A few years back, I was curious to see if my being born under the sign of Taurus (April 20 - May 20) meant anything, and so I started researching famous Taureans to look up any consistency in personality traits, vocations or whatever. To my surprise, I discovered that many of the world's biggest tyrants were all born under Taurus. (The rest were either Capricorn or Leo. I'm not joking. These three signs make up the majority of the worst dictators in history.) Is it just coincidence? You decide.
- Pol Pot (born May 19, 1925). Communist who took over Cambodia in 1976 and instituted a policy of torture and murder which resulted in the deaths of over a million Cambodians.
- Ayatollah Khomeini (born May 17, 1900). Led a revolution which converted Iran from a secular monarchy to a theocracy led by Muslim fundamentalists. Waged war on Iraq and started that whole "Islam vs. America" thing.
- Saddam Hussein (born April 28, 1937). Dictator of Iraq; former enemy of Khomeini, frequent enemy of the US. No weapons of mass destruction, but plenty of dead Iraqis during his reign.
- Adolf Hitler (born April 20, 1889). This man needs no introduction, but there is some disagreement as to whether Hitler was a Taurus or an Aries, as some horoscopes have Taurus commencing on April 21. Majority rules, though, so I'm going with April 20.
- Catherine the Great (born May 2, 1729). Though revered by Russians for making St. Petersburg a world-class city, Catherine came to power thanks to a military coup against her own husband, who was soon murdered. She waged two wars against the Ottoman empire, conquering lands and having countless innocents killed in the name of Russian expansion. Such expansion would not be seen again until the Soviet Revolution.
- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (born April 22, 1870). Speaking of Soviets... Lenin believed in violence to achieve his ends, and after a bloody revolution, he led an even bloodier civil war against Russian reactionaries who didn't care to become Marxists. (Karl Marx was a Taurus, too.) Just as he started to realize that his beliefs were too harsh for a nation suffering from famine, Lenin was incapacitated by a number of strokes, and the irrefutably nasty Stalin (a Capricorn) succeeded him, against his wishes.
- Oliver Cromwell (born April 25, 1599) Power-mad military strategist and "Lord Protector of England" who invaded Scotland, Ireland, and France in the most brutal conquest in English history, organized massacres left and right, and almost became King after bringing his old boss Charles I to trial and execution.
- Ho Chi Minh (born May 19, 1890) Vietnamese Communist leader who invaded South Vietnam in order to force it to unite with newly-Communist North Vietnam - which involved fighting the French, the Americans, and other partisan nations. He succeeded, of course.
- Niccolo Machiavelli (born May 3, 1469) Though little more than a political brown-noser during his day, Machiavelli gained infamy for his survival guide for despots, The Prince, which set forth the rules of maintaining power through intimidation and unscrupulous cunning. It prefigured the ambitions of not only the eight dictators above, but other famous Taurus megalomaniacs including Jim Jones, Maximilien Robespierre, Lucrezia Borgia, Eva Peron, Marshall Applewhite, Emperor Hirohito, George Lucas, and Barbra Streisand.