Fazlur Rahman Khan was a Bangladeshi-American architect and structural engineer. Regarded as the father of tubular designs, Khan is credited with designing several skyscrapers, including the Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center. Thanks to his ingenious use of structural systems, Khan is often referred to as the 20th century's greatest structural engineer and the Einstein of structural engineering.
Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Bangladesh's first president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is the current prime minister of Bangladesh. The Awami League leader was also named to Forbes’s list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women and TIME 100, both in 2018, and is part of the Council of Women World Leaders.
The Rebel Poet of Bengal Kazi Nazrul Islam is remembered for his vast body of literary work, including poems and songs written during the British Raj, mostly laced with socio-political overtones. His songs, known as Nazrul Geeti, are the staple for any Bengali household. He is also Bangladesh’s national poet.
Khaleda Zia is a Bangladeshi politician who has served as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on two occasions; from 1991 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2006. An influential politician, Zia has been serving as the Chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party since 1984. From 1977 to 1981, she served as the First Lady of Bangladesh.
Ziaur Rahman was a Bangladeshi Army officer and politician. He served as the President of Bangladesh from 21 April 1977 to 30 May 1981. He played a major role in the Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971. Ziaur Rahman is also credited with founding the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
Md. Abdul Hamid is a Bangladeshi politician and the current President of Bangladesh. Hamid, who was sworn in as the president in 2013, is the longest serving Bangladeshi president. From 2009 to 2013, he was the speaker of the National Parliament.
Bangladeshi novelist and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed boasted of a PhD in polymer chemistry and had even taught at the University of Dhaka. His mostly depicted the struggle of the middle-class through his works. His films such as Aguner Poroshmoni won him multiple National Film Awards. He died battling colon cancer.
Tahsan Rahman Khan is a Bangladeshi model, actor, singer, composer, and songwriter. He also serves as a professor at BRAC University in Dhaka. He is credited with composing Alo Alo, which has become one of the most famous songs in Bangladesh. A multi-talented personality, Tahsan Rahman Khan has also appeared as a judge at popular events like Miss Universe Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi actor Salman Shah started his career with the film Keyamat Theke Keyamat, a remake of the hit Indian film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. His mysterious death at the early age of 24 was initially suspected to be a murder but was later ruled as a suicide.
Popular Bangladeshi singer Runa Laila began her career as a Pakistani film singer. She later released some of the biggest hits of the Bengali and Hindi music scene, such as Shaadher Lau. The Bangladesh National Film Award winner is also a Guinness record holder for recording 30 songs in 3 days.
Lalon, also known as Lalon Fakir, or Lalon Shah, was an iconic Baul saint, considered a symbol of Bengali culture. Since his poems and songs belonged to the oral tradition, they weren’t published during his lifetime. Eventually, Rabindranath Tagore published about 200 songs from one of Lalon’s manuscripts.
Bangladeshi model and actor Mehazabien Chowdhury soared to fame after winning the reality show Lux Channel I Superstar. She is best known for her role in the series Boro Chele and has won several awards, such as the Meril Prothom Alo Awards. The Chittagong-born actor also has a fashion diploma.
Starting her career with Humayun Ahmed’s Amar Ache Jol, Bidya Sinha Saha Mim later won the Bangladesh National Film Award for her performance in Jonakir Alo. She also worked in Tollywood with Indian filmmaker Raja Chanda. She also won the reality show Lux Channel I Superstar in 2007.
A much-acclaimed veteran Bangladeshi actor, Mosharraf Karim began his career on stage as an eighteen year old boy, before debuting on television and films. Since then, he has been appearing in numerous film and television productions, bagging several best actor awards for his performances.
Bangladeshi actor Chanchal Chowdhury began his acting career with theater, joining the Aranyak Natyadal, though his parents wanted him to be an engineer. The 2-time Bangladesh National Film Award winner has been appreciated for his performances in films such as Moner Manush, Aynabaji, and Monpura.
Born in present-day Bangladesh, Bimal Roy rose to be one of the most legendary filmmakers of India. Known for films such as Do Bigha Zamin, Devdas, and Bandini, he had won 11 Filmfare Awards and 2 National Film Awards. He had future icons such as Gulzar and Hrishikesh Mukherjee as his assistants.
Ayub Bachchu was a Bangladeshi singer, songwriter, guitarist, and composer. A rockstar, Bachchu is credited with founding one of the most popular and successful Bangladeshi bands of all time, Love Runs Blind. A pioneer of Bangladeshi Pop music, Bachchu is also counted among the greatest Bangladeshi singers of all time. In 2017, he received the Tele Cine Lifetime Achievement Award.
Allauddin Khan was an Indian multi-instrumentalist and composer best remembered as a sarod player. He was also one of the 20th century's most notable music teachers in Indian classical music. Allauddin Khan was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Padma Vibhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for his immense contribution to Indian music.
