10 most evil people in history: foulest beings to ever live

10 most evil people in history: foulest beings to ever live

Throughout history, there have been individuals who have been notorious for their despicable behaviours and actions. These individuals have earned the reputation of being the most evil people in history ever to live. From their vile acts to unapologetic attitudes, they are remembered for their darkness and malice.

bad people in history
Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and Genghis Khan are among the most evil people in history. Photo: Fine Art Images
Source: UGC

Humanity has witnessed some truly atrocious acts of evil. From mass murders to genocide, there have been many individuals whose actions have left a stain on the world. This article explores the top 10 terrible people in history and their monstrous deeds that will forever be remembered.

Ten most evil people in history

Due to their actions, history has labelled countless individuals as the "worst persons". From tyrants to murderers, their legacies have left a lasting impact on the world. Here are the worst people in history.

1. Adolf Hitler (1889–1945)

worst people in history
Adolf Hitler sitting on the edge of a desk at his Berghof residence, Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany, during World War II, circa. Photo: Paul Popper
Source: Getty Images

Adolf Hitler, one of the worst people ever, ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945. He masterminded the Holocaust, an awful genocide that led to the deaths of six million Jews.

Hitler's reign of terror also saw the deaths of millions of innocent civilians and soldiers in World War II. At the tail end of the Second World War, Hitler was cornered by the Allied forces.

As they closed in on him in April 1945, Adolf Hitler retreated to his bunker in Berlin, where he ultimately killed himself with his longtime partner, Eva Braun. The world remembers Hitler as one of history's most evil individuals whose legacy will never be forgotten.

2. Joseph Stalin (1878–1953)

most evil people in history
Joseph Stalin, addresses voters, of the Stalin election district in Moscow, on the even of the election in which Russians voted for the first time under the new constitution. Photo: Corbis Historical
Source: Getty Images

Joseph Stalin was a leader of the Soviet Union who reigned from 1922 until he died in 1953. Stalin's tenure saw the orchestration of mass purges and execution of an estimated 700,000 to 1.5 million individuals, often under false charges of treason and espionage.

His regime also presided over millions of deaths from forced labour camps, starvation, and neglect. Stalin died of a stroke in 1953 at the age of 74 in his bed in Moscow.

After his death, the Soviet Union declared several days of mourning, and Stalin's body was publicly displayed in the capital. Some people saw his death as a loss for the Soviet Union, while others breathed a sigh of relief at the prospect of ending Stalin's tyranny.

3. Vlad the Impaler (1431–1476/77)

bad people in history
Vlad III the Impaler, or Dracula (1431-1476) who was inspired Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, written in 1897. Anonymous painting of the 16th century. Ambras Castle, Austria. Photo: Stefano Bianchetti
Source: Getty Images

Vlad the Impaler was a prince of Wallachia who lived during the 15th century. He was infamous for his cruel and sadistic ways of ruling. Vlad was known for impaling his enemies and innocent civilians.

His evil acts also included boiling his enemies alive and skinning them alive. Vlad the Impaler died in battle while fighting the Ottoman Turks in 1476.

His body was never found, and it is said that he died on the battlefield while defending his people. Vlad's cruelty has earned him a lasting place in history as one of the most vicious rulers the world has ever known.

4. Mao Zedong (1893–1976)

most evil men in history
Mao Tse Toung (1893-1976), Chinese president, here during the review of an army of The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Peki. Photo: Apic
Source: Getty Images

Mao Zedong was a Chinese revolutionary who founded the People's Republic of China. He caused numerous atrocities and presided over millions of deaths during the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution.

Mao enforced his ideology through violence, repression, and censorship, leaving a legacy of misery, famine, and fear in China. Mao's policies were devastating and led to famine and starvation, causing the death of millions.

He established labour camps, carried out mass executions, and persecuted anyone who disagreed with him politically. Mao Zedong died in September 1976 due to an array of health complications.

His death marked the end of an era, but the scars of his regime remain. Millions still remember the pain, suffering, and fear he inflicted on the people of China.

5. Pol Pot (1925–1998)

terrible people in history
Pol Pot buying a watch for his wife in Beijing, in China, in 1988. Photo: Gamma-Rapho
Source: Getty Images

Pol Pot is also among the most evil men in history and was a Cambodian communist revolutionary. He is liable for one of the most devastating genocides in history that led to the deaths of an estimated 1.5 to 2 million Cambodian people.

