Genghis Khan Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan Genghis Khan

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Genghis Khan

How many people were killed by Genghis Khan?

7 Answers

Zishan Hassan

Zishan Hassan , Aspiring entrepreneur with a keen interest in world history

The Mongols were one of the most brutal empires the world has ever seen. At its peak, it covered an area that was roughly the size of Africa, comprising significant portions of Asia and Europe, it even stretched into the Arabian peninsula.


By the beginning of 13th century, Genghis Khan had overcome all the tribal conflicts and unified them. Establishing a greater Mongol state with himself as the king of kings with a united army, the Mongols began a swift conquest in all directions, challenging every dynasty in the region. They fought and traveled by horse; as a result, they were faster, and anecdotally the Mongol armies were ruthless. According to historical accounts, those in the path of Genghis Khan were given the choice of joining them or suffer a cruel death. Many villages, cities, and countries were looted, burnt to ashes and mass killings were commonplace.

Its impossible to know the precise number of deaths. However, their bloody pursuit of world domination killed as many as 40 million people or 10% of the earths population at that time, making them responsible for the largest massacre to ever take place. Khan revolutionized warfare and rule of law. He rewarded loyalty regardless of social status, distributed the spoils of war throughout his ranks and banned infighting within the empire.

They terrorized many powerful empires at the time and brought nothing but destruction, loot, and horror to the people they deemed as enemies.

Source: Mongol invasions and conquests – Wikipedia


Probably more than 5 million civilians killed

From 3 of the most major atrocities / genocides of his reign between 4,315,000 and 6,200,000 civilians killed about the same in death toll as the number Jews killed in the Holocaust though these killing were upon multiple nations, just giving a sense of scale in absolute terms. (though one or two of these atrocities were essentially genocides as well.) And in relative terms this would amount to one in every 100 people on earth being killed under Khan’s rule.

Persian genocide 2.25 million

Tangut genocide 1.215 – 2.7 million

Mongol conquest of Khwarezmia 850,000 – 1.25 million

World population at the time 450,000,000?

World population estimates – Wikipedia


Quoting/copying Wikipedia

“Ancient sources described Genghis Khans conquests as wholesale destruction on an unprecedented scale in certain geographical regions, causing great demographic changes in Asia. According to the works of the Iranian historian Rashid al-Din (1247–1318), the Mongols killed more than 700,000 people in Merv and more than a million in Nishapur . The total population of Persia may have dropped from 2,500,000 to 250,000 as a result of mass extermination and famine. Population exchanges did also in some cases occur but depends as of when.”

Sources they use

Battutas Travels: Part Three – Persia and Iraq

Archived December 31, 2006, at the Wayback Machine .

Quoting/copying Rummel

“It was not rare for armies to butcher tens of thousands of unarmed men, women, and children in captured towns and the neighboring countryside. In this the Mongol armies have had no peers. I mentioned the 1,747,000 people possibly killed in Nishapur. In 1219 Jinghiz Kahns army captured Bokhara and allegedly murdered 30,000; and another 30,000 people in capturing Samarkand.

In 1221 a Mongol army seized Merv and reportedly took 13 days to slaughter 1,300,000 inhabitants Historians also record that in 1220 the Mongols killed 50,000 in Kazvin after it was captured; 70,000 in Nessa, and a similar number in Sebzevar.

It is written that in 1221, the Mongol Tului slew 700,000 to 1,300,000 people in Meru Chahjan, one of the four main cities of Khorassan in the Northern borderland of Persia. Upon capture the inhabitants were made to evacuate the city, a four-day task. Then they were distributed among the Mongols and massacred. It took 13 days to count corpses. Among those who hid from the massacre, 5,000 were killed by Mongol detachments when they later emerged.

Also, the entire population of Rayy, a city with 3,000 mosques, was slaughtered.

Herat was later captured, but only some 12,000 soldiers and their dependents were killed. However, after the inhabitants later rebelled Jinghiz Khan angrily sent his general Noyan against them. The city was recaptured and it took a whole week to burn it down and murder its estimated 1,600,000 people. Many thousands escaped, but Noyan later sought and killed over 2,000 of them.



