Ethiopian

Ethiopia, a land that boasts of a vibrant culture and rich traditions, has produced many famous personalities in the fields of music, arts, literature, and science. Especially renowned for its diversity in music, each of the country's ethnic groups is associated with unique sounds ranging from traditional folk music to Christian and secular music. Ethiopian songwriter Zelal Mekuria, Ethio-jazz musician Mulatu Astatke and singer Alemayehu Eshete have played major roles in promoting Ethiopian music in the modern age. One of the most prominent Ethiopian singers in the contemporary world is Gigi. Hardy, well-built and athletic, Ethiopians are also famous for displaying their physical prowess in sports. The nation is best known internationally for its middle-distance and long-distance runners like Haile Gebreselassie (World champion and Olympic champion), and multi-gold medalists Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba. A multilingual nation with around 80 ethnolinguistic groups, Ethiopia has produced prominent writers like Abe Gubegna, Sebhat Guèbrè-Egziabhér, and Getatchew Haile who have published works in various languages. The nation is also the birth place of Loret Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin, an internationally respected poet, playwright, essayist, and art director. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous Ethiopians.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Haile Selassie

Haile Selassie.
10
Famous As: Emperor of Ethiopia
Birthdate: July 23, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia
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.

 2 Kenenisa Bekele

Kenenisa Bekele.
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: June 13, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 3 Abebe Bikila

Abebe Bikila.
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Olympic marathon champion
Birthdate: August 7, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ethiopia
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. 

 4 Ruth Negga

Ruth Negga.
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 7, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 5 Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie.
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Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor
Birthdate: April 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Asella

 6 Abiy Ahmed

Abiy Ahmed.
6
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Birthdate: August 15, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beshasha, Ethiopia

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.

 7 Aminé

Aminé.
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: April 18, 1994
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon

Aminé is an American rapper, songwriter, and singer. He is best known for his hit single Caroline, which took the US Billboard Hot 100 by storm by peaking at number 11 on the chart. In 2017, Aminé was nominated at the BET Hip Hop Awards under the Best New Hip Hop Artist category.

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 8 Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson.
1
Listed In: Food Experts
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: January 25, 1970
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.

 9 Menelik II

Menelik II.
0
Famous As: Emperor of Ethiopia
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.

 10 Tirunesh Dibaba

Tirunesh Dibaba
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: long-distance runner, athletics competitor
Birthdate: June 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 11 Hachalu Hundessa

Hachalu Hundessa
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Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: 1986 AD
Birthplace: Ambo, Oromia Region, Ethiopia
Died: June 29, 2020

 12 Tewodros II of Ethiopia

Tewodros II of Ethiopia
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Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 1818 AD
Birthplace: Qwara, Dembiya
Died: April 13, 1868

 13 Mengistu Haile Mariam

Mengistu Haile Mariam
1
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician, Military personnel
Birthdate: May 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ethiopia

 14 Sahle-Work Zewde

Sahle-Work Zewde
1
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: President of Ethiopia
Birthdate: February 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 15 Yohannes IV

Yohannes IV
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Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: July 11, 1837
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: May Beha, Tembien, Ethiopian Empire
Died: March 10, 1889

 16 Genzebe Dibaba

Genzebe Dibaba
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Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: February 8, 1991
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 17 Zewditu

Zewditu
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Famous As: Empress
Birthdate: April 28, 1876
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Werreyimenu, Wollo
Died: April 2, 1930

 18 Menen Asfaw

Menen Asfaw
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Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Empress
Birthdate: April 3, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wollo, Ethiopian Empire
Died: February 15, 1962

 19 Teddy Afro

Teddy Afro
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Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 14, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 20 Almaz Ayana

Almaz Ayana
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Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: November 21, 1991
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Benishangul-Gumuz, Ethiopia

 21 LoLa Monroe

LoLa Monroe
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: October 25, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 22 Tedros Adhanom

Tedros Adhanom
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 3, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Asmara, Ethiopian Empire (now Asmara, Eritrea)

 23 Abraha

Abraha
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Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Army general
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Kingdom of Aksum, Ethiopia
Died: 0570 AD

 24 Ismail Omar Guelleh

Ismail Omar Guelleh
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Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: President of Djibouti
Birthdate: November 27, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dire Dawa

 25 Taytu Betul

Taytu Betul
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Famous As: Empress
Birthdate: August 17, 1851
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oromia, Ethiopian Empire
Died: February 11, 1918

 26 Prince Sahle Selassie

Prince Sahle Selassie
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: February 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Menelik Palace, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Died: April 24, 1962

 27 Moses the Black

Moses the Black
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Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Monk
Birthdate: 0330 AD
Birthplace: Ethiopia

 28 Aster Aweke

Aster Aweke
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Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: 1958 AD
Birthplace: Gondar, Ethiopia

 29 Ermias Sahle Selassie

Ermias Sahle Selassie
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Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: June 14, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 30 Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede.
4
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Model
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.

 31 Zinash Tayachew

Zinash Tayachew
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Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 13, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gondar, Ethiopia

 32 Derartu Tulu

Derartu Tulu
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Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: March 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 33 Meles Zenawi

Meles Zenawi
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Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Prime Minister
Birthdate: May 8, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Adwa
Died: August 20, 2012

 34 Makonnen Wolde Mikael

Makonnen Wolde Mikael
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Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Military leader
Birthdate: May 8, 1852
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sheno, Shewa, Ethiopia
Died: March 21, 1906

 35 Hailemariam Desalegn

Hailemariam Desalegn
1
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boloso Sore

 36 Gigi

Gigi
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Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: 1974 AD
Birthplace: Ethiopia

 37 Girma Wolde-Giorgis

Girma Wolde-Giorgis
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Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Former President of Ethiopia
Birthdate: December 28, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Died: December 15, 2018

 38 Fasilides

Fasilides
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Famous As: Emperor of Ethiopia
Birthdate: 1603 AD
Birthplace: Shewa, Ethiopia
Died: October 18, 1667

 39 Zera Yacob Amha Selassie

Zera Yacob Amha Selassie
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: August 17, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 40 Rediet Abebe

Rediet Abebe
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Listed In: Scientists
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: 1991 AD
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 41 Lelisa Desisa

Lelisa Desisa
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Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Marathon runner
Birthdate: January 14, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shewa, Oromia, Ethiopia

 42 Tilahun Gessesse

Tilahun Gessesse
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Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Died: April 19, 2009

 43 Meseret Defar

Meseret Defar
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Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: November 19, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Adis Abeba, Ethiopia

 44 Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou

Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou
0
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Nun
Birthdate: December 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ethiopia

 45 Feyisa Lilesa

Feyisa Lilesa
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Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Athlete, Long-distance runner
Birthdate: February 1, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oromia, Ethiopia

 46 Sifan Hassan

Sifan Hassan
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: January 1, 1993
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Adama, Ethiopia

 47 Mahmoud Ahmed

Mahmoud Ahmed
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Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 8, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 48 Abraham Verghese

Abraham Verghese
1
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: May 30, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 49 Abune Paulos

Abune Paulos.
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Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Patriarch
Birthdate: November 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Adwa
Died: August 16, 2012

Ethiopian religious leader Abune Paulos, who led the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church for 2 decades, began his journey as a trainee deacon in his youth. He later joined the doctoral program at the Princeton Theological Seminary. His humanitarian work earned him a Nansen Medal from the UNCHR.

 50 Sahle Selassie

Sahle Selassie
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Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 1795 AD
Birthplace: Shewa, Ethiopia
Died: October 22, 1847