Cambodian

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Ever since Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) flapped through the temple ruins of Cambodia in “Tomb Raider”, the place has bustled with globetrotters. This famous South East Asian tourist bubble attracts hordes of urban explorers year on year, thanks to its eye candies like the temple of Angkor and beaches of Sihanoukville and all the upcountry adventures it has to offer. But if you thought that the list of attractions concluded with that, well, you could not be more wrong! Over the years, Cambodia has earned equal plaudits for its outstanding natives who have brought unparalleled glory to the land. From dictators to journalists and from religious leaders to architects, the world has witnessed a string of Cambodians enlighten and empower the world with their laudable contributions. Let us explore the lives of some such famous Cambodians in the biographies below. The timeline, trivia, and lesser known facts about their lives will surely open up a treasure-trove of exciting truths before you.
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 1 
Angelina Jolie
(Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actress In Her Hey Days)
Angelina Jolie
246
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: June 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

A fashion icon, acclaimed actress, influential humanitarian and Special Envoy for the UNHCR, Angelina Jolie is a highly noted celebrity in Hollywood. She has been hailed for her philanthropic efforts around the globe and praised for her power packed performances. Mother of six, of whom three are adopted, Angelina Jolie is a role model for the women of this generation.

 2 
Norodom Sihanouk
(Former Ruler of Cambodia)
Norodom Sihanouk
7
Birthdate: October 31, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Died: October 15, 2012
Apart from taking over as the king of Cambodia at 18, Norodom Sihanouk had also been the country’s prime minister later. A multidimensional personality and a Khmer Rouge supporter, he had also composed a number of patriotic tracks and experimented with filmmaking, infusing Western elements into his work.
 3 
Hun Sen
(Prime Minister of Cambodia)
Hun Sen
6
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 5, 1952
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Stueng Trang District, Cambodia

Hun Sen is a Cambodian politician and the current prime minister of Cambodia. Having assumed office in 1985, Hun Sen is one of the world's longest-serving leaders and the longest-serving Cambodian head of government. Over the years, he has been accused of abusing power as a number of activists, environmentalists, and politicians have been arrested and murdered under his government.

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 4 
Norodom Sihamoni
(Ruler of Cambodia)
Norodom Sihamoni
7
Birthdate: May 14, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

Norodom Sihamoni has had an interesting childhood, from studying in Czechoslovakia to joining a film school in North Korea, to moving to China after the fall of Pol Pot. A skilled choreographer who had his own dance troupe in Paris, he later rather reluctantly became the king of Cambodia.

 5 
Suryavarman II
(King of the Khmer Empire (1113 - 1150))
Suryavarman II
0
Birthdate: 1094 AD
Birthplace: Angkor
Died: 1150 AD

The ruler of the Khmer Empire, Suryavarman II is known to be the founder of the famed Angkor Wat in Cambodia. His rule extended from Thailand to Vietnam. He is believed to have died while on a military campaign against Champa,following which, Angkor was taken over by the Chams.

 6 
Dith Pran
(Photojournalist)
Dith Pran
1
Birthdate: September 27, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Died: March 30, 2008
 7 
Pol Pot
(Prime Minister of Cambodia from 1976 to 1979)
Pol Pot
79
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Prek Sbov, Cambodia
Died: April 15, 1998

Pol Pot was a Cambodian politician who served as the prime minister of Democratic Kampuchea from 1975 and 1979. Widely considered a totalitarian dictator, Pol Pot was responsible for the Cambodian genocide, which resulted in the death of 1.5 to 2 million people. He was found guilty of crimes against humanity and placed under house arrest until his death.

 8 
Jayavarman VII
(King of the Khmer Empire (1181 - 1218))
Jayavarman VII
1
Birthdate: 1125 AD
Birthplace: Angkor, Cambodia
Died: 1218 AD

Khmer king Jayavarman VII, who embraced Buddhism, is best known for his initiatives in improving the infrastructure of Cambodia. Apart from building hospitals, he also built rest houses and highways but is best remembered for developing the temple at Bayon and the city of Angkor Thom.

