The Father of the Nation is an honorific title given to a man considered the driving force behind the establishment of his country, state, or nation. Pater Patriae (plural Patres Patriae), also seen as Parens Patriae, was a Roman honorific meaning the "Father of the Fatherland", bestowed by the Senate on heroes, and later on emperors. In monarchies, the monarch was often considered the "father/mother of the nation" or as a patriarch to guide his family. This concept is expressed in the Divine Right espoused in some monarchies, while in others it is codified into constitutional law as in Spain, where the monarch is considered the personification and embodiment, the symbol of the unity and permanence of the nation. In Thailand, the monarch is given the same recognition, and demonstrated loyalty is enforced with severe criminal statutes.
Many dictators bestow titles upon themselves, which rarely survive the end of their regime. Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo's titles included "father of the nation", "older brother", and "Guide of the People". Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire's included "Father of the nation", "the Guide", "the Messiah", "dajsh, "the Leopard", "the Sun-President", and "the Cock who Jumps on Anything That Moves". In postcolonial Africa, "father of the nation" was a title used by many leaders both to refer to their role in the independence movement as a source of legitimacy, and to use paternalist symbolism as a source of continued popularity. On Joseph Stalin's seventieth birthday in 1949, he was bestowed with the title "Father of Nations" for his establishment of "people's democracies" in countries occupied by the USSR after World War II.
The title "Father of the Nation" is sometimes politically contested. The 1972 Constitution of Bangladesh declared Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to be "father of the nation". The BNP government removed this in 2004, to the protests of the oppostition Awami League, led by Rahman's daughter Sheikh Hasina. A motion in the Parliament of Slovakia to proclaim controversial pre-war leader Andrej Hlinka "father of the nation" nearly passed in September 2007.
The following people are still often called the "Father" of their respective nations. Highlighted names indicate people who are still living.
|Name||Nation||Title (native)||Title (translation)||Notes|
|Ahmad Shah Durrani||Afghanistan||Ahmad Shah Baba||Father of the Nation||Founder of the Afghan Durrani Empire.|
|Skanderbeg||Albania||Ati i Kombit||Father of the Nation|
|José de San Martín||Argentina /
|Padre de la Patria /
Fundador de la República y Protector del Perú
|Father of the Fatherland /
Founder of the Republic and Protector of Peru
|Primary leader of the southern part of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain (b. 1778 – d. 1850).|
|Sir Henry Parkes, GCMG||Australia||Father of Federation||Premier of New South Wales.|
|Sir Lynden Pindling||The Bahamas||Father of the Nation||Leader at independence in 1973.|
|Sheikh Mujibur Rahman||Bangladesh||Jatir Janak (জাতির জনক)
|Father of the Nation
Friend of Bengal
|Founder of Bangladesh.|
|George Cadle Price||Belize||Father of the Nation||Former Chief Minister, Premier and two-term Prime Minister before retiring in 1997.|
|Libertador||Liberator||Primary leader of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain.|
|Dom Pedro I and José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva||Brazil||Pai da Nação e Patriarca da Independência||Father of the Nation and Patriarch of Independence||Founder and the first Emperor of Brazil (1822). Bonifácio was the advisor of Pedro I.|
|Omar Ali Saifuddien III||Brunei||Architect of Modern Brunei||Builder of the Modern Nation and Father of Independence||28th Sultan of Brunei and First Minister of Defence (b. 1914 – d. 1986).|
|Sir John A. Macdonald||Canada||Prime Minister of Canada||Founding Father||First prime minister of Canada, from 1867–1873 and 1878–1891.|
|Bernardo O'Higgins||Chile||Padre de la patria||Father of the fatherland||Primary leader of Chile's successful struggle for independence from Spain.|
|Sun Yat-sen||China (Republic of)||simplified Chinese: 国父; traditional Chinese: 國父 (Guófù)||Father of the Nation||Sun played an instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the Xinhai Revolution. The Nationalist government decreed the title in 1940. Sun is more widely known in mainland China as the "Forerunner of the Democratic Revolution".|
|José María Castro Madriz||Costa Rica||Fundador de la República||Founder of the Republic||First President of the Republic of Costa Rica.|
|Ante Starčević||Croatia||Otac domovine||Father of the Homeland||His diverse activities and works laid the foundations for the modern Croatian state.|
|Carlos Manuel de Céspedes||Cuba||Padre de la Patria||Father of the Fatherland||Leader of the first Cuban independence movement which fought the Ten Years' War.|
|Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor||Czech Republic||Otec vlasti||Father of the Homeland||King of Bohemia. Title coined by the rector of the Charles University of Prague at the emperor's funeral.|
|František Palacký||Czech Republic||Otec národa||Father of the Nation||Politician and historian. Whereas vlast "homeland" included all inhabitants, národ "nation" comprised only Czech people.|
|Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk||Czech Republic||Tatíček /
|Father of the Fatherland / President Liberator||First President of Czechoslovakia.|
|Juan Pablo Duarte||Dominican Republic||Padre de la patria||Father of the Fatherland||Defeated Haiti during war of independence.|
|Kwame Nkrumah||Ghana||Father of the nation||First president and prime minister of Ghana, the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve full independence.|
|Alexander the Great||Greece||Ο Πατέρας των Ελλήνων||Father of the Greeks||Founder of the Macedonian Empire responsible for spreading Greek culture during the Hellenistic period.|
|Cheddi Jagan||Guyana||Father of the Nation||President of Guyana from 1992–1997.|
|Jean-Jacques Dessalines||Haiti||Père de la patrie||Father of the Fatherland||Primary leader of Haiti's successful struggle for independence from France.|
|Árpád||Hungary||Honalapító||Founder of the Homeland||Second Grand Prince of the Hungarians, leader of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian basin.|
|Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi||India||Bapu||Father of the Nation (not an official declaration) ||Also called Mahatma, "Great Soul".