Again quoting/copying Rummel

“Then in 1226-33 there was the nearly total extermination–truly a genocide–of the Tanguts and their kingdom of Hsi-Hsia in China (in the province of Kansu). The Tanguts would not supply horses or auxiliaries for Jinghiz Khans war against Khwarizmian. This was insolence that could not be tolerated. After winning the war he then turned with vengeance on the Tanguts. But as the campaign began he was thrown from his horse and seriously injured. Even then he would not stop the campaign, pledging that even "If it means my death I will exterminate them!"21 At his command and with sheer slaughter as its ultimate goal, the Tanguts were defeated in one battle after another and pursued. According to a Mongol Bard, "To escape the Mongol sword, the inhabitants in vain hid in the mountains . . . or, if that were not possible, in caves. Scarcely one or two in a hundred succeeded. The Fields were covered with human bones."


“Total Annihilation/ genocide”

The population of Western Xia was estimated at 3 million

Western Xia – Wikipedia

Around 570,000 of these deaths are accounted for

Mongol conquest of Western Xia – Wikipedia

If we assume their all military and least “genocide” would constitue at least half the population killed we end up with a minimum of 1,215,000 deaths, or if we assume they are all civilians and included with the “genocide” and genocide would entail as much as 90% of the population slaughtered which is what is said to of occurred in Persia we end up with a high end of 2.7 million deaths


I subtracted the 400,000 Khwarazmian soldiers from the 1.25 million deaths for the minimum because the figure includes soldiers and civilians and I’m assuming you only want civilians.

John Man, "Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection", Feb. 6 2007. Page 180.

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Morton Gelt

Morton Gelt , Founder of Decentralized AI Startup (2017-present)


He and his descendents committed genocide everywhere they went from China to Russia to Khwarezm to Baghdad. Later his descendants Timur Leng, Babur and others invaded Greater India, Anatolia. Everywhere they went they terrorize local populace, killing, exterminating, or moving entire people to other places. Genghis and Co were more of a pack of hyenas than people. Their victims are counted in tens of millions, which probably was 20% of world population at the time.


Shatha , A communication & media student, anti-wars/racism

The wars led in his name killed some 40 million people (about 10% of the world’s population at the time)!

While it’s impossible to know for sure how many people perished during the Mongol conquests, many historians put the number at somewhere around 40 million.

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Gerry Haines

Gerry Haines , worked at Private and Public Sector, Lifeguard, Supervisor, Duty Manager

The answer would literally run into the millions.

It was a part of Mongol policy to massacre almost everyone in a city that resisted – leaving a handful to flee telling others what happened. It was terrorism to scare the next place into submission. His  empire stretched right across Asia from the pacific ocean , through china to the shores of the Caspian Sea. he fought battles and sieges galore. a lot of cites simply disappeared off the map after he came past.

Aahwan Singh Chauhan

Aahwan Singh Chauhan , Read several books on Temujjin

To be frank, most of the answers to the question are wrong completely.

One claim stretching as far as 500 million to her, the world population in 11h and 12th century was less than 500 million so just forget about it.

Also not to mention if you ask demographic experts the population of Central Asia and Jin and Xi Xia and Keivan Rus wasnt that high. And for God’s sake he did not kill everyone of his subjects by any means. Yet we hear stories about is atrocites. The truth is that we only rely on textual sources and legends alone. Both of these are prone to exaggeration.

Actually Temujjin only killed people in wars and revolts. Those who opposed or those whom he felt were not trust worthy were killed off. This is something every monarch did in history. In fact the Europeans produced far more barabaric kings.

Then the question arises why are there so many exaggerations in texts. There are 4 reasons.

1.Exaggerations by writers

In pre modern era people were in a habit of exaggerating numbers. For instance in many wars the victors increased the number of losers to make them appear more glorious. In this case to make Temujjin a barabaric they exaggerate the number of people he killed.


The Yuan dynasty and the Il-khans were settled rulers. So they in order to appeal to their subjects showed how they were better than their ancestors who were cruel and how they are the ideal rulers. In short for Machievellien reasons.

3.Soviet struggle against communalism

The greatest enemy of any nation in the world is communalism. Thus Soviet union decided to wipe out all forms of communalism slowly erasing the legacy of central Asians like Amir Taimur and Chinngis Yuan (his actual spelling).

And finally…

Temujjin was a genius!!!!!

Imagine, if the world thinks that you are a kind hearted ruler who chose to befriend everyone rather than engage in conflicts. Who is an old man of 60 years.

Will anyone befriend you?


But if people think you are a massacrer of civillians and destroyer of cities, they would think twice before challenging you.

Temujjin spreaded rumours about massacres and chaos that never even existed.