Bangladeshi actor Manna is also known as the Dhallywood Yuvraj and the Mahanayak of Dhaliwood. His role in the film Bir Soinik won him a National Film Award. He also headed the Bangladesh Film Actors Association as its general secretary. His film Ammajan remains one of the Bangladeshi film industry’s most successful films.
Shabnur is a Bangladeshi actress best known for her portrayal of Sejuti in the 2005 romantic drama film Dui Noyoner Alo, which earned her the prestigious Bangladesh National Film Award under the Best Actress category. A critically acclaimed actress, Shabnur has also received the Meril Prothom Alo Award on a record 10 occasions.
Bangladeshi National Film Award-winning actor Nusrat Imrose Tisha initially gained fame as a TV actor, with roles in series such as Otopor Nurul Nuda, and then starred in films such as Television and Doob. She has also modeled for brands such as Meril Lip Gel, Parachute, and Coca-Cola.
Legendary Bangladeshi actor Abdur Razzak, also known as Nayak Raj Razzak, is best remembered for his hit films such as Boro Bhalo Lok Chhilo and Jibon Theke Neya. The 5-time Bangladeshi National Film Award winner was also the first Bangladeshi actor to be named a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador.
Born to a musician and filmmaker father in Bangladesh, Shayan Chowdhury Arnob studied in Shantiniketan, where he also met his wife, Bengali singer Sahana Bajpaie. He is known for his signature blend of Rabindrasangeet, pop ballads, and folk songs. He has also sung for films such as Monpura.
Shakib Khan, also known as the King of Dhallywood, or King Khan, is a Bangladeshi actor who first soared to fame with the film Anonto Bhalobasha and then established himself as the highest-paid Bangladeshi actor. His marriage to co-actor Apu Biswas was kept a secret for years.
A freelance music video model and actor, Hero Alom began his career as salesman, selling CDs and videos. Currently involved with satellite TV business, he started making music videos as a hobby and became popular. Concurrently, he also acts in films, mostly in side roles.
Five-time Bangladesh National Film Award winner Ferdous Ahmed has been a successful actor in both the Bangladeshi and Indian Bengali film industry. He is known for hits such as Dada Thakur and Ek Cup Cha. He has also campaigned for West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Muhammed Zafar Iqbal is a Bangladeshi author, physicist, activist, and academic. Iqbal is credited with introducing and popularizing science fiction novels and stories in the Bengali language. Over the years, he has won several prestigious literary awards, such as the Khalekdad Chowdhury Literary Award, Sheltech Literary Award, Uro Child Literary Award, and Md. Mudabber-Husne ara literary Award.
Fazle Hasan Abed was a Bangladeshi social worker credited with founding one of the largest non-governmental organizations in the world, BRAC. For his significant contributions to social development, Abed was honored with many national and international awards, including the Laudato Si' Award and LEGO Prize. In 2014 and 2017, he was included in Fortune magazine's World's 50 Greatest Leaders list.
Taslima Nasrin is a Bangladeshi-Swedish writer, feminist, physician, activist, and secular humanist. An internationally recognized author, Nasrin is renowned for expressing feminist views and her criticisms of religions. Taslima Nasrin is a recipient of many prestigious awards such as the Sakharov Prize, Freethought Heroine Award, and Erwin Fischer Award.
Bangladeshi singer-songwriter James, also known to his fans as Guru, is the lead vocalist of the rock band Nagar Baul. He has also performed Hindi tracks for films such as Life in a... Metro and Gangster. A talented photographer, he has also contributed to many of his album covers.
Popular Bangladeshi actor Joya Ahsan soared to fame with Bangladeshi films such as Chorabali and Debi. She has also appeared in several Indian Bengali films, such as Aborto, Bishorjan, and Rajkahini. Her performances have also earned her awards such as the Zee Cine Award and the Bangladesh National Film Award.
Despised as traitor in Pakistan and hailed as martyr in Bangladesh, Bangladesh-born Pakistani air force officer Matiur Rahman died while attempting to defect to Bangladesh with a Lockheed T-33 jet trainer during the Bangladesh Liberation War. For thirty-five years, his mortal remains lay buried in fourth-class-employees’ graveyard in Pakistan before it could be reburied with full military honor in Dhaka.
Popular Bangladeshi actor Pori Moni was raised by her maternal grandparents after being orphaned in childhood. She made headlines when the Rapid Action Battalion raided her house and arrested her for possessing illegal drugs and foreign liquor. She was released on bail after spending 27 days behind the bars.
Bangladesh National Film Award winner Humayun Faridi had initially started studying organic chemistry but had to abandon his studies due to the Bangladesh Liberation War. Starting his acting career with theater, he later acted in series such as Songsoptok and Kothao Keu Nei, and films such as Din-Mojur.
Bangladeshi actor Mahiya Mahi, also known as the Princess of Dhallywood, soared to fame with her hit movies such as Agnee and Bhalobasha Aaj Kal. In 2015, her friend Shahriar Islam Saon uploaded a photo on Facebook, stating he was married to her, though she denied the allegations.