Famous Ethiopian People

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 1 
Haile Gebrselassie
(Former Ethiopian Long-Distance Track Athlete and Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist)
Haile Gebrselassie
10
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Assela

Ethiopian Olympic legend and businessman, Haile Gebrselassie, a retired long-distance, road and track running athlete, is counted among the greatest distance runners in history. He set 27 world records in athletics and broke 61 Ethiopian national records. His achievements include winning two Olympic gold medals, four World Championship titles, four World Indoor Championship titles and one World Half Marathon Championship.  

 2 
Haile Selassie
(Former Emperor of Ethiopia (1930 - 1936, 1941 - 1974))
Haile Selassie
28
Birthdate: July 23, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ejersa Goro
Died: August 27, 1975

Haile Selassie, served his country, Ethiopia, as its regent from 1916 to 1930 and as its emperor from 1930 to 1974. He introduced the first Ethiopian constitution, abolished slavery, chaired the Organisation of African Unity, and helped Ethiopia enter the UN. He inspired the Rastafari movement, too.

 3 
Abiy Ahmed
(Prime Minister of Ethiopia)
Abiy Ahmed
42
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 15, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beshasha

Abiy Ahmed is an Ethiopian politician and the current prime minister of Ethiopia. Since becoming the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed has been lauded for launching a wide program of economic and political reforms in Ethiopia. He also played a major role in ending the 20-year Eritrean–Ethiopian War for which he was honored with the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

 4 
Marcus Samuelsson
(Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur)
Marcus Samuelsson
16
Listed In: Food Experts
Birthdate: January 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Swedish chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson currently works as the head chef of Red Rooster in Harlem, New York. Fascinated by his grandmother’s cooking, he studied at the Culinary Institute in Göteborg to learn the nuances of food preparation. In the ensuing years, he gained recognition as a world-class chef. He is also an award-winning cookbook author.

 5 
Menelik II
(Emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to 1913)
Menelik II
8
Birthdate: August 17, 1844
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Angolalla Tera
Died: December 12, 1913

Menelik II reigned as the emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to 1913 after ruling as the king of Shewa from 1866 to 1889. He is credited with transforming the Ethiopian Empire by expanding his kingdom into Wolayta, Sidama, and Kaffa kingdoms. Fascinated by modernity, Menelik II played a major role in modernizing Ethiopia.

 6 
Kenenisa Bekele
(Ethiopian Long-Distance Runner and 3-Time Olympic Gold Medalist)
Kenenisa Bekele
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 13, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji

Ethiopian long-distance runner Kenenisa Bekele is not just a 3-time Olympic gold medalist but has also won the World Championship gold 5 times. He also has 11 World Cross Country Championship gold medals in his kitty. Initially a master of the 5,000m and 10,000m categories, he later focused on marathons.

 7 
Tewodros II of Ethiopia
(Emperor of Ethiopia from 1855 to 1868)
Tewodros II of Ethiopia
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1818 AD
Birthplace: Qwara
Died: April 13, 1868

Tewodros II of Ethiopia reigned as the Emperor of Ethiopia from 11 February 1855 until his demise on 13 April 1868. An important and influential ruler, Tewodros hold an important place in Ethiopian history. Many plays, books, songs, and art works have been influenced by the life of Tewodros II of Ethiopia.

 8 
Liya Kebede
(Ethiopian Model & Maternal Health Advocate Who Served as the WHO's Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health)
Liya Kebede
9
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: March 1, 1978
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Addis Ababa

Liya Kebede is a model, actress, clothing designer, and maternal health advocate. One of the best-known models from Ethiopia, Kebede has graced the cover of Vogue on multiple occasions. Also known for her philanthropic efforts, Kebede established the Liya Kebede Foundation. Her work through the foundation earned her a place in Glamour magazine's Women of the Year list in 2013.

 9 
Sahle-Work Zewde
(The First Woman to Become the President of Ethiopia)
Sahle-Work Zewde
12
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: February 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Addis Ababa

Sahle-Work Zewde is an Ethiopian diplomat and politician. In 2018, she became the first woman to be elected to the president's office in Ethiopia and has been serving as the president of Ethiopia since then. Sahle-Work Zewde has been featured on Forbes magazine's World's 100 Most Powerful Women list.