This is advNced level state politics 101

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Enkhbilguun Erdenetsogtiin

Enkhbilguun Erdenetsogtiin

I dunno how people coming up these numbers. If talking about numbers, it must be accompanied with at least the source, time range, locations and events.

The numbers I’ve seen so far looked estimation based on Persian and Chinese records (defeated) written dozens to hundreds years after the Mongol empire.

There is a term called Pax Mongolica.


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Did Genghis Khan really kill 1,748,000 people in one hour?


Josh Clark


Genghis Khan (shown seated in this tapestry) is said to have killed 1,748,000 people in a single hour. Did he really? Amazing fact: No. See more pictures of military leaders.

Genghis Khan (shown seated in this tapestry) is said to have killed 1,748,000 people in a single hour. Did he really? Amazing fact: No. See more pictures of military leaders .
MPI/ Getty Images

Now that the Cold War is over, Genghis Khan’s role as the father of Mongolia is once again being celebrated. Under Soviet rule, Mongols couldn’t even utter Khan’s name aloud. Now, however, the Mongolian people can visit the ruler’s recently discovered tomb. So many related products have appeared in recent years that the Mongolian government is considering copyrighting "Genghis Khan" to protect the integrity of Khan’s name.

This resurgence in popularity has also made some people reconsider Genghis Khan. Was he a bloodthirsty heathen, or a fair and just statesman? Although his reign left behind no tangible artifacts — like architecture or art — does Khan’s role as champion of diplomacy, religious tolerance and equal rights for women serve as legacy enough? And what of the incredible bloody legends that surround Genghis Khan?

Perhaps no other historical figure has as much death directly attributed to ­him than Genghis Khan. A quick glance at the many lists of his supposed deeds yields a recurring and s­tartling attribution: Genghis Khan is said to have once killed 1,748,000 people in a single hour.

While Khan inarguably killed his fair share of people, it’s impossible that he — or anyone else — personally ever took as many lives in such a short time . For Khan to have killed that many people in an hour, he would have had to take 29,133 lives per minute.

It’s clear this isn’t possible, but what’s the story behind this amazing, although untrue, legend? And why such an oddly specific number? Find out in the next section.

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Genghis Khan

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Genghis Khan
Military Leader , Warrior
Birth Date
c. 1162
Death Date
c. 1227
Place of Birth
Place of Death
Chinggis Khan
Genghis Khan
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“I am the flail of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.”
“I am the punishment of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.”
“Mother Earth is broad and her rivers and waters are numerous. Make up your camps far apart and each of you rule your own kingdom.”
“I leave you the greatest empire in the world, but your preserving it depends upon your remaining always united. If discord steals in among you all will most assuredly be lost.”
“Every man has his use, even if only to gather dried cow dung in the Gobi for fuel.”
“How can one withdraw? Even if we die, let us challenge their boasts. Eternal Heaven, you be the judge!”
“[A leader] can never be happy until his people are happy.”
“The greatest joy a man can know is to conquer his enemies and drive them before him.”
“If you insult the mother who gave you your life from her heart, if you cause her love for you to freeze up, even if you apologize to her later, the damage is done.”
“Without the vision of a goal, a man cannot manage his own life, much less the lives of others.”
“People conquered on different sides of the lake should be ruled on different sides of the lake.”
—Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan Biography

Military Leader, Warrior (c. 1162–c. 1227)
Mongolian warrior and ruler Genghis Khan created the largest empire in the world, the Mongol Empire, by destroying individual tribes in Northeast Asia.


Genghis Khan was born "Temujin" in Mongolia around 1162. He married at age 16, but had many wives during his lifetime. At 20, he began building a large army with the intent to destroy individual tribes in Northeast Asia and unite them under his rule. He was successful; the Mongol Empire was the largest empire in the world before the British Empire, and lasted well after his own death in 1227.

Early Life

Born in north central Mongolia around 1162, Genghis Khan was originally named "Temujin" after a Tatar chieftain that his father, Yesukhei, had captured. Young Temujin was a member of the Borjigin tribe and a descendant of Khabul Khan, who briefly united Mongols against the Jin (Chin) Dynasty of northern China in the early 1100s. According to the "Secret History of the Mongols" (a contemporary account of Mongol history), Temujin was born with a blood clot in his hand, a sign in Mongol folklore that he was destined to become a leader. His mother, Hoelun, taught him the grim reality of living in turbulent Mongol tribal society and the need for alliances.