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 9 
Norodom Ranariddh
(Politician)
Norodom Ranariddh
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 2, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Phnom Penh

Former Cambodian prime minister Norodom Ranariddh had started his career as a researcher and lecturer of law at the University of Provence in France. Son of former king, Sihanouk, he is credited with ushering in democracy in Cambodia and now leads the royalist party FUNCINPEC, as its president.

 10 
Jayavarman II
(King of the Khmer Empire (802 - 850))
Jayavarman II
0
Birthdate: 0770 AD
Died: 0835 AD

Khmer Ruler Jayavarman II is remembered for establishing the Devaraja cult as the official religion of his kingdom. He also expanded his kingdom to include Chenla. His origins were in Java, where he was to succeed as Java’s vassal in about 800, but he proclaimed Khmer independence soon after.

 11 
Norodom of Cambodia
(King of Cambodia (1860 - 1904))
Norodom of Cambodia
0
Birthdate: February 3, 1834
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Angkor Borei, Cambodia
Died: April 24, 1904

Cambodian ruler Norodom, the eldest son of King Ang Duong, was trained in the concepts of Buddhism from an early age. His initial goals included strengthening ties between Siam (Thailand) and Cambodia. A treaty he signed with France handed over Cambodia’s foreign relations to the French.

 12 
Ros Serey Sothea
(Singer)
Ros Serey Sothea
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 1948 AD
Birthplace: Battambang Province, Cambodia
Died: 1977 AD
 13 
Sam Rainsy
(Politician)
Sam Rainsy
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: March 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Phnom Penh

Sam Rainsy is a Cambodian politician, economist, and activist who served as the leader of the opposition from January 2015 to November 2015. He is credited with co-founding the Cambodia National Rescue Party, which was Cambodia's major political party from 2013 to 2017.

 14 
Norodom Suramarit
(King of Cambodia (1955 - 1960))
Norodom Suramarit
1
Birthdate: March 6, 1896
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Phnom Penh
Died: April 3, 1960

Norodom Suramarit reigned as the King of Cambodia from 1955 until his demise in 1960. He ascended the throne on his 60th birthday after his son King Norodom Sihanouk abdicated the throne in favor of his father. The current King Norodom Sihamoni is Suramarit's grandson.

 15 
Son Sen
(Cambodian Politician who Ordered the Massacre of 100,000 People in 1978)
Son Sen
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 12, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tra Vinh, Vietnam
Died: June 15, 1997

Son Sen was a Cambodian soldier and Communist politician. An important member of the Communist Party of Kampuchea aka the Khmer Rouge, Sen was accountable for the massacre of over 100,000 people in Cambodia's Eastern Zone in 1978. Son Sen is also remembered for his service as the Minister of National Defense from 15 January 1976 to 7 January 1979.  

 16 
Vann Nath
(Painter)
Vann Nath
1
Birthdate: January 7, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Battambang Province, Cambodia
Died: September 5, 2011
 17 
Sisowath of Cambodia
(King of Cambodia (1904 - 1907))
Sisowath of Cambodia
0
Birthdate: September 7, 1840
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia
Died: August 9, 1927

Cambodian king Sisowath is remembered as a titular head of the French colonial administration in Cambodia. He even went to France in 1906, to visit the Colonial Exhibition. He is said to have had 20 wives and 29 children, including Sisowath Monivong, who succeeded him.

 18 
Ang Duong
(King of Cambodia (1840 - 1860))
Ang Duong
0
Birthdate: June 12, 1796
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oudongk, Cambodia
Died: October 19, 1860

Ang Duong served as the King of Cambodia between 1840 and 1860. He is credited with establishing the basis for the united state of Cambodia as he made an attempt to form an alliance with colonial France, which also led to the French protectorate of Cambodia. He is credited with founding the two main houses of Cambodia, Sisowath and Norodom.

