Kwame Nkrumah was a Ghanaian revolutionary and politician. He played an important role in the independence of the Gold Coast in 1957, after which he served as the first prime minister of Ghana from 1957 to 1960 and then as the first president of Ghana from 1960 to 1966. He also played an influential role as an advocate of Pan-Africanism.
Bela Bartok was a Hungarian pianist, composer, and ethnomusicologist. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent composers, Bartok is also counted among Hungary's greatest composers of all time. He is credited with co-founding comparative musicology, which came to be known as ethnomusicology.
Sebastian Stan serves as an inspiration to many youngsters as he overcame his difficult beginnings to become a popular actor in the American film industry. A self-made man, he learned the art of acting at the prestigious Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London and went on to star in hit films like Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame.
Often considered a national hero of Romania, Vlad the Impaler was an important ruler in Wallachian history. Also known as Vlad Dracula, his reputation for cruelty inspired the name of the famous fictitious vampire Count Dracula. Books describing his cruelty were among the first-known bestsellers in the German-speaking territories.
Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Elie Wiesel is best remembered for his book Night, which relates his traumatic experience as a Jewish prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps. After surviving the Holocaust, he became a journalist and a human rights activist, and also helped in establishing the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Saint Patrick was a Romano-British bishop and Christian missionary in Ireland. Widely regarded as the main patron saint of Ireland, Patrick is often referred to as the Apostle of Ireland. According to early medieval tradition, Patrick is credited with popularizing Christianity in Ireland. His life and work inspired the 2000 TV historical drama film, St. Patrick: The Irish Legend.
Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso, better known as Ovid, lived during the rule of Augustus. He is held at par with Latin legends Virgil and Horace. Remembered for his mythological masterpiece the Metamorphoses, a 15-book Latin poem, he spent his final years exiled in a city on the Black Sea.
Alaric I reigned as the first king of the Visigoths. Alaric, who operated against the Western Roman regimes, is best remembered for playing a crucial role in the sack of Rome in 410, which was one of the major events leading up to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. After Rome's sack, Alaric fell ill and died in Bruttium.
Constantin Brâncuși was a Romanian sculptor, painter, and photographer. A pioneer of modernism, he is considered one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century. The son of poor parents, he worked hard to fund his training at the Bucharest School of Fine Arts and became a skilled sculptor. He left behind 1200 photographs and 215 sculptures at his death.
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian politician who served as the first president of the country. Ceaușescu's communist government was totalitarian and was responsible for human rights abuses and severe repression. An anti-government protest (the Romanian Revolution) broke out in 1989 and his government was overthrown subsequently. Ceaușescu and his wife were convicted of genocide and executed by firing squad.
Carol II of Romania reigned as king of Romania from 1930 to 1940. He played a major role in establishing a royal dictatorship in Romania by abolishing the political parties and removing the 1923 constitution. He replaced the political parties with the National Renaissance Front, a single monopoly party of government.
Carol I of Romania reigned as the King of Romania from 15 March 1881 to 10 October 1914. He helped Romania achieve independence by leading his men during the Russo-Turkish War and is best remembered as the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty's first ruler. During his reign, Romania's infrastructure and industry were improved.
Mircea Eliade was a Romanian fiction writer, historian of religion, professor at the University of Chicago, and philosopher. His stories and novels have been adapted into films, such as The Bengali Night, which was directed by Nicolas Klotz. His works have also influenced writers all over the world.
Dan Petrescu is a Romanian former football player best known for winning the 1998 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup for Chelsea. He also earned 95 caps for his national team between 1989 and 2000. Since his retirement, Dan Petrescu has worked as a manager and is currently managing CFR Cluj. Petrescu is the second-most successful Romanian manager.
Alexandru Ioan Cuza was the first ruler of the Romanian Principalities after the unification of Moldavia and Wallachia. He is credited with modernizing the Romanian society through a series of reforms. Today, Alexandru Ioan Cuza is regarded as a national hero of Romania. He is also counted among the founders of the modern Romanian state.
Former Romanian politician Traian Băsescu was impeached and re-instated by a popular referendum once in 2007 and again in 2012. As the governor of Bucharest, he successfully reduced the number of stray dogs. He also sent Romanian troops to serve as part of George Bush’s war in Iraq.
Ferdinand I of Romania reigned as the King of Romania from 10 October 1914 until his death on 20 July 1927. He chose to support the Triple Entente during World War I and managed to annex Transylvania, Bukovina, Bessarabia, and parts of Maramureș, Crișana, and Banat, which resulted in the establishment of Greater Romania.
Gordian III was a Roman emperor who reigned from 238 to 244 AD. He was the youngest Roman emperor as he ascended the throne at age 13. His reign was marked by a series of major earthquakes that swallowed a number of cities along with their inhabitants.
Ion Tiriac is a Romanian businessman and retired tennis and ice hockey player. He is best known for winning the men's doubles event at the 1970 French Open. In 2013, he was made an inductee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. As an ice hockey player, Tiriac played for his national team as defenseman at the 1964 Winter Olympics.
Cristian Chivu is a Romanian retired football player who earned 75 caps for his national team between 1999 and 2010. He also represented popular clubs like Inter Milan, winning the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Champions League for the team. Cristian Chivu is currently serving as the head coach of Internazionale's Primavera side.
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.
Carinus was a Roman emperor who reigned from 283 to 285 AD. He was the son of Emperor Carus. Carinus is often counted among the worst Roman emperors and this reputation of his may have been orchestrated by his successful opponent, Diocletian.
Austro-Hungarian-born German physicist and engineer Hermann Oberth is regarded as one of the founding fathers of astronautics and rocketry along with Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Robert Esnault-Pelterie, and Robert Goddard. His classic book The Rocket into Planetary Space gained him widespread attention. Oberth garnered a patent for his rocket design and launched his first rocket near Berlin, Germany, on May 7, 1931.
Răzvan Lucescu is a Romanian former football player who played as a goalkeeper. Although he did not achieve much popularity as a player, Lucescu is renowned for his coaching career. In 2018 and 2020, Răzvan Lucescu was named Romania Coach of the Year by Gazeta Sporturilor.
Bela Karolyi is a prominent gymnastics coach who developed the Romanian centralized training system for gymnastics. His wife, Márta Károlyi, is also a gymnastics coach and together they have trained numerous Olympic, European, and World champions. The couple has been credited with transforming gymnastic coaching in USA. Many gymnasts have called him out for his abusive coaching style.
A qualified architect, Saul Steinberg later established himself as a cartoonist and an illustrator and is best remembered for his contributions to The New Yorker. Born to Jewish parents in Romania, he escaped to the U.S. in the wake of anti-Semitic attacks. He also designed advertisements, murals, and theater sets.