 10 
Hachalu Hundessa
(Singer)
Hachalu Hundessa
2
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 1986 AD
Birthplace: Ambo
Died: June 29, 2020
 11 
Zewditu
(Empress of Ethiopia (1916 - 1930))
Zewditu
7
Birthdate: April 28, 1876
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Werreyimenu
Died: April 2, 1930

Zewditu, a 20th-century Ethiopian empress and the eldest daughter of King Menelik of Shewa, scripted history as the first female head of an internationally recognized African state. She was also the first and last empress regnant of Ethiopia. It’s widely believed, she died of shock 2 days after her husband’s death in battle.

 12 
LoLa Monroe
(Rapper)
LoLa Monroe
9
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 25, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Addis Ababa
 13 
Menen Asfaw
(Empress consort of Ethiopia (1930 - 1962))
Menen Asfaw
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: April 3, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wollo
Died: February 15, 1962

Menen Asfaw ruled as an empress consort of Ethiopia, as the wife of Emperor Haile Selassie. Born into the noble family of Asfaw, Jantirar of Ambassel, she apparently had 3 marriages before she got married to Haile Selassie. She proved to be a trusted advisor to Selassie till her death.

 14 
Jawar Mohammed
(Founder of Oromia Media Network)
Jawar Mohammed
4
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: May 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oromia
 15 
Meles Zenawi
(Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia (1995 - 2012))
Meles Zenawi
6
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 8, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Adwa
Died: August 20, 2012

Ethiopian revolutionary-turned-politician Meles Zenawi served as the prime minister of Ethiopia. A medical school drop-out, he abandoned his studies to join the Tigrai Peoples Liberation Front. His reforms made Ethiopian economy as well as its education and agricultural sectors stronger. He died of an undisclosed ailment.

 16 
Genzebe Dibaba
(Ethiopian Middle-and-Long-Distance Runner)
Genzebe Dibaba
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 8, 1991
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bekoji

Genzebe Dibaba is an Ethiopian athlete who specializes in middle and long-distance running. She is best known for winning a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games. Prior to 2016, she had success at the 2015 World Championships where she won gold and a bronze medal. Genzebe Dibaba has also won five gold medals at the World Indoor Championships.

 17 
Tirunesh Dibaba
(The Youngest Female World Champion in Long-Distance Track Event)
Tirunesh Dibaba
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji

Ethiopian distance runner Tirunesh Dibaba scripted history by becoming the youngest female World Champion, in 2003, when she was a little over 18 years. She is also the first female to win the Olympic 5,000m/10,000m double. The 5-time World Champion is also a 3-time Olympic gold medalist.

 18 
Queen of Sheba
(Biblical figure)
Queen of Sheba
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Ethiopia

Queen of Sheba is a biblical figure who finds a mention in the Hebrew Bible. Although her existence is often disputed among scholars and historians, the Queen of Sheba has been an important character in the history of literature, art, and music. Her stories have also inspired films, such as The Queen of Sheba (1921) and Solomon and Sheba (1959).

 19 
Derartu Tulu
(Ethiopian Retired Long-Distance Runner)
Derartu Tulu
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bekoji

Derartu Tulu is an Ethiopian retired long-distance runner who took part in several events like road running and marathon. She won a gold medal each at the 1992 and 2000 Olympics. She also won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics. Tulu is also known for winning a gold and silver medal at the World Championships.

 20 
Mulatu Astatke
(Ethiopian Musician and Arranger considered as the father of Ethio-jazz)
Mulatu Astatke
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 19, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jimma
 21 
Teddy Afro
(Singer)
Teddy Afro
4
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 14, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Addis Ababa
 22 
Almaz Ayana
(Two-Time World Champion Ethiopian Long-Distance Runner Who Is Also an Olympic Gold Medalist)
Almaz Ayana
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 21, 1991
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Benishangul-Gumuz

Ethiopian long-distance runner Almaz Ayana is not just an Olympic gold medalist but has also won the World Championship twice. She broke the 10,000m world record at the 2016 Rio Olympics, which was also her first year at the Olympics. She is also a Continental Cup and African Championship winner.