His regime abolished money, religion, and private property. Pol Pot instead enforced radical Maoist policies that resulted in famine, disease, and violence.

Pol Pot's orders created the "killing fields" of Cambodia. Anyone perceived as intellectual, a member of a different ethnicity, or connected to the previous regime was targeted and executed.

Pol Pot managed to live for over two decades after his reign, hiding in the Cambodian jungle as a guerrilla leader. He died of a heart attack 10 1998, aged 73.

6. Heinrich Himmler (1900–1945)

terrible people in history
Heinrich Himmler (1900 - 1945) dressed in his uniform early twentieth century. Photo: PhotoQuest
Source: Getty Images

Heinrich Himmler, a despicable leader, served as the head of the SS and one of Hitler's confidants. He is among the worst people of all time because of his evil actions. For instance, he orchestrated the genocide of six million Jews putting him.

He also masterminded the deaths of countless other minorities and dissidents deemed unfit for the Third Reich. Heinrich Himmler was also in charge of implementing the concentration camp system.

He oversaw some of the most horrific human experiments known to man. Allied forces captured Himmler but chose to take his own life with a cyanide capsule before he could be brought to justice. His legacy of brutality and hatred still warns of the dangers of extremism and intolerance.

7. Genghis Khan (1162–1227)

worst people in the world
Emperor of Mongol Empire. Engraving. Photo: Leemage
Source: Getty Images

Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire in the early 13th century, was a cruel conqueror. He is also on the list of bad people in history. He led his armies on brutal campaigns that left behind a trail of death and destruction across Asia and Europe.

Khan is notorious for his barbaric acts, including massacres of entire cities, forced conscription, and systematic torture. The tyrant also executed thousands of civilians, torched women, and enslaved millions during his reign of terror.

In death, Genghis Khan remains one of the most controversial figures in history, revered by some for his military prowess while reviled by others for his monstrous acts.

8. Ivan the Terrible (1530–1584)

worst people of all time
Ivan IV Vasilyevich (1530-1584), known as Ivan the Terrible. Grand Prince of Moscow (1533-1547) and Tsar of All the Russias (1547-1584). Photo: Prisma
Source: Getty Images

Ivan the Terrible, the first czar of Russia, ruled from 1547 until he died in 1584. He was among the worst people in the world. He earned the nickname "the terrible" due to the terror that marked his reign.

Ivan killed his son, Ivan Ivanovich, in a fit of rage and is believed to have also ordered the massacre of Novgorod. His death is shrouded in mystery. Some historians speculate that a member of his court may have poisoned him.

Despite his evil acts, Ivan's reign saw momentous achievements that included the expansion of the Russian empire and the establishment of a legal code. Ivan's legacy as a tyrant continues to be a controversial topic in Russian history.

9. Idi Amin (1952–2003)

worst people ever
Ugandan President-for-Life Idi Amin sits listening to the text of his speech being delivered by the Ugandan UN ambassador. Photo: Bettmann
Source: Getty Images

A Ugandan military officer and politician, Idi Amin, came to power in a 1971 military coup. He is known for his brutal rule that saw countless atrocities, including extrajudicial killings, torture, and forced disappearances.

Thousands of Ugandans were murdered or disappeared without a trace, leaving behind devastated families and communities. Idi Amin remained in power for nearly a decade.

He was toppled by an alliance of Tanzanian and Ugandan forces in 1979. He spent the remainder of his life exiled in Libya and died on August 16, 2003, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

10. Emperor Nero (37–68)

most evil men in history
Nero at Baiae, c. 1900. Private Collection. Photo: Fine Art Images
Source: Getty Images

Emperor Nero was an ancient Rome tyrant known for his cruelty and decadence. He was ill-famed for mercilessly eliminating his mother, Agrippina.

He also falsely accused Christians of setting fire to the city of Rome to persecute them. Nero's vicious treatment of the people, including gladiator contests and rampant killing of political enemies, made him despised among his subjects.

Nero was dethroned by a revolt in the year 68 AD. That led to his eventual death by self-inflicted wounds. Despite his brief reign of terror, Emperor Nero's name will always be synonymous with the darkest days of the Roman Empire.

One can't help but feel a sense of shock and horror after learning about these most evil people in history. The sheer magnitude of the atrocities committed by these individuals is almost incomprehensible. From genocide to torture, these foulest beings to ever live remind us of the depths of human depravity.

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