Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, & More: 13 Deadliest Dictators (Photos)

From Mao and Hitler to Saddam Hussein and Pol Pot, see the tyrants with history’s most lethal regimes.

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.

Pletzner Atelier

13. Enver Pasha

Turkey

Death toll: 1.1 million to 2.5 million
Years in power: 5 (1913-1918)
Worst offense:
Armenian genocide
Type of regime:
Military

Cause of death: Killed in battle (according to most accounts)

Peter Arnett / AP Photo

12. Kim Il Sung

North Korea

Death toll: 1.6 million
Years in power: 46 (1948-1994)
Worst offense:
Korean War
Type of regime:
Communist
Cause of death:
Heart attack

AP Photo

11. Ho Chi Minh

North Vietnam

Death toll: 1.7 million
Years in power: 24 (1945-1969)
Worst offense:
Vietnam War
Type of regime:
Communist
Cause of death:
Heart failure

Kyodo News / AP Photo

10. Pol Pot

Cambodia

Death toll: 1.7 million to 2.4 million
Years in power: 4 (1975-1979)
Worst offense:
Cambodian genocide
Type of regime:
Communist
Cause of death:
Unconfirmed

INA / AP Photo

9. Saddam Hussein

Iraq

Death toll: 2 million
Years in power: 34 (1969-2003)
Worst offense:
Kurdish genocide
Type of regime:
Authoritarian
Cause of death:
Executed

8. Yahya Khan

Pakistan

Death toll: 2 million to 12 million
Years in power: 2 (1969-1971)
Worst offense:
Bangladesh genocide
Type of regime:
Military
Cause of death:
Unknown

AP Photo

7. Tojo Hideki

Japan

Death toll: 4 million
Years in power: 3 (1941-1944)
Worst offense:
WWII civilian genocide
Type of regime:
Military
Cause of death:
Executed

AP Photo

6. Vladimir Lenin

USSR

Death toll: 4 million
Years in power: 7 (1917-1924)
Worst offense:
Russian Civil War
Type of regime:
Communist
Cause of death:
Cerebral hemorrhage

AP Photo

5. Hirohito

Japan

Death toll: 6 million
Years in power: 62 (1926-1989)
Worst offense
: Nanking Massacre
Type of regime:
Monarchy
Cause of death:
Cancer

AP Photo

4. Chiang Kai-Shek

China

Death toll: 10 million
Years in power: 18 (1928-1949)
Worst offense:
228 Massacre
Type of regime:
Military
Cause of death:
Kidney failure

AP Photo

3. Adolf Hitler

Germany

Death toll: 17 million to 20 million
Years in power: 11 (1934-1945)
Worst offense:
The Holocaust
Type of regime:
Fascist
Cause of death:
Suicide

AP Photo

2. Joseph Stalin

USSR

Death toll: 40 million to 62 million
Years in power: 12 (1941-1953)
Worst offense:
Gulag camps
Type of regime:
Communist
Cause of death:
Heart attack

AP Photo

1. Mao Zedong

China

Death toll: 45 million to 75 million
Years in power: 34 (1943-1976)
Worst offense:
Great Chinese Famine
Type of regime:
Communist
Cause of death:
Heart attack