Famous Jamaican Men

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Home to the suavest fictional sleuth in history — James Bond, Jamaica has always ranked high as one of the world’s most frequented backpacker’s destinations. And while there is no denying the physical charms of the country with its pristine white sands and azure waters forming the perfect backdrop for a perfect getaway, know that there is more to this Caribbean nation than its tropical bounties. That is true! Did you know that Jamaica was one of the first Caribbean countries to foray into Olympics? Or that only United States has clinched more World and Olympic medals than Jamaica? Bet you did not know that Jamaica was the first Western nation to build a railroad? With so many exciting and laud-worthy accomplishments in its kitty, isn’t it worth that we explore the masterminds, the real force behind such exemplary exploits? Hop on as we trail the successful lives of some such Jamaican men in the biographies recorded below. Their timeline, trivia and lesser-known facts will enlighten your minds to the kind of lives these exemplary Jamaicans led.
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 1 
Bob Marley
(Jamaican Singer, Musician and Songwriter Who is Considered One of the Pioneers of Reggae)
Bob Marley
78
Birthdate: February 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nine Mile, Jamaica
Died: April 11, 1981

Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer and songwriter who sold 20 million records in his career. He was the first international star to come from the ‘Third World’ and is considered one of the forerunners of reggae. A fusion of reggae, ska and rocksteady was his music’s hallmark. Marley died due to cancer at the age of 36.

 2 
Usain Bolt
(Olympic athlete)
Usain Bolt
61
Birthdate: August 21, 1986
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sherwood Content, Jamaica

One of the greatest athletes ever, Usain Bolt is popular by the nickname ‘Lightning Bolt’. He holds the world record for 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay and is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016).

 3 
Patrick Ewing
(Jamaican-American Basketball Coach and Former Basketball Player)
Patrick Ewing
9
Birthdate: August 5, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Patrick Ewing is a Jamaican-American former basketball player who played for popular NBA teams like New York Knicks and Seattle SuperSonics. He also won gold medals at the 1984 and 1992 Olympic Games as part of the US men's national basketball teams. In 2008, Patrick Ewing was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame for his individual career.

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 4 
Sean Paul
(Jamaican Singer and Rapper)
Sean Paul
10
Birthdate: January 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Sean Paul is a Jamaican recording artist and producer, widely considered one of dancehall's most prolific artists. He is best known for his singles, Temperature and Get Busy. Most of his albums have received Grammy nominations under the Best Reggae Album category.

 5 
Marcus Garvey
(Jamaican Political Activist, Journalist and Founder and First President-General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association)
Marcus Garvey
5
Birthdate: August 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint Ann's Bay, Jamaica
Died: June 10, 1940
Marcus Garvey is remembered as an iconic Black separatist leader who believed that all African-origin people in Europe and America should go back to Africa. He established the Universal Negro Improvement Association, but his activism was not accepted by civil rights activists, who believed in racial integration and not segregation.
 6 
Chris Gayle
(Cricketer)
Chris Gayle
29
Birthdate: September 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kingston

Known as the most capped West Indian player in international cricket, Chris Gayle is also the only player with a triple hundred in Tests, a double century in ODIs, and a century in T20Is. Breaking Brian Lara's record of 10,348 runs, he became the leading West Indian ODI run-scorer.

 7 
Shaggy
(Reggae Musician & DJ With Hits Like 'It Wasn't Me'. 'Boombastic' and 'In The Summertime')
Shaggy
9
Birthdate: October 22, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Jamaican reggae singer Orville Richard Burrell, better known as Shaggy, has delivered international hits such as It Wasn't Me and In The Summertime. The two-time Grammy-winning artist was also bestowed with the Jamaican Order of Distinction. He was part of the U.S. Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm.

 8 
Ziggy Marley
(Jamaican Singer and the Son of Reggae Icon Bob Marley)
Ziggy Marley
6
Birthdate: October 17, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Trenchtown, Jamaica
Jamaican musician Ziggy Marley, son of legendary reggae artist Bob Marley and Rita Marley, is known for leading the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. He is also an avid philanthropist and has worked with charities such as Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment and Little Kids Rock.
 9 
Damian Marley
4
Birthdate: July 21, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kingston

The son of reggae legend Bob Marley and musician and Miss World 1976 Cindy Breakspeare, Damian Marley is a renowned Jamaican DJ and rapper. Known as Junior Gong, the 4-time Grammy Award winner stepped into the professional music scene at age 13 and now calls himself a “Spiritual Revolutionary.”

