Dalia Grybauskaitė became the first female president of Lithuania and the first to be re-elected. Popularly known as Lithuania’s Iron Lady and often compared to Margaret Thatcher, she has also been the UN Commissioner of the Year. A black belt in karate, she has mastery over four languages.
Jonas Mekas was a Lithuanian-American poet, artist, and filmmaker. Referred to as the godfather of American avant-garde cinema, Mekas is credited with mentoring many important American artists and filmmakers, such as Peter Bogdanovich, Ken Jacobs, and Martin Scorsese among others. Jonas Mekas' work has been displayed in museums. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including Lithuanian National Prize.
Stephen Báthory reigned as the King of Poland from 1 May 1576 to 12 December 1586. A member of the Báthory noble family of Hungary, Stephen ruled Transylvania during the 1570s before becoming the third elected king of Poland. Stephen Báthory is counted among the most successful kings in the history of Poland.
Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė is а Lithuanian actress who appears predominantly in Russian films. She achieved popularity in 1994, when she won the Nika Award for Best Actress. Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė is аlso a recipient of the State Prize of the Russian Federation.
Vytautas, also called Vytautas the Great, was the Grand Duke of Lithuania. Vytautas consolidated the possessions of his country and aided in building a national consciousness. Revered as a national hero, Vytautas was considered a significant figure during the 19th century Lithuanian National Revival. The Vytautas Magnus University founded in 1922 during the Polish–Lithuanian War was named after him.
Bria Vinaite is a Lithuanian-born American actress best known for her portrayal of Halley in the 2017 coming-of-age drama film The Florida Project, which earned her critical acclaim. Bria Vinaite's performance in the film earned her nominations for the San Diego Film Critics Society Award, North Texas Film Critics Association Award, and Chicago Film Critics Association Award.
Severija Janušauskaitė is a Lithuanian actress and occasional singer, composer, fashion model, and costume designer. She is best known for her portrayal of Rita in the 2014 Russian drama film Star, which earned her a Best Actress Award at the Kinotavr Film Festival. Her performance in the film was also honored with the prestigious Golden Eagle Award.
Gediminas was a Lithuanian leader who served as the Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1316 until his death in 1341. Counted among the most important political figures in early Lithuanian history, Gediminas is credited with building the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. He is also credited with founding a dynasty that eventually ruled other European countries like Hungary, Poland, and Bohemia.
Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis was a Lithuanian composer, painter, and writer. Widely regarded as a pioneer of abstract art in Europe, Čiurlionis contributed immensely to art nouveau and symbolism. Today, many of his paintings are preserved at the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum in Lithuania. Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis also had a major influence on modern Lithuanian culture.
The first president of Lithuania, Antanas Smetona was drawn into the revolutionary movements of his country soon after finishing law school. A major political figure of his country during the two World Wars, he came to power for a second time after launching a coup in 1926.
Mindaugas reigned as the King of Lithuania from 1253 to 1263. His reign was marked by numerous state-building accomplishments. Although not much is documented about his life and reign, Mindaugas is generally regarded as the founder of the Lithuanian state. He is also remembered as the only crowned Lithuanian king.
Former Lithuanian president Valdas Adamkus had fought against the Soviet army during World War II. After fleeing to Germany, he studied in Munich and then migrated to the U.S., where he earned a civil engineering degree. Among his many accolades are honorary doctorates from countless foreign universities.
Clara Rockmore was a Lithuanian violin prodigy. She later became a virtuoso performer of an electronic musical instrument called the theremin. Rockmore is credited with improving and popularizing the instrument by working closely with its inventor, Leon Theremin. Clara Rockmore is also known as the sister of famous American pianist Nadia Reisenberg.
Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel was a Russian military officer who served in the Imperial Russian Army. He played an important role during the Russian Civil War, serving as the commanding general of the White Army during the later stages of the war. He lost the war and left Russia, becoming one of the most important exiled White émigrés of South Russia.
Vytautas Landsbergis is a Lithuanian politician and writer. He is best known for his service as the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania from 1990 to 1992. Apart from writing books on politics, Vytautas Landsbergis has also written several books on music.
Born to a Jewish family in southern Lithuania that was well-respected among the community, Bluma Zeigarnik grew up to be a renowned psychologist. She is best remembered for discovering what is known as the Zeigarnik effect, or the phenomenon of remembering incomplete tasks better than complete ones.
Rodion Shchedrin is a Soviet and Russian pianist and composer. One of the most recognized and decorated Soviet-born pianists and composers of his generation, Rodion Shchedrin has won many prestigious awards such as the USSR State Prize, Lenin Prize, and State Prize of the Russian Federation.
Emilia Plater was a Polish-Lithuanian revolutionary and noblewoman. Often compared with France's Joan of Arc, Plater is seen as a national heroine in Belarus, Lithuania, and Poland. Emilia Plater's story has inspired numerous works of art and literature and she is often seen as a symbol of women empowerment in Lithuania.
Virgilijus Alekna is a Lithuanian retired discus thrower who won gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. A two-time world champion, Alekna also won the 2006 European Championship. Virgilijus Alekna was named Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year on four occasions. In 2017, he was honored with the prestigious European Athletics Lifetime Achievement Award.
George Mikell was a Lithuanian-Australian writer and actor. He is best known for playing important roles in popular films like The Guns of Navarone and The Great Escape. Over the course of his career, he also played numerous leading roles in theatre. After retiring as an actor, George Mikell wrote many short stories and two film scripts.
Born to an architect father in Lithuania, George Maciunas later fled with his family to avoid the Red Army, moving first to Germany and then to the U.S. He was one of the co-founders of the Fluxus movement of artists and architects and also restored many of SoHo’s dilapidated buildings.
Ingrida Šimonytė is a Lithuanian economist and politician. She is the current Prime Minister of Lithuania. An influential politician, Šimonytė also served as the Minister of Finance from 7 July 2009 to 13 December 2012. In 2019 and 2020, Ingrida Šimonytė was named Delfi Women of the Year.