Muammar Gaddafi’s bloody reign has ended, but how does he compare with history’s other tyrants? From Mao to Hitler to Saddam Hussein, see the dictators with the most lethal regimes.
The death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi brought to a close a nearly 42-year regime that engaged in state-sponsored terrorism around the world and at home, and waged ill-conceived wars against neighbors in the Middle East and Africa. With Gaddafi out of the way, the Libyan people can begin to think about what normalcy means, even though evidence of his regime still haunts Tripoli.
Gaddafi headed one of the longest-running modern autocracies. Yet, in the annals of evil dictators who perpetrated crimes against humanity and mass murder in the last 100 years, the colonel doesn’t actually rank as one of the deadliest—in terms of body count. To identify the deadliest dictators in history, The Daily Beast looked at despots to whom more than 1 million deaths have been attributed, whether through direct action like genocide, or indirect activities such as corrupt resource management that led to widespread starvation. Ranked based on death tolls, here are history’s 13 most lethal dictators.