10 Famous Political Assassinations

A murder of an individual is called an assassination if he is famous and well-known. There is usually a clear motive in assassination. With the advancement of modern day and age, assassination has become an important tool to get rid of opposing powers. Politicians assassinate each other based on years on revenge and personal vendetta.

The assassinations of these politicians were done with such accuracy that the real culprit behind these assassinations hasn’t been found out. People made guesses with the passage of time and many were suspected but there wasn’t any definite proof to point out the real culprit. Here is the list of top 10 politicians who were assassinated:

10. John F. Kennedy

Top 10 Political Assassinations - John F. Keneddy
Photo credit: hauensteincenter.org

John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of USA who served from 1961 till his death in 1963. He served in the army as a commander in the Second World War. After that, he became a Congressman from the Boston Area and made his move into the Senate in 1953. In 1955, during recovery from surgery, he wrote Profiles in Courage which won the Pulitzer award. Due to this, John F. Kennedy gained popularity as a Senator and secured the Democratic nomination for Vice President in 1956.

Four years later he was the number one nominee for the President. Millions watched his debate with the Republican President, Richard Nixon. He won by a narrow margin and became the first catholic president. On November 1963, John F. Kennedy was killed by an assassin’s bullet when he was touring through Dallas, Texas. He was no doubt the youngest man to be the President but he was also the youngest one to die.

9. Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto
Photo credit: dailylinks.pk

Benazir Bhutto was the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan who ruled for two non-consecutive terms between 1988 and 1996. She was the eldest daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who was a former Prime Minister and founder of Pakistan Peoples Party. In 1982, she became the chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party when she was only 29 years old. In 1988, she became the first Prime Minister to become the head of the state; she is also Pakistan’s only female Prime Minister. She was quite popular for charismatic authority and took big steps for Pakistan’s economy and national security. She was elected once again in 1993 to serve for the second term.

The popularity of Bhutto lessened due to widespread corruption and that led to the dismissal of the government by the then President, Ghulam Ishaq Khan. In 1999, she went to Dubai for exile. Nine years later in 2007, she came back during Musharraf’s regime who dismissed the charges against her. She was assassinated on 27 December 2007, after leaving PPP’s last rally held in Rawalpindi.

8. Liaquat Ali Khan

Top 10 Political Assassinations - Liaquat Ali Khan
Photo credit: jasarat.org

Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan was one of the founding Fathers of Pakistan and a notable lawyer who served as the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. He was also the Defence Minister and Minister of Wealth and Common Affairs from 1947 up to his assassination in 1951. Liaquat Ali Khan got prominence as a leader of Pakistan Muslim League. He played a key role in the independence of Pakistan and India, along with the founder of Nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Liaquat Ali Khan became the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1947. He was regarded as the right hand man of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. On October 1951, he was shot twice during a public meeting of Muslim City League in Rawalpindi. The assassin was shot immediately on the spot. The assassination still remains a mystery because it wasn’t properly investigated.

7. Mahatma Gandhi

Mahathma Gandhi
Photo credit: www.history.co.uk

The Father of The Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi. He played a key role in the independence of India from the British. He negotiated with different victories of India and finally led the country to Independence. He was quite popular due to his peace stands. Everyone loved this man, so it’s hard to believe that he was assassinated. He was shot by a University Student turned activist, Nathuram Godse in Delhi.

He was killed just before he was going to address the prayer meeting. Nathuram Godse was a Hindu with extreme viewpoints who considered Gandhi a weak leader for allowing the country to divide between India and Pakistan. Gandhi’s death came as a great blow to the whole world.

Check out the importance of Google.

6. King Faisal

Photo credit: simec2016.org

Faisal Bin AbdulAziz Al Saud served as the King of Saudi Arabia from 1964 to 1975. He is hailed as a king and known for rescuing the country’s finances and increasing the country’s economy. His main foreign policy themes were pan-Islamism and Pro-Palestinian nationalism.

He stabilized the bureaucracy of the country; that’s why his reign gained the most popularity among the Saudis. On 25 March 1975, King Faisal was killed by his half-brother’s son who had just come back from the United States. When King Faisal came to greet his nephew, the nephew shot him with a pistol.

5. Thomas D’Arcy

Top 10 Political Assassinations - Thomas D Arcy
Photo credit: www.news.utoronto.ca

Thomas D’Arcy was a Canadian politician and a journalist by profession. He fought for the development of Canadian and Irish Nationalist Identities. He is the only Canadian politician to suffer assassination till today. On 7th April 1968, he went to a conference that went on past midnight. He went home afterwards. When he opened the door of his house, he was assassinated from a handgun. He was given a state funeral in Montreal.

4. Indira Gandhi

Top 10 Political Assassinations - Indra Gandhi
Photo credit: indianexpress.com

Indira Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru and the first woman Prime Minister of India. She is the only Prime Minister of India who served for four terms. During her tenure, she served the country through extraordinary governance.

She was shot on 31 October 1984 at her residence by two Sikh bodyguards after the Operation of Blue Star. It was a military operation ordered by Indira Gandhi, which created hatred among the Sikhs. The Sikh bodyguards probably killed her to take revenge. Both the bodyguards were hanged.

3. Rafic Hariri

Top 10 Political Assassinations - Rafic Hariri
Photo credit: quotesgram.com

Rafic was a business tycoon of Lebanon and its Prime Minister for two terms from 1992 to 1998 and again in 2000 until his assassination in 2004. During his tenure, he was the head of five cabinets. He dominated the country’s political and business life and is popular for reconstructing Beirut after 15 years of Civil War.

He was assassinated on 14 February 2004 as explosives of about 1000 kg were detonated when his motorcade went through the Lebanese Capital. The investigation into his assassination is currently undergoing. It was indicated in the first two reports that the Syrian government might be linked to the assassination. Hairi’s killings led to massive outrage in the country.

2. Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
Photo credit: historynewsnetwork.org

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of USA who served from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the country through the Civil War and political crisis. He preserved the Union, ended slavery and strengthened the economy of the country.

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated when he went to attend on 14 April 1865, to watch a play as the Civil War was drawing to a close. The assassination occurred five days after the commander of the Confederate Army of Virginia surrendered to Lieutenant General Ulysses and the Union Army of the Potomac.

1. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King
Photo credit: playbuzz.com

Martin Luther King Jr. was the American Baptist Minister and leader of African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is popular for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. Martin Luther King became a civil rights activity early in his life.

He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and held a peaceful movement. He also led peaceful protests in 1963 in Albany, Georgia, Alabama and Birmingham. He rose to the heights of his popularity when he delivered the popular Speech on March 1963 in Washington with the famous “I have a dream” speech. This gave him the reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

Martin Luther King was planning a National occupation in Washington when he was assassinated in Memphis Tennessee on April 4. His death caused riots in many cities.


These are some of the greatest political assassinations of all times. All these assassinations were done in cold blood. These were all kills for hire. No one knows the real culprit behind these assassinations. There are some commonalities in all these assassinations, like they were done in cold blood and they were all done at important times when these leaders were needed the most.

The governments of these countries should look into these assassinations and try to find out the real culprit behind these political assassinations. It may not be of much value for the future. But the history would be written in a totally different way.

Leave a Reply