 10 
Vybz Kartel
(Songwriter)
Vybz Kartel
24
Birthdate: January 7, 1976
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kingston

Jamaican reggae/dancehall musician Vybz Kartel, also known as Worl' Boss, soared to fame with hits such as Romping Shop and Summer Time. In 2014, he was convicted of the murder of his associate Clive "Lizard" Williams and received a life sentence. However, he continues to release music from prison.

 11 
Yohan Blake
(Jamaican Sprinter)
Yohan Blake
4
Birthdate: December 26, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: St. James Parish, Jamaica

Yohan Blake is a Jamaican sprinter who became the youngest 100 meters world champion when he won a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in 2011. He also won gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games as part of the Jamaican relay team. Yohan Blake is the second-fastest man in both 100 meters and 200 meters events.

 12 
Dillian Whyte
2
Birthdate: April 11, 1988
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Port Antonio, Jamaica

Born in Jamaica, Dillian Whyte moved with his family to the UK as a 12-year-old. Initially a British kickboxing champion, he later moved on to boxing. He was banned for 2 years for consuming a banned drug. He apparently had his first child at age 13, becoming one of the world’s youngest fathers.

 13 
Lee Boyd Malvo
(American Serial Killer)
Lee Boyd Malvo
25
Birthdate: February 18, 1985
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Lee Boyd Malvo was involved in the Beltway sniper attacks of 2002, which killed 10 people and injured three in the Washington Metropolitan Area. He had befriended his accomplice in the act, John Allen Muhammad, as a juvenile. Malvo is currently serving multiple life sentences at a supermax prison.

 14 
Rohan Marley
(Co-founder of Marley Coffee)
Rohan Marley
6
Birthdate: May 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Rohan Marley is a Jamaican entrepreneur and son of the legendary reggae artist Bob Marley. A former football player, Marley played for the University of Miami, where he was teammates with Dwayne Johnson, Ray Lewis, and Warren Sapp. He then went on to play professional football for the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League.

 15 
Peter Tosh
(Reggae Musician)
Peter Tosh
10
Birthdate: October 19, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Westmoreland, Jamaica
Died: September 11, 1987
Abandoned by his parents as a child, Peter Tosh grew up learning music by watching others perform. Part of the Jamaican reggae group Bob Marley and the Wailers, he advocated for legalization of marijuana. He loved unicycling. He was shot dead during a robbery attempt by three gunmen.
 16 
Uriah Hall
(First UFC Fighter in History to Win a Fight Without Throwing a Single Strike)
Uriah Hall
2
Birthdate: July 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Spanish Town, Jamaica

Uriah Hall is a Jamaican-American professional mixed martial artist who emerged as The Ultimate Fighter 17 Knockout of the Season. He currently fights in the middleweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and has previously been associated with Bellator MMA and Ring of Combat. Besides mixed martial arts, he has made a few media appearances. 

 17 
Safaree Samuels
(Rapper and Songwriter, Best Known as the Cast of VH1 Reality Show 'Love & Hip Hop")
Safaree Samuels
4
Birthdate: July 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Jamaican-American rapper Safaree Samuels started his career with The Hoodstars. He is also known as rapper Nicki Minaj’s former boyfriend. He once launched a sex toy line and later sold his porn videos on his OnlyFans account. He has also been part of the reality show Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood.

 18 
Shawn Rhoden
(Bodybuilder)
Shawn Rhoden
0
Birthdate: April 2, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Shawn Rhoden was a Jamaican-American professional bodybuilder best remembered for winning the 2018 Mr. Olympia contest. He defeated the seven-time champion Phil Heath and became the oldest bodybuilder to win the prestigious title at the age of 43. Shawn Rhoden suffered a fatal heart attack in 2021.

 19 
Stephen Marley
(Jamaican-American Musician and Son of Singer Bob Marley)
Stephen Marley
6
Birthdate: April 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Stephen Marley is a Jamaican-American musician best known for his collaborations with his brothers Damian and Ziggy Marley. Stephen, the son of Bob Marley, is a multiple-time Grammy Award winner and a successful musician, both in the Jamaican and American music industry.