 19 
Kem Sokha
(Former President of the 'Cambodia National Rescue Party')
Kem Sokha
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambodia

Kem Sokha is a Cambodian activist and politician. He is known for his service as the President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party. He also led the Human Rights Party, which he had founded, from 2007 to 2012. In 2017, Kem Sokha was arrested and imprisoned under allegations of treason. From 2018 to 2019, he was placed under house arrest.

 20 
Rithy Panh
(Film director)
Rithy Panh
0
Birthdate: April 18, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
 21 
Aok Sokunkanha
(Singer)
Aok Sokunkanha
2
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 14, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Phnom Penh, People's Republic of Kampuchea
 22 
Pan Ron
(Singer)
Pan Ron
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 1944 AD
Birthplace: Battambang Province, Cambodia
Died: December 31, 1979
 23 
Suryavarman I
(King of the Khmer Empire (1006 - 1050))
Suryavarman I
1
Died: 1050 AD

Suryavarman I served as the king of the famous Khmer Empire between 1006 and 1050. An astute ruler, Suryavarman I maintained diplomatic relations with powerful kings like Rajendra Chola I, which helped him successfully defend his kingdom for about 40 years.

 24 
Pisith Pilika
(Ballet dancer)
Pisith Pilika
0
Listed In: Dancers
Birthdate: February 4, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Svay Rieng province, Cambodia
Died: July 6, 1999
 25 
Somnang Alyna
(Model)
Somnang Alyna
0
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: February 24, 2001
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
 26 
Mu Sochua
(Cambodian Women's Rights Activist and Politician)
Mu Sochua
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 15, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Mu Sochua is a Cambodian women's rights activist and politician. An important member of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, Mu Sochua's work has been honored with several prestigious awards and nominations, such as her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for her work to counter sex trafficking of women in Thailand and Cambodia.

 27 
Ta Mok
(Cambodian Military Chief and a Senior Figure in the 'Khmer Rouge')
Ta Mok
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1924 AD
Birthplace: Takéo Province, Cambodia
Died: July 21, 2006

Ta Mok was a Cambodian soldier and military chief. He was one of the most important members of the Khmer Rouge. Nicknamed the Butcher, Ta Mok also led the national army of Democratic Kampuchea. He was captured by Cambodian government forces in March 1999 and was kept in government custody until his demise in 2006.

 28 
Jessa Khan
(Cambodian Martial Artist)
Jessa Khan
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 8, 2001
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Texas, United States
 29 
Rern Sinat
(Model)
Rern Sinat
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 4, 1995
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kampong Cham, Cambodia
 30 
Lon Nol
(Cambodian Politician)
Lon Nol
13
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 13, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Prey Veng Province
Died: November 17, 1985

Lon Nol was a Cambodian general and politician. He served as the prime minister of Cambodia from 1966 to 1967 and again from 1969 to 1971. A nationalist, Nol played a decisive role during the 1970 Cambodian coup d'état where he led the military coup against Prince Norodom Sihanouk. The coup led to the abolition of the monarchy of Cambodia.

 31 
Bun Rany
(Nurse)
Bun Rany
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 15, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Krouch Chhmar, Cambodia
 32 
Indravarman I
(King of the Khmer Empire (877/878 - 889/890))
Indravarman I
0
Birthplace: Hariharalaya, Cambodia
Died: 0889 AD

It is largely believed that Khmer ruler Indravarman I had snatched the throne away from his cousin, Jayavarman III. His reign saw the construction of a large reservoir, which later became the chief source of water for irrigation and other purposes in the Angkor region. He also built a temple at Bakong.