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When Temujin was 9, his father took him to live with the family of his future bride, Borte. On the return trip home, Yesukhei encountered members of the rival Tatar tribe, who invited him to a conciliatory meal, where he was poisoned for past transgressions against the Tatars. Upon hearing of his father's death, Temujin returned home to claim his position as clan chief. However, the clan refused to recognize the young boy's leadership and ostracized his family of younger brothers and half-brothers to near-refugee status. The pressure on the family was great, and in a dispute over the spoils of a hunting expedition, Temujin quarreled with and killed his half-brother, Bekhter, confirming his position as head of the family.

At 16, Temujin married Borte, cementing the alliance between the Konkirat tribe and his own. Soon after, Borte was kidnapped by the rival Merkit tribe and given to a chieftain as a wife. Temujin was able to rescue her, and soon after, she gave birth to her first son, Jochi. Though Borte's captivity with the Konkirat tribe cast doubt on Jochi's birth, Temujin accepted him as his own. With Borte, Temujin had four sons and many other children with other wives, as was Mongolian custom. However, only his male children with Borte qualified for succession in the family.

The 'Universal Ruler'

When Temujin was about 20, he was captured in a raid by former family allies, the Taichi'uts, and temporarily enslaved. He escaped with the help of a sympathetic captor, and joined his brothers and several other clansmen to form a fighting unit. Temujin began his slow ascent to power by building a large army of more than 20,000 men. He set out to destroy traditional divisions among the various tribes and unite the Mongols under his rule.

Through a combination of outstanding military tactics and merciless brutality, Temujin avenged his father's murder by decimating the Tatar army, and ordered the killing of every Tatar male who was more than approximately 3 feet tall (taller than the linchpin, or axle pin, of a wagon wheel). Temujin's Mongols then defeated the Taichi'ut using a series of massive cavalry attacks, including having all of the Taichi'ut chiefs boiled alive. By 1206, Temujin had also defeated the powerful Naiman tribe, thus giving him control of central and eastern Mongolia.

The early success of the Mongol army owed much to the brilliant military tactics of Genghis Khan, as well as his understanding of his enemies' motivations. He employed an extensive spy network and was quick to adopt new technologies from his enemies. The well-trained Mongol army of 80,000 fighters coordinated their advance with a sophisticated signaling system of smoke and burning torches. Large drums sounded commands to charge, and further orders were conveyed with flag signals. Every soldier was fully equipped with a bow, arrows, a shield, a dagger and a lasso. He also carried large saddlebags for food, tools and spare clothes. The saddlebag was waterproof and could be inflated to serve as a life preserver when crossing deep and swift-moving rivers. Cavalrymen carried a small sword, javelins, body armor, a battle-ax or mace, and a lance with a hook to pull enemies off of their horses. The Mongols were devastating in their attacks. Because they could maneuver a galloping horse using only their legs, their hands were free to shoot arrows. The entire army was followed by a well-organized supply system of oxcarts carrying food for soldiers and beasts alike, as well as military equipment, shamans for spiritual and medical aid, and officials to catalog the booty.

Following the victories over the rival Mongol tribes, other tribal leaders agreed to peace and bestowed on Temujin the title of "Genghis Khan," which means "universal ruler." The title carried not only political importance, but also spiritual significance. The leading shaman declared Genghis Khan the representative of Mongke Koko Tengri (the "Eternal Blue Sky"), the supreme god of the Mongols. With this declaration of divine status, it was accepted that his destiny was to rule the world. Religious tolerance was practiced in the Mongol Empire, but to defy the Great Khan was equal to defying the will of God. It was with such religious fervor that Genghis Khan is supposed to have said to one of his enemies, "I am the flail of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."

Major Conquests

Genghis Khan wasted no time in capitalizing on his divine stature. While spiritual inspiration motivated his armies, the Mongols were probably driven as much by environmental circumstances. Food and resources were becoming scarce as the population grew. In 1207, he led his armies against the kingdom of Xi Xia and, after two years, forced it to surrender. In 1211, Genghis Khan's armies struck the Jin Dynasty in northern China, lured not by the great cities' artistic and scientific wonders, but rather the seemingly endless rice fields and easy pickings of wealth.

Although the campaign against the Jin Dynasty lasted nearly 20 years, Genghis Khan's armies were also active in the west against border empires and the Muslim world. Initially, Genghis Khan used diplomacy to establish trade relations with the Khwarizm Dynasty, a Turkish-dominated empire that included Turkestan, Persia, and Afghanistan. But the Mongol diplomatic mission was attacked by the governor of Otrar, who possibly believed the caravan was a cover for a spy mission. When Genghis Khan heard of this affront, he demanded the governor be extradited to him and sent a diplomat to retrieve him. Shah Muhammad, the leader of the Khwarizm Dynasty, not only refused the demand, but in defiance sent back the head of the Mongol diplomat.