This title was not an official title and has no records in the National Archives of India. Indian constitution (Art. 18) prohibits the State from conferring any titles.
|Sukarno||Indonesia||Bapak Bangsa/Pemimpin Besar Revolusi Indonesia/Proklamator||Father of the Nation/Great Leader of Indonesian Revolution/The Proclamator||First President of Indonesia.|
|Cyrus the Great||Iran (Persia)||Shahanshah||Father of the Nation||First Shah of Persian Empire.|
|Abraham||Israel||אברהם אבינו||Our Father Abraham||In Israel and the Jewish tradition, Abraham is called our father Abraham (אברהם אבינו), signifying that he is both the biological progenitor of the Jews, and the father of Judaism, the first Jew.|
|Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia||Italy||Padre della Patria||Father of the Fatherland||First king of a united Italy since the 6th century.|
|Alikhan Bukeikhanov||Kazakhstan||Prime Minister of the Alash Autonomy||Leader and founder of the Alash Orda national liberation movement.|
|Dinmukhamed Kunayev||Kazakhstan||Leader of the Kazakh SSR||First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan.|
|Jomo Kenyatta||Kenya||Baba wa Taifa||Father of the Nation/Freedom Fighter||First President of Kenya from 1963 to his death in 1978 who helped create the Kenyan Constitution.|
|Ibrahim Rugova||Kosovo||Baba i Kombit||Father of the Nation||First President of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).|
|Jonas Basanavičius||Lithuania||Tautos patriarchas||Patriarch of the Nation||Various cultural activities during the Lithuanian National Revival.|
|Krste Misirkov||Macedonia||Татко на нацијата||Father of the Nation||Prominent linguist, writer and activist.|
|Tunku Abdul Rahman||Malaysia||Bapa Kemerdekaan||Father of Independence||The first Prime Minister of Malaysia. A prince from the Kedah Sultanate, the Cambridge-educated Tunku led the negotiated independence of Federation of Malaya from the British in 1957. Later formed Malaysia through the union of Peninsular Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak in 1963.|
|Giorgio Borg Olivier||Malta||Missier Malta Indipendenti||Father of Independent Malta||A Maltese statesman and leading politician. He twice served as Prime Minister of Malta (from 1950–55, and from 1962–71) as the Leader of the Nationalist Party. In 1964, with him as Prime Minister, Malta gained independence from Britain.|
|Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam||Mauritius||Father of the Nation||First post-independence Prime Minister, in 1968.|
|Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla||Mexico||Padre de la patria mexicana||Father of the Mexican Nation||First revolutionary leader in the Mexican War of Independence.|
|Aung San||Myanmar||Father of Nations, Father of Independence Father of Tatmadaw||5th Prime Minister of Burma in British Era from 1946 to 1947||Assassinated on 19 July 1947, before the independence of Burma.|
|Sam Nujoma||Namibia||Founding Father of the Namibian Nation||First President of Namibia, 1990–2005; title conferred by Act of Parliament in 2005.|
|King Tribhuwan||Nepal||Shree Paanch Maharajadhiraj (श्री ५ महाराजाधिराज त्रिभुवन वीर विक्रम शाहदेव)||Father of the Nation||Abolished Rana oligarchy from power, which had reduced the Shah monarch to a figurehead and making Prime Minister and other government positions hereditary.|
|William the Silent||Netherlands||Vader des Vaderlands||Father of the Fatherland||Leader of the successful Dutch Revolt against Spain, which led to the Dutch Republic, the first independent Dutch state.|
|Nnamdi Azikiwe||Nigeria||First president of Nigeria, the last governor general of Nigeria.|
|Einar Gerhardsen||Norway||Landsfaderen||Father of the Nation||First post–World War II prime minister of Norway.|
|Mohammad Ali Jinnah||Pakistan||Quaid-e-Azam & Baba-e-Quam||Father of the Nation/Great Leader||Founder of Pakistan, leader of the Muslim League and first Governor-General of Pakistan.|
|Sir Michael Somare||Papua New Guinea||Father of the Nation||Leader at independence in 1975; also known as "the chief" and "the old man".|
|Emilio Aguinaldo||Philippines||Kauna-unahang Pangulo ng Pilipinas||First President of the Philippines||Leader of the latter part of the Philippine Revolution and first President of the Philippines through the 1899 Malolos Congress, which oversaw the promulgation of the Malolos Constitution.|
