Important People in Asian History
By Kallie Szczepanski, About.com Guide
- People of Central Asia
- People of Southeast Asia
- People of South Asia
- People of the Middle East / Asia Minor
- Non-Asian People in Asia
People of China
With one of the longest recorded histories in the world, China has supplied us with the stories of many great leaders, philosophers and thinkers.
- Confucius or Kong Qiu
- Sun Tzu
- Qin Shi Huang, China's First Emperor
- Kublai Khan of Yuan
- Zhu Di, Yongle Emperor
People of India
India is a center of human civilization, and the birthplace of several world religions. Learn about great Indian emperors, artists, humanitarians and anti-imperial leaders here.
- Chandragupta Maurya
- Ashoka the Great, Mauryan Empire
- Babur, Founder, Mughal Empire
- Akbar the Great, Mughal Empire
- Aurangzeb, Mughal Empire
People of Japan
Japan is famous for its samurai and ninja. However, there have been many other amazing leaders, thinkers and artists in Japanese history, as well.
People of Korea
The Korean peninsula has long exerted a quiet but significant influence on the rest of Asia. Learn more about the leaders, artists and inventors who have made Korea great.
- Korea's Imperial Family
- Reverend Sun Myung Moon
- Park Chung Hee of South Korea
- Kim Jong-il of North Korea
People of the Philippines
The Philippines has had a tumultuous history over the past couple of centuries, and its politics continue to warrant attention today. Learn more about the movers and shakers of Filipino history here.
People of Central Asia
Central Asia is a wide, sparsely-populated region of harsh deserts and high mountains. Despite its forbidding terrain, or perhaps because of it, Central Asia has produced some incredible historical figures.
People of Southeast Asia
The nations of Southeast Asia are fascinating, with their intricate dynastic histories and their blend of Buddhist and Hindu beliefs, with in some areas an overlay of Islam. Learn about the outstanding personalities of Southeast Asia here.
- The Trung Sisters of Vietnam
- Lady Trieu of Vietnam
- King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand
- Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam
- Sukarno, Indonesia's First President
- Pol Pot of Cambodia
- Than Shwe of Burma (Myanmar)
- Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese Opposition Leader
People of South Asia
The mountain realms of Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, and Afghanistan, as well as Pakistan and Bangladesh, are some of the most fascinating places on Earth. Learn about leaders and thinkers from this region here.
- Tenzing Norgay, Sherpa Mountaineer
- The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
- Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani Prime Minister
- Ahmad Shah Massoud, Afghanistan's Lion of Panjshir
People of the Middle East / Asia Minor
The Middle East has long been a site of conflict and innovation, as the hinge between Asia, Africa and Europe. Learn about the important rulers, thinkers and poets of the Middle East and Asia Minor here.
- Darius the Great of Persia
- Saladin of Syria and Egypt
- Mustafa Kemal Ataturk of Turkey
- Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran
- King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Non-Asian People in Asia
From the ancient Tocharians to Marco Polo to Jeff Widener, who photographed the "Tank Man" in Tiananmen Square during June of 1989, outsiders have had a significant impact on the history of Asia.