 20 
Buju Banton
(One of the Most Significant and Well-Regarded Artists in Jamaican Music)
Buju Banton
5
Birthdate: July 15, 1973
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Buju Banton is a Jamaican recording artist widely regarded as one of the most important and celebrated artists in the history of Jamaican music. He is best known for his album Mr. Mention, which became one of the best-selling Jamaican albums of all time. In 2010, Buju Banton won the Grammy Award for his tenth studio album, Before The Dawn.

 21 
Roy Hibbert
(Jamaican-American Former Professional Basketball Player)
Roy Hibbert
1
Birthdate: December 11, 1986
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States

Roy Hibbert is a Jamaican-American retired basketball player best known for his achievements in the NBA. A two-time NBA All-Star, Hibbert has played for popular teams like Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets. In the 2013-14 NBA season, Roy Hibbert was the runner-up for the prestigious NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.

 22 
Andre Russell
(Cricketer)
Andre Russell
4
Birthdate: April 29, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Jamaican cricketer Andre Russell, who gained fame as a West Indian all-rounder, holds the record of being the second person to score a century and a hat-trick in the same T-20 match. In 2021, he released a video thanking Indian prime minister Narendra Modi for sending COVID-19 vaccines to Jamaica.
 23 
Jimmy Cliff
(Singer, Actor, Music artist, Artist, Musician)
Jimmy Cliff
3
Birthdate: April 1, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint James Parish

Jimmy Cliff is best known for popularizing reggae. After beginning his music career singing at local fairs in Jamaica, he scored his first hit, Hurricane Hattie, at 14. He later sang the iconic single Hakuna Matata from The Lion King. He was also the star of the film The Harder They Come.

 24 
Patrick Chung
(American Football player)
Patrick Chung
1
Birthdate: August 19, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Patrick Chung is a Jamaican-American retired professional football player best known for his association with the New England Patriots. He played in the NFL for 12 seasons, during which he won three Super Bowls for New England. Patrick Chung also played for the Philadelphia Eagles for a season during his 12-year career.

 25 
Ky-Mani Marley
(Reggae musician, Actor who received a Grammy Award nomination for his album, Many More Roads)
Ky-Mani Marley
1
Birthdate: February 26, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Falmouth, Trelawny, Jamaica

Ky-Mani Marley is a Jamaican musician and actor best known for his 2001 studio album Many More Roads, which earned him a Grammy Award nomination. The son of Bob Marley, Ky-Mani Marley has also played lead roles in films like Shottas and One Love.

 26 
Courtney Walsh
(Cricketer)
Courtney Walsh
1
Birthdate: October 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kingston

Courtney Walsh is a Jamaican former cricketer who played for the West Indies cricket team from 1984 to 2001. Considered one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, Walsh became the first bowler to take 500 Test wickets before finishing his career with 519 wickets. Walsh was made an inductee of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2010.

 27 
Shabba Ranks
(Musician, Singer who is notoriously popular for "Mr. Loverman" and "Ting-A-Ling")
Shabba Ranks
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: St. Ann, Jamaica

Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon, better known as Shabba Ranks, was one of the most popular dancehall performers of his time. The Grammy Award winner soared to international fame with the track Mr. Loverman. He was also once in trouble for allegedly communicating that he was against the LGBT community.

 28 
Wes Morgan
(Association football player)
Wes Morgan
6
Birthdate: January 21, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nottingham

Wes Morgan is a former football player who played as a defender for teams like Leicester City Football Club, Nottingham Forest, and the Jamaican national team. He also captained Leicester City for nine years till his retirement in 2021. Morgan was a successful captain, leading his team to a Championship title, Premier League title, and their first FA Cup win.

 29 
Donovan Ruddock
0
Birthdate: December 21, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint Catherine Parish, Jamaica

Donovan Ruddock is a Jamaican-born Canadian retired boxer. Renowned for his exceptionally heavy punching, Ruddock was featured on The Ring magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time list. Donovan Ruddock is also known for his famous fights against Mike Tyson in 1991 and Lennox Lewis in 1992.

 30 
Asafa Powell
(Sprinter, Athletics competitor)
Asafa Powell
0
Birthdate: November 23, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Spanish Town

Asafa Powell is a Jamaican sprinter who set the 100 metres world record on two occasions between 2005 and 2008. He achieved international prominence in 2016 when he won a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Asafa Powell has also won a couple of gold medals at the World Championships.

