How 13 of the World's Worst Dictators Died

Some dictators suffer bloody ends, but many die of old age and natural diseases. Here are a baker's dozen famous modern dictators and their causes of death:

Joseph Stalin, Russia (1878-1953): Stroke

Benito Mussolini, Italy (1883-1945): Summarily executed by communists; body hung upside-down and pummeled with rocks.

Adolf Hitler, Germany (1889-1945): Suicide

Francisco Franco, Spain (1892-1975): Declining health and Parkinson's Disease

Mao Zedong, China (1893-1976): Declining health; possibly Lou Gehrig's Disease

Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, Haiti (1907-1971): Diabetes and heart disease

Kim Il-Sung, North Korea (1912-1994): Heart attack

Augusto Pinochet, Chile (1915-2006): Congestive heart failure and pulmonary edema

Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania (1918-1989): Executed by firing squad after a show trial

Idi Amin, Uganda (1925-2003): Kidney failure

Saddam Hussein, Iraq (1937-2006): Found guilty of crimes against humanity and hanged

Moammar Gaddhafi, Libya (1942-2011): Captured, beaten and killed by rebel fighters

Kim Jong-Il, North Korea (1941 or 1942-2011): Heart attack

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Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.