File:Cincinato abandona el arado para dictar leyes a Roma, c.1806 de Juan Antonio Ribera.jpg

This is a list of politicians renowned for their honesty, integrity and probity.

  • Marcus Aurelius — last of the Five Good Emperors, "he gave proof of his learning not by mere words or knowledge of philosophical doctrines but by his blameless character and temperate way of life."[1]
  • Rómulo Betancourt — the first Venezuelan leader to hand over power to a constitutional, democratic successor. "If moral authority and high principles counted, Rómulo Betancourt loomed as a titan in the history of Venezuela."[2]
  • Cincinnatus — the Roman senator who accepted life as a farmer after his family fortune was lost. He was twice summoned to become dictator of Rome and defeated its enemies but relinquished the office immediately once his duty was done. He was seen as a model for politicians of the United States and the city of Cincinnati is named after him.[3]
  • Gandhi — Indian politician who helped achieve independence with non-violent resistance.
  • Václav Havel — last president of Czechoslovakia and the first of its successor, the Czech Republic. He was renowned for his moral principle of "living in truth".[2]
  • Abraham Lincoln — The 16th President of the United States, Lincoln was sometimes referred to as "Honest Abe."[4]
  • Ernest Vandiver — reforming Governor of Georgia from 1959 to 1963. Justice Joseph Quillian praised his integrity and fairness, "He is a person who has never learned to lie."[5]
  • George Washington — one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was compared with Cincinnatus when he resigned his commission as commander-in-chief after the independence of the United States was recognised.[6] King George III called him "the greatest character of the age".[7] The famous story of the cherry tree and "I cannot tell a lie" is thought to be apocryphal.

See alsoEdit


  1. Herodian translated by Edward Echols, Ab Excessu Divi Marci 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Thomas M. Magstadt (2008), "Politics by Civil Means", Understanding Politics: Ideas, Institutions, and Issues, Cengage Learning, pp. 391-472, ISBN 9780495503309 
  3. W. Burlie Brown (1957), "The Cincinnatus Image in Presidential Politics", Agricultural History 31 (1): 23-29, 
  4. Thornton, Brian (2011). Honest Abe: 101 Little-Known Truths about Abraham Lincoln. Adams Media. p. 8, 231. ISBN 1440512310. Retrieved February 2013. 
  5. James F. Cook (2005), The Governors Of Georgia: 1754-2004, Mercer University Press, pp. 279-286, ISBN 9780865549548 
  6. Thomas Nelson Winter (1975), "Cincinnatus and the Disbanding of Washington's Army", The Classical Bulletin 51 (6), 
  7. Albert Marrin (2003), George Washington & the Founding of a Nation, Penguin Group USA, p. 244, ISBN 9780525470687 

Further readingEdit