 31 
Michael Lee-Chin
(Chairman and CEO of Portland Holdings Inc)
Michael Lee-Chin
2
Birthdate: January 3, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port Antonio, Jamaica

Michael Lee-Chin is a Jamaican-Canadian businessman and philanthropist. He is best known for his association with a privately held investment company named Portland Holdings Inc., where he serves as the CEO and chairman. A well-known philanthropist, Michael Lee-Chin has donated millions of dollars to educational institutions and museums across Canada. 

 32 
OMI
(Singer)
OMI
3
Birthdate: September 3, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clarendon

OMI is a Jamaican singer best known for his song Cheerleader, which achieved commercial success, reaching number one in many countries including Germany, the US, and the UK. The song earned him nominations at the Teen Choice Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, NRJ Music Awards, Radio Disney Music Awards, and Billboard Music Awards.

 33 
Beenie Man
(Singer)
Beenie Man
1
Birthdate: August 22, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kingston

Beenie Man is a Dancehall deejay from Jamaica known for his 1995 studio album Blessed, which earned him international fame. He started his career as a prodigy, recording albums at the age of 10! He then went on to establish himself as one of the most popular deejays; he has had feuds with famous contemporaries like Yellowman and Bounty Killer.

 34 
Masego
(Incorporating the saxophone into his musi)
Masego
1
Birthdate: June 8, 1993
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Masego is a Jamaican-American singer and musician who achieved widespread recognition in 2017 when he released his collaborative record Tadow alongside French Kiwi Juice (FKJ). Masego is best known for releasing songs that incorporate the saxophone in many beautiful ways.

 35 
Darren Moore
(Football player)
Darren Moore
1
Birthdate: April 22, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Birmingham, England

Darren Moore is a football manager who is currently managing Sheffield Wednesday Football Club which plays in the English Football League One. A former player, Moore played as a centre-back for teams like Torquay United and Bradford City. In April and September 2018, Moore was named Premier League Manager of the Month and EFL Championship Manager of the Month respectively. 

 36 
Lyriq Bent
(Known for His Roles in the ‘Saw’ Film Series and in the TV Series ‘Rookie Blue’)
Lyriq Bent
2
Birthdate: July 15, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Born in Jamaica and raised in Canada, Lyriq Bent is known for series such as Angela's Eyes and She's Gotta Have It. He has also gained fame as Daniel Rigg in the Saw franchise. A sports lover, he is also a skilled golfer and is fond of basketball and soccer.

 37 
Gregory Isaacs
(Known as The Cool Ruler, he sang hundreds of Jamaican dancehall classics like "My Only Lover")
Gregory Isaacs
1
Birthdate: July 15, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: October 25, 2010

Jamaican reggae musician Gregory Isaacs, also known as the Cool Ruler and Lonely Lover, soared to fame with the track Night Nurse. He excelled in both romantic ballads and socially relevant songs. He sold marijuana in his early days and had a lifelong drug problem. He was also once imprisoned for possessing firearms.

 38 
Claude McKay
(Writer)
Claude McKay
2
Birthdate: September 15, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clarendon Parish
Died: May 22, 1948

Claude McKay was a poet who played an influential role in the Harlem Renaissance. Remembered for his work If We Must Die, a poem written in response to mob attacks on African-American communities by white Americans, McKay was named the national poet of Jamaica in 1977. For his contribution to literature, he was posthumously honored with the Order of Jamaica.

 39 
Desmond Dekker
(Singer-songwriter)
Desmond Dekker
0
Birthdate: July 16, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica
Died: May 25, 2006

Desmond Dekker was a Jamaican musician and singer-songwriter best remembered for his 1968 hit song Israelites, which was one of the earliest reggae songs to achieve international attention. Desmond Dekker often performed alongside his famous backing group The Aces and achieved immense popularity during the late 1960s and 1970s.

 40 
Bunny Wailer
(Singer, Percussionist, Songwriter)
Bunny Wailer
2
Birthdate: April 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingston

Bunny Wailer was a Jamaican percussionist and singer-songwriter. An original member of a famous band named The Wailers alongside Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, Wailer is regarded as one of the foremost exponents of reggae music. Over the course of his illustrious career, Bunny Wailer received several prestigious awards including three Grammy Awards.