|Andrés Bonifacio||Philippines||Amá ng Himagsikan||Father of the Revolution||De facto President and leader of the Philippine Revolution, which saw armed resistance against the Spanish Empire. His birthday, November 30, 1863, is a national holiday.|
|José Rizal||Philippines||Pambansáng Bayani||National Hero||Colloquially known as the "National Hero". Rizal's works and writings–which helped start the Philippine Revolution–are part of the national curriculum as mandated by Republic Act No. 1425. The anniversary of his December 30, 1896 execution by the Spanish colonial government is a national holiday.|
|D. Afonso Henriques||Portugal||Fundador da Nação||Father of the Nation
a.k.a. The Conqueror
|Founder and 1st. King of Portugal (1139), recognized by the Holy See in 1179.|
|Peter I of Russia||Russia||Отец Отечества (Otets Otechestva)||Father of the Fatherland||Was granted the title in 1721 by the Governing Senate, along with "Emperor of Russia" and "The Great".|
|El-Ouali Mustapha Sayed||Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic||Father of the Nation||Leader of the Polisario Front, First President of the SADR. Fought against Spanish colonial army & against the invasion of the Moroccan & Mauritanian armies.|
|Sir John Compton||Saint Lucia||Father of the Nation||Prime Minister at independence in 1979. Also known as "Daddy Compton".|
|Saint Marinus||San Marino||Founder of a chapel and monastery in central Italy, in 301 (traditional date: September 3). From this initial community the state of San Marino later grew.|
|Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia||والد الأمة (Waalid Al Ummah)/ المؤسس (Al-Moa'sis)||Father of the Nation/ The Founder||Unified the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula and established the modern Saudi state. He established the House of Saud, the dynasty which rules the country. His son King Salman is the current head of state of Saudi Arabia. Five other older sons – Saud, Faisal, Khalid, Fahd and Abdullah – served as former heads of state.|
|Saint Sava||Serbia||Отац отаџбине||Father of the Fatherland||Founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church.|
|Karađorđe and Miloš Obrenović||Serbia||Отац отаџбине ||Father of the Fatherland||Leaders of the First and Second Serbian Uprising.|
|Lee Kuan Yew||Singapore||Father of Singapore||First Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for over 30 years. Leading figure throughout Singapore's time as a part of Malaysia and its later independence.|
|Andrej Hlinka (disputed)||Slovakia||Otec národa||Father of the Nation||Catholic priest, fighter for Slovak autonomy and leader of controversial Slovak People's Party.|
|Primož Trubar||Slovenia||Oče naroda||Father of the Nation||A consolidator of the Slovene language and the author of the first Slovene printed book.|
|Mohammed Abdullah Hassan||Somalia||Father of the fatherland||Leader of the first Somali independence movement against the Kingdom of Italy and Great Britain.|
|Nelson Mandela||South Africa||Tata wethu||Father of the Nation||First President of post-apartheid South Africa.|
|Jan van Riebeeck||South Africa||Father of the Nation||Founder of Cape Town, first European settlement in South Africa.|
|Catholic Monarchs||Spain||Reyes Católicos de los reinos de Castilla y Aragón||Catholic Monarchs of the Kingdoms of Castille and Aragon||The unifiers of Spain. They unified the territories of Castille, Aragon and Al-Andalus, all the territories of the Iberian Peninsula, except Portugal. During their reign America was discovered and started the Spanish Empire.|
|Don Stephen Senanayake||Sri Lanka||ජාතියේ පියා (Jathiyay Piya)||Father of the Nation||First Prime Minister, from 1947 to 1952.|
|Johan Ferrier||Suriname||Vader des Vaderlands||Father of the Nation||First president after the independence of the country in 1975 (the term Vader des Vaderlands has its roots in the Netherlands).|
|Gustav I of Sweden||Sweden||Nationalhjälte||National hero||Broke Sweden from Danish rule under Christian II.|
|Julius Nyerere||Tanzania||Baba wa Taifa||Father of the Nation||First President of Tanzania.|
|Bhadase Sagan Maraj||Trinidad and Tobago||Father of the Nation (not an official declaration)||Founded the People's Democratic Party, and later merged it into the Democratic Labour Party, was the President-General of All Trinidad Sugar Estates and Factory Workers Union, and founded the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha.|
|Eric Williams||Trinidad and Tobago||Father of the Nation||Founder of the People's National Movement, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, first Premier of Trinidad and Tobago, second Chief Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.|