 33 
Sorn Seavmey
(Cambodian Taekwondo Practitioner)
Sorn Seavmey
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 14, 1995
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
 34 
Chhom Nimol
(Singer)
Chhom Nimol
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthplace: Krong Battambang, Cambodia
 35 
Norodom Rattana Devi
(Cambodian Princess and Politician)
Norodom Rattana Devi
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 18, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Aix-en-Provence, France

Norodom Rattana Devi is a Cambodian politician and princess. She is best known for her service as a Member of Parliament for Kratié from 4 October 2003 to 27 July 2008. Norodom Rattana Devi is also known as the only daughter of Princess Norodom Marie and Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

 36 
Mam Manivan Phanivong
(Norodom Sihanouk's ex-wife)
Mam Manivan Phanivong
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1934 AD
Birthplace: Vientiane
Died: March 31, 1975
 37 
Kak Channthy
(Singer)
Kak Channthy
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Prey Veng Province, Cambodia
Died: March 20, 2018
 38 
Yun Yat
(Wife of Cambodian Politician Son Sen)
Yun Yat
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1934 AD
Birthplace: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Died: June 15, 1997

Yun Yat was a Cambodian politician who served as the Minister of Information from 6 July 1977 to 7 January 1979. She was also known as the wife of Defense Minister of Democratic Kampuchea, Son Sen. Yun Yat and Son Sen were arrested and declared as traitors for working as spies for Vietnam. They were executed in 1997.

 39 
Ieng Thirith
(Influential Intellectual and Politician in the 'Khmer Rouge')
Ieng Thirith
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: March 10, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Battambang, Cambodia
Died: August 22, 2015

Ieng Thirith was an influential politician and intellectual in the Khmer Rouge. The wife of Ieng Sary, who co-founded the Khmer Rouge, Thirith served as the Minister of Social Affairs from 1975 to 1979. In 2007, she was arrested along with her husband by the Cambodia Tribunal on suspicion of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

 40 
Sarita Reth
(Actress)
Sarita Reth
2
Birthdate: December 22, 1994
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
 41 
Son Sann
(Former Prime Minister of Cambodia (1967 – 1968))
Son Sann
5
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 5, 1911
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Phnom Penh
Died: December 19, 2000

Son Sann was a Cambodian anti-communist resistance leader and politician. He is best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Cambodia from 1 May 1967 to 31 January 1968. Son Sann is also credited with forming a new political party called the Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party.

 42 
Soma Norodom
(Columnist)
Soma Norodom
0
Birthdate: October 29, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
 43 
Touch Sunnix
(Singer)
Touch Sunnix
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 1, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
 44 
Sokun Nisa
(Singer)
Sokun Nisa
0
Birthdate: May 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kratié Province Kratie, Cambodia
 45 
Ang Chan I
(King of Cambodia (1516 - 1566))
Ang Chan I
0
Birthdate: 1496 AD
Birthplace: Srei Santhor, Cambodia
Died: 1566 AD

Ang Chan I was the King of Cambodia who reigned from 1516 until his death in 1566. He was coronated twice during his reign. Counted among the most distinguished kings of the post-Angkor era, Ang Chan I was one of the first Cambodian kings to use cannons and firearms in wars.

 46 
Ang Chan II
(King of Cambodia (1806 - 1834))
Ang Chan II
0
Birthdate: 1791 AD
Birthplace: Bangkok, Thailand
Died: November 30, 1834

The son of Cambodian king Ang Eng, Ang Chan II, also known as Udaraja III, was recognized as a king by the Thais. He maintained good relations with both Vietnam and Siam, so that peace could be maintained in Cambodia. Following his death, both Vietnam and Siam took over control of Cambodia.

 47 
Eh Phuthong
(TV show host)
Eh Phuthong
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: 1975 AD
Birthplace: Koh Kong, Cambodia
 48 
Isanavarman I
(King of Chenla (616 - 637))
Isanavarman I
0
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0637 AD

Isanavarman I served as the King of Chenla from 616 to 637 AD. The kingdom of Chenla went on to become the powerful Khmer Empire. King Isanavarman I is credited with founding the temples at Sambor Prei Kuk.

 49 
Tep Boprek
(Singer)
Tep Boprek
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 22, 1993
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
 50 
Men Sam An
(The First Female Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia)
Men Sam An
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sambo, Kratié, Cambodia

Men Sam An is a Cambodian politician and the current Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia. She is the first Cambodian female to serve as the deputy prime minister. Currently, Men Sam An is also serving as the Vice President of the Cambodian People's Party.