 41 
Burning Spear
(Jamaican Roots Reggae Singer-Songwriter, Vocalist and Musician)
Burning Spear
1
Birthdate: March 1, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: St. Ann Parish, Jamaica

Winston Rodney, better known as Burning Spear, is one of the most popular roots reggae singers from Jamaica. He has often depicted Rastafarianism in his works. Along with Rupert Willington, he soared to fame with the track Door Peep. The 2-time Grammy winner is best known for the album Calling Rastafari.

 42 
Toots Hibbert
(Reggae Singer & the Lead Vocalist for the Reggae and Ska Band 'Toots and the Maytals')
Toots Hibbert
0
Birthdate: December 8, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: May Pen, Jamaica
Died: September 11, 2020

Toots Hibbert was a Jamaican singer-songwriter best remembered for his association with the musical group Toots and the Maytals where he was the lead vocalist. A pioneer of reggae music, Toots Hibbert helped establish the fundamentals of reggae over a course of his six decade-long career. His song Do the Reggay is credited as the origin of the name reggae.

 43 
Noel Jones
(Pastor)
Noel Jones
1
Birthdate: January 31, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Spanish Town, Jamaica
 44 
Dustin Brown
(German-Jamaican Tennis Player Known for His Technique, Speed, and Entertaining Playing Style)
Dustin Brown
2
Birthdate: December 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Celle, Germany

Dustin Brown is a German tennis player best known for defeating Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal in the second round of the 2015 Wimbledon Championships. Renowned for his speed, technique, and entertaining playing style, Dustin Brown is also famous for his dreadlocked hairstyle, which has earned him the nickname Dreddy.

 45 
Bushwick Bill
(Member of the pioneering Texas hip hop)
Bushwick Bill
1
Birthdate: December 8, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: June 9, 2019

Bushwick Bill was a Jamaican-American record producer and rapper. He achieved fame as a member of the popular American hip hop group, Geto Boys. His popularity increased in 1991 when he shot himself after an argument with his girlfriend. Although he lost his right eye, the incident helped increase the sales of Geto Boys' album We Can't Be Stopped.

 46 
Mavado
(singer)
Mavado
0
Birthdate: November 30, 1981
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kingston

Mavado is a Jamaican singer best known for his singles like Give It All to Me and I'm Sanctify. A controversial singer, Mavado has been criticized for anti-gay lyrics on a number of occasions. Apart from working with record labels like Cash Money Records and We the Best Music Group, Mavado has also formed his own label called Mansion Records. 

 47 
Trevor Berbick
(The Last Boxer to Defeat Muhammad Ali)
Trevor Berbick
3
Birthdate: August 1, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Port Antonio, Jamaica
Died: October 28, 2006

Trevor Berbick was a Jamaican boxer known for participating in historical bouts, such as Muhammad Ali's last fight in 1981, which Ali lost. He also held the WBC heavyweight title in 1986 before losing the title to Mike Tyson the same year. He is also remembered for earning Jamaica a bronze medal at the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico.

 48 
Michael Manley
(Politician)
Michael Manley
2
Birthdate: December 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint Andrew
Died: March 6, 1997

Michael Manley was a Jamaican politician best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Jamaica on two occasions between 1972 and 1992. An influential politician, he served as the prime minister from 1972 to 1980 and again from 1989 to 1992. Michael Manley is often counted among the most popular Jamaican prime ministers of all time.

 49 
Bilal Philips
(teacher, writer)
Bilal Philips
0
Birthdate: January 7, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kingston

Bilal Philips is a Canadian author, Islamic teacher, and speaker. He is best known for founding the International Open University where he is currently serving as the chancellor. Bilal Philips has written and commented on many Islamic books and has also appeared on numerous satellite and national television channels, such as Saudi TV, Peace TV, and Sharjah TV.

 50 
Marlon James
(novelist, writer)
Marlon James
0
Birthdate: 1970 AD
Birthplace: Kingston

Marlon James is a Jamaican writer best known for his 2014 novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, which earned him the Man Booker Prize in 2015. He is also a recipient of other prestigious awards such as the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and Minnesota Book Award. James was featured in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People list in 2019.