|Mustafa Kemal Atatürk||Turkey||Atatürk||Father of the Turks||Founder of the Republic of Turkey and first President of Turkey. He led the Turkish national movement in the Turkish War of Independence, and enacted the reforms that made Turkey a democratic nation-state. Granted in accordance with the 1934 Surname Law establishing surnames in Turkey.|
|Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan||United Arab Emirates||والد الأمة (Waalid Al Ummah)||Father of the Nation||President of the UAE for its first 33 years (1971–2004).|
|George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin and other Signers and Framers||United States||Founding Fathers||The Signers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The Framers were delegates to the Constitutional Convention and took part in framing or drafting the proposed United States Constitution.|
|George Washington||United States||Father of his country||George Washington is particularly highlighted out of the Founding Fathers of the United States as being the "father of his country" for his role as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and for his tenure (and voluntary retirement) as the first President of the United States.|
|José Gervasio Artigas||Uruguay||Padre de la independencia uruguaya||Father of Uruguayan independence||Fought against British, Spanish, and Portuguese colonial armies in Río de la Plata.|
|Ho Chi Minh||Vietnam||Cha già dân tộc||Old Father of the Nation||Hồ Chí Minh was and is very popular among the Vietnamese people and is often called "Old Father of the Nation" by Vietnamese, because he spent much of his life trying to get the French colonial powers that controlled Vietnam to leave the country. Ho Chi Minh City is named after him in honor of his efforts for the liberation of the country. He declared Vietnam's independence from France on September 2, 1945 under the new name of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He was the founder of the Communist Party of Vietnam. He fought against American forces During The Vietnam War.|
it has been well documented that Sir Lynden Pindling was the leader of the political movement that led to the attainment of majority rule on January 10, 1967, and that he is recognized as the Father of the Nation — the man who was the country's leader when The Bahamas obtained its independence from Great Britain on July 10, 1973.
Rt. Honourable George Cadle Price, "Father of the Nation" of Belize
Even Prime Minister Dean Barrow calls George Price the father of the nation[permanent dead link]
Cuba commemorates this Sunday the beginning of its wars of independence, the 10 of October of 1868, when the insigne patriotic Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, considered the Father of the Motherland, gave the freedom to his slaves to begin the fight by the liberation of the Nation.
Known as the "Father of the Nation", Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam has throughout his political career from 1940 to 1982 been closely associated with the significant emancipation of the people of Mauritius and has led the struggle for Independence.
Miguel Hidalgo, considerado el "padre de la patria" mexicana
Today the nation marks the 60th Death anniversary of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, known as Quaid-e-Azam, meaning "Great Leader" and Baba-e-Qaum meaning Father of the Nation.[permanent dead link]
Отац Отаџбине Св. Сава је надахнуо Немањи- ну државу идеалима хришћанског патриотизма и створио слободну цркву у слободној држави. Држа- ва је Отечество - земља мојих ота- ца. Држава не сме да буде импери- ја, јер где ...
ОТАЦ ОТАЏБИНЕ - КАРАЂОРЂЕ ПЕТРОВИЋ
да се на престо српски поврати њен ослободилац и оснивалац: Отац Отаџбине, Милош Обреновић Велики,
His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, a man affectionately known as 'The Father of The Nation' for his work as an architect of the UAE Federation.
He was frequently referred to as the father of the nation.
1764: Nace en Montevideo (Uruguay) José Gervasio Artigas, iniciador rioplatense del federalismo y padre de la independencia uruguaya. Falleció cerca de Asunción el 23 de septiembre de 1850.
José Gervasio Artigas, who doggedly led his guerrilla bands against the Spanish armies and raised the flag of a free Uruguay, is affectionately remembered by his fellow countrymen as "the father of Uruguayan independence.