congress in the early 1920s, Gandhi started campaigns to fight for women’s rights, eradicate poverty, and acquire equal status for all. His famous Dandi Salt March of 1930 and the subsequent Quit India movement freed India from the hands of British rule. Gandhi was eventually murdered by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist who didn’t like the former’s tolerance of Muslim people following the nation’s independence. Today, Mahatma Gandhi is remembered by Indians as ‘Father of the nation’ who practiced non-violence, tolerance, and resilience.
Remembered as one of the greatest presidents of the United States, Abraham Lincoln was a man of solid principles. He believed in unification and equal rights and fought for liberty. After the death of his mother in her 30s, his step-mother encouraged him to read. He studied law before joining the Illinois House of Representatives. Lincoln was elected America’s16th president in 1861 following which he worked on to abolish slavery and eventually succeeded in a short time. In 1984, he was assassinated by stage actor, John Wilkes Booth at Washington’s Ford’s Theatre. Today, the great American leader is remembered for his beliefs and the willingness to stand alone.
Remembered as the first black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela can’t be missed from the list of great leaders from history. He was an exceptional civil rights leader of his times who fought for his race. Mandela served almost 30 years in jail and came out as determined as ever to oppose the racist government. Born in 1918, he grew up in a village and eventually studied law. He went to carry out activities he thought will help improve the lives of black people. After joining the South African Communist Party, Mandela executed peaceful defiance against the government. He was repeatedly arrested and eventually came out from jail as a 72-year old prisoner. In 1994, he entered the presidential office as South Africa’s first black president. A year prior to becoming the president, Mandela was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for executing peaceful termination of the apartheid government. He eventually died in 2013 from respiratory illness, at age 95.
Mother Teresa, born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, lived a life in service of the world’s poorest and vulnerable people. She came to India from her birthplace Macedonia and joined a convent in Calcutta as a nun. Teresa enjoyed teaching until The Bengal famine of 1943, the incident that shook her to such an extent that she left her headmistress chair to serve the poor. She traveled to different parts of the nation and world across, working alongside Red Cross workers to treat the poor. Teresa opened several orphanages, hospitals, and other public organizations to help needy people. She eventually left her holy body in 1997, at age 87.