This act released a fury that would sweep through central Asia and into eastern Europe. In 1219, Genghis Khan personally took control of planning and executing a three-prong attack of 200,000 Mongol soldiers against the Khwarizm Dynasty. The Mongols swept through every city's fortifications with unstoppable savagery. Those who weren't immediately slaughtered were driven in front of the Mongol army, serving as human shields when the Mongols took the next city. No living thing was spared, including small domestic animals and livestock. Skulls of men, women, and children were piled in large, pyramidal mounds. City after city was brought to its knees, and eventually the Shah Muhammad and later his son were captured and killed, bringing an end to the Khwarizm Dynasty in 1221.

Scholars describe the period after the Khwarizm campaign as the Pax Mongolica. In time, the conquests of Genghis Khan connected the major trade centers of China and Europe. The empire was governed by a legal code known as Yassa. Developed by Genghis Khan, the code was based on Mongol common law but contained edicts that prohibited blood feuds, adultery, theft and bearing false witness. Also included were laws that reflected Mongol respect for the environment such as forbidding bathing in rivers and streams and orders for any soldier following another to pick up anything that the first soldier dropped. Infraction of any of these laws was usually punishable by death. Advancement within military and government ranks was not based on traditional lines of heredity or ethnicity, but on merit. There were tax exemptions for religious and some professional leaders, as well as a degree of religious tolerance that reflected the long-held Mongol tradition of religion as a personal conviction not subject to law or interference. This tradition had practical applications as there were so many different religious groups in the empire, it would have been an extra burden to force a single religion on them.

With the annihilation of the Khwarizm Dynasty, Genghis Khan once again turned his attention east to China. The Tanguts of Xi Xia had defied his orders to contribute troops to the Khwarizm campaign and were in open revolt. In a string of victories against Tangut cities, Genghis Khan defeated enemy armies and sacked the capital of Ning Hia. Soon one Tangut official surrendered after another, and the resistance ended. Genghis Khan hadn't quite extracted all the revenge he wanted for the Tangut betrayal, however, and ordered the execution of the imperial family, thus ending the Tangut lineage.

Genghis Khan's Death

Genghis Khan died in 1227, soon after the submission of the Xi Xia. The exact cause of his death is unknown. Some historians maintain that he fell off a horse while on a hunt, and died of fatigue and injuries. Others contend that he died of respiratory disease. Genghis Khan was buried without markings, according to the customs of his tribe, somewhere near his birthplace—close to the Onon River and the Khentii Mountains in northern Mongolia. According to legend, the funeral escort killed anyone and anything they encountered to conceal the location of the burial site, and a river was diverted over Genghis Khan's grave to make it impossible to find.

Before his death, Genghis Khan bestowed supreme leadership to his son Ogedei, who controlled most of eastern Asia, including China. The rest of the empire was divided among his other sons: Chagatai took over central Asia and northern Iran; Tolui, being the youngest, received a small territory near the Mongol homeland; and Jochi (who was killed before Genghis Khan's death). Jochi and his son, Batu, took control of modern Russia and formed the Golden Horde. The empire's expansion continued and reached its peak under Ogedei Khan's leadership. Mongol armies eventually invaded Persia, the Song Dynasty in southern China, and the Balkans. Just when the Mongol armies had reached the gates of Vienna, Austria, leading commander Batu got word of the Great Khan Ogedei's death and was called back to Mongolia. Subsequently, the campaign lost momentum, marking the Mongol's farthest invasion into Europe.

Among the many descendents of Genghis Khan is Kublai Khan, who was the son of Tolui, Genghis Khan's youngest son. At a young age, Kublai had a strong interest in Chinese civilization and, throughout his life, did much to incorporate Chinese customs and culture into Mongol rule. Kublai rose to prominence in 1251, when his eldest brother, Mongke, became Khan of the Mongol Empire and placed him as governor of the southern territories. Kublai distinguished himself by increasing agricultural production and expanding Mongol territory. After Mongke's death, Kublai and his other brother, Arik Boke, fought for control of the empire. After three years of intertribal warfare, Kublai was victorious, and he was made Great Khan and emperor of the Yuan Dynasty of China.


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