The personality of political leaders matters for their electoral success and performance once in office. Yet, we still know too little about the personality profiles of leaders worldwide. In this article, we focus on the profile of a particular type of leader, central to contemporary warnings about 'democratic backsliding': strongmen. Who are they? Much has been written about their behaviour and policies, but little attention has been granted to their personality profile. As we argue in this article, looking at their personality is a potentially important new avenue to understand the rise and success of strongmen worldwide. We compare the profile of 157 leaders having competed in 81 elections worldwide between June 2016 and July 2019 - including 14 leaders with autocratic tendencies (Putin, Trump, Bolsonaro, Erdoan, Orban, Duterte, Netanyahu and several others). Using the ratings provided by 1800+ scholars we show that autocrats score significantly lower on agreeableness and emotional stability, and (marginally) higher on extraversion. Autocrats also score significantly higher than non-autocrats on the Dark Triad (narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism), even when compared to right-wing non-autocrats. These results have important implications for the study of democratic deconsolidation, authoritarianism, and the personality of elected officials.