孙中山 (Sūn Zhōngshān), also known by his Cantonese name Sun Yat-sen, is widely recognized to be the Founding Father of Modern China. He was a central instigator of the Xīnhaì Revolution which led to the abdication of the last emperor of the Qīng Dynasty in 1912.
A doctor-turned-revolutionary, his philosophy rested on the principles of nationalism, democracy, and social welfare. After the revolution, Sūn Zhōngshān was named Provisional President of the new republic, but before he could carry out his many modernization plans for China, the warlord Yuán Shìkăi took power, starting what is known as the Warlord Era.
Sūn Zhōngshān continued his work for a Chinese republic as the founder of the Guómíndăng, the Nationalist Party, which was later led by Chiang Kai-Shek and fought the Communists during the Civil War.
Sūn Zhōngshān is still regarded as a hero of the people for his revolutionary work, and on National Day, the Chinese Communist Party honors him by displaying his portrait on Tiānānmén Square.
A rarity: A historical character that most people like. Wikimedia Commons