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 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.