 23 
Abebe Bikila
(First African to Win Olympic Gold Medal and the First Athlete to Win Two Olympic Marathons Back-to-Back)
Abebe Bikila
99
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 7, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Shewa
Died: October 25, 1973

Ethiopian marathon runner, Abebe Bikil,a became the first black African Olympic gold medalist at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Four years later, he won his second gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. He created world record both the times. A pioneer in long-distance running, he participated in a total of 16 marathons. 

 24 
Taytu Betul
(Empress of Ethiopia (1889 - 1913))
Taytu Betul
6
Birthdate: August 17, 1851
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oromia
Died: February 11, 1918

Taytu Betul reigned as the Empress of Ethiopia from 10 May 1889 to 12 December 1913. She is credited with co-founding the city of Addis Ababa along with her husband in 1886. As the wife of Emperor Menelik II, Taytu Betul wielded considerable political power. In fact, the emperor always consulted Taytu Betul before making important decisions. 

 25 
Letesenbet Gidey
(Ethiopian Long-Distance Runner)
Letesenbet Gidey
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 20, 1998
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Endameskel

Letesenbet Gidey is an Ethiopian athlete who specializes in long-distance running. She is best known for winning a bronze medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. She is also known for winning a gold medal at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, USA. Letesenbet Gidey has also won five gold medals at the World Cross Country Championships.

 26 
Mengistu Haile Mariam
(Former President of Ethiopia (1987 - 1991))
Mengistu Haile Mariam
4
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ethiopia

Initially an army officer, Mengistu Haile Mariam later rose to lead his country, Ethiopia, as its president. He also served as the general-secretary of the Workers' Party of Ethiopia. He was solely responsible for overthrowing the monarchy in Ethiopia and also tried turning the country into a Communist state.

 27 
Makonnen Wolde Mikael
(Shum of Harar (1887 - 1906) and a Noted General during the First Italo-Ethiopian War)
Makonnen Wolde Mikael
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 8, 1852
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sheno
Died: March 21, 1906

Makonnen Wolde Mikael served as Shum of Harar from 1887 to 1906 under Ethiopian monarchs Yohannes IV and Menelik II. The governor of Harar province and a military leader, Mikael is best-remembered for his role as an effective general during various military-campaigns, most notably during First Italo–Ethiopian War when he played a key role at the Battle of Adwa.

 28 
Aster Aweke
(Singer)
Aster Aweke
1
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 1958 AD
Birthplace: Gondar
 29 
Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou
(Nun)
Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ethiopia
 30 
Abraha
(Aksumite Army General and King of Himyar)
Abraha
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Kingdom of Aksum
Died: 0570 AD

Abraha was an Aksumite army general who proclaimed himself as King of Himyar. He went on to rule much of modern-day Yemen and Arabia. Today, Abraha is seen as an important figure in the history of Yemen where he promoted the cause of Christianity.

 31 
Moses the Black
(Monk)
Moses the Black
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0330 AD
Birthplace: Ethiopia
 32 
Gigi
(Singer)
Gigi
1
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 1974 AD
Birthplace: Ethiopia
 33 
Miruts Yifter
(Ethiopian Long-Distance Runner)
Miruts Yifter
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 15, 1944
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Adigrat
Died: December 23, 2016

Miruts Yifter was an Ethiopian athlete who specialized in long-distance running. He is best remembered for winning two gold medals at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. He also won four gold medals at the IAAF World Cup. Miruts Yifter also had success at the 1973 All-Africa Games where he won a gold medal and a silver medal.

 34 
Hailemariam Desalegn
(Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia)
Hailemariam Desalegn
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boloso Sore

Hailemariam Desalegn is an Ethiopian politician best known for his service as the prime minister of Ethiopia from August 2012 to April 2018. An important politician, he served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia from 2010 to 2012. Hailemariam Desalegn also served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2010 to 2012.

 35 
Zera Yacob Amha Selassie
(Prince)
Zera Yacob Amha Selassie
5
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 17, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Addis Ababa
 36 
Zinash Tayachew
(The First Lady of Ethiopia)
Zinash Tayachew
5
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 13, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gondar

Zinash Tayachew is an Ethiopian politician, gospel singer, and philanthropist. She is currently serving as the First Lady of Ethiopia. As the First Lady, Tayachew is committed towards alleviating the difficulties faced by children in Ethiopia. Zinash Tayachew also works for the disabled.  

