Pharaohs usually succeed to the throne through royal birth. But there were some accounts where military commanders, such as, Horemheb came to the power. Generally, the rulers of the Egypt were men but there were some accounts of few women to be made pharaoh. The most famous of them was Queen Cleopatra VII, who ruled Egypt in 51 B.C.
Here are the brief accounts of some famous pharaohs who ruled Egypt with utmost zeal.
Khufu (reigned 2589 - 2566 B.C):
Khufu was the second pharaoh of the fourth dynasty. He was the one who was famous for building the Great Step Pyramid or in other word, the Great Pyramid of Giza. This is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Khafra (reigned 2558 - 2532 B.C.):
He was the pharaoh of Egypt in the fourth dynasty. According to the historian and Egyptologist he was the son and successor of Khufu. Khafra was famous in Egyptian history for building the Second Pyramid at Giza and the Sphinx that guards it.
Amenhotep I (reigned 1525-1504 B.C.):
Amenhotep I was the second pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt. He inherited the throne from his father through military conquest and kept his dominance over Nubia and Nile Delta. Both he and his mother were credited for opening a worker village at Deir el-Medina.
Hatshepsut (reigned 1498-1483 B.C.):
She was the fifth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. According to the Egyptologist and the historians, she was one of the most successful pharaohs. She reigned longer than any other women of the Egyptian dynasty. On death of her husband she was appointed as the ruler of Egypt, until her stepson Thutmose III was old enough to take the charge. But she was very ambitious and had crowned herself as the pharaoh of the Egypt. The walls of her temple at Deir el-Bahri, show the exotic tips of her famous trading expeditions in the land of Punt.
Thutmose III (reigned 1479-1425 B.C.):
He was the sixth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. He ruled the Egypt along with his step mother Hathepsut. He also served as the head of his stepmother army, and was very famous for his valor and as a brave warrior king. Unconcerned about his own safety he marched in to the battle and won the famous battle of Megiddo and then later al Kadesh.
Tutankhamun (reigned 1334-1325 B.C.):
He was the youngest pharaoh in the Egyptian history. He ascended to the throne at an age of nine or ten and died at an age of 18. Tutankhamun was famous for his tomb in the Valley of the Kings, which was laden with many amazing treasures.
Akhenaten (reigned 1379-1334 B.C.):
He was the pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, and was famous in history for religious revolution. Egyptian believed in many gods, but when Akhenaten came into power he introduced the worship of one god that is the Sun God Aten. He built many massive complexes in honor of the Sun God Aten. The style of art which flourished during this period was certainly different from the other Egyptian arts.
Ramses II (reigned 1279-1212 B.C.):
He was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the 19th dynasty. He was also regarded as the most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian empire. He built many pretty temples and defeated the Hittites at the battle of Kadesh in 1274 B.C. Among many other queens his chief queen, Nefertari, was beautiful. Carvings of this beautiful queen can be seen on the Ramsses II's temple at Abu Simbel. He lived a long life, and died at an age of 92. His successors often referred him as the "Great Ancestor".