 37 
Lelisa Desisa
(World Champion Ethiopian Long-Distance Runner)
Lelisa Desisa
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 14, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shewa

Two-time Boston Marathon-winning Ethiopian long-distance runner Lelisa Desisa has also been a World Champion, an All-Africa Games Champion, and an African Junior Champion. A road running expert, he had also won the 2018 New York Marathon. His personal best has been 10,000m in a little over 27 minutes.  

 38 
Yohannes IV
(Emperor of Ethiopia (1871 - 1889))
Yohannes IV
22
Birthdate: July 11, 1837
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: May Beha
Died: March 10, 1889

Known as one of the most influential emperors of Ethiopia, Yohannes IV spent most of his reign in conflict with invaders from Egypt, Italy, and Sudan. He also had a political agreement with Menilek II, his most significant rival. He died in the Battle of Metema, while invading Sudan.

 39 
Fasilides
(Emperor of Ethiopia (1632 - 1667))
Fasilides
0
Birthdate: 1603 AD
Birthplace: Shewa
Died: October 18, 1667

Fasilides, also known as Alam Sagad, was a 17th-century emperor of Ethiopia who belonged to the Solomonic dynasty. As soon as he came to power, he dismissed Catholic missionaries and relied on Muslim rulers of the coastal regions to terminate all contact with the European powers.

 40 
Prince Sahle Selassie
(Prince)
Prince Sahle Selassie
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Menelik Palace
Died: April 24, 1962
 41 
Rediet Abebe
(Computer scientist)
Rediet Abebe
3
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: 1991 AD
Birthplace: Addis Ababa
 42 
Meseret Defar
(Ethiopian Long-Distance Runner and Two-Time Olympic Gold Medallist)
Meseret Defar
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 19, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Adis Abeba

Meseret Defar is an Ethiopian athlete who specializes in long-distance running. She is best known for winning a gold medal at the 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games in Athens and London respectively. In 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, Defar won a silver medal for Ethiopia. She has also won medals at the World Championships, All-Africa Games, and World Indoor Championships.

 43 
Tilahun Gessesse
(Singer)
Tilahun Gessesse
2
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Addis Ababa
Died: April 19, 2009
 44 
Selemon Barega
(Ethiopian Long-Distance Runner ana Olympic Gold Medalist)
Selemon Barega
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 20, 2000
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gurage

Ethiopian long-distance runner Selemon Barega is not just an Olympic gold medalist but has also won a World Championship silver medal. Considered a rising star in the racing circle, he excels in 3,000m, 5,000m, and 10,000m. He has also been a Diamond League champion in 5,000m.

 45 
Yomif Kejelcha
(Ethiopian Middle-and-Long-Distance Runner)
Yomif Kejelcha
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 1, 1997
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oromia

Yomif Kejelcha is an Ethiopian athlete who specializes in middle and long-distance running. He is best known for winning a gold medal at the 2016 and 2018 World Indoor Championships in Portland and Birmingham respectively. Yomif Kejelcha also won a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

 46 
Prince Makonnen
(Prince)
Prince Makonnen
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 16, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Addis Ababa
Died: May 13, 1957
 47 
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
(Director-General of the World Health Organization)
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
10
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: March 3, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Asmara

The current director-general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom is an Ethiopian politician who has previously led his country as its minister of health and minister of foreign affairs. He scripted history as the first African to head the WHO. He is known for his efforts in resisting AIDS, Ebola, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

 48 
Mamo Wolde
(Ethiopian Long Distance Runner and Olympic Gold Medalist)
Mamo Wolde
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 12, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ada'a
Died: May 26, 2002

Ethiopian Olympic legend Degaga "Mamo" Wolde, an international distance running star, was a cross-country, road and track running athlete. He won gold medal in men’s marathon event and silver medal in 10000 m event at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico. Wolde bagged his third Olympic medal, a bronze, at the 1972 Olympic marathon in Munich, West Germany.

 49 
Senait Fisseha
(Endocrinologist)
Senait Fisseha
0
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: 1971 AD
Birthplace: Addis Ababa
 50 
Mahmoud Ahmed
(Singer)
Mahmoud Ahmed
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 8, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Addis Ababa