Romanian

Romania may not bag headlines too often or feature in the itinerary of every tourist visiting Europe, but that does not really cloud the enticements and excitements that the country has to offer. Its diverse landscape, jaw-dropping castles, and great food aside, Romania has a wad of other baits too and incredible ones at that, remarkable enough to floor anyone wanting to explore all about it. That is right! From being home to one of the “happiest cemeteries” on Earth to being one of the largest producers of wine and from boasting of having one of the best roads in the world to being one of the richest countries in Europe, Romania is one helluva country worth exploring. But that is not all, dear readers. This less-talked about country has also raised some extraordinary men and women, most of whom have revolutionized the world. Explore all about the lives of some such famous Romanians in their biographies encapsulated below. Trail the trials and triumphs of their lives through the timelines, trivia, and lesser-known facts covered in their profiles and get inspired.

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 

Nadia Comaneci
16
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 12, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Onești, Romania

Nadia Comaneci is a Romanian former gymnast. One of the best-known gymnasts in the world, Comaneci has five Olympic gold medals under her belt. Credited with popularizing gymnastics around the world, Nadia Comaneci was honored by the Laureus World Sports Academy by including her in their Athletes of the 20th Century list in 2000.

 2 
Kwame Nkrumah
(First President of Ghana)

Kwame Nkrumah
13
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 21, 1909
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nkroful
Died: April 27, 1972

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.

 3 

Sebastian Stan
37
Birthdate: August 13, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Constanța, Romania

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.

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 4 
Saint Patrick
(Missionary)

Saint Patrick
19
Birthdate: 0385 AD
Birthplace: Roman Britain
Died: March 17, 0461

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.

 5 
Vlad the Impaler
(Ruler of Wallachia (1448))

Vlad the Impaler
2
Birthdate: 1431 AD
Birthplace: Sighișoara, Romania
Died: November 30, 1476

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.

 6 
Simona Halep
(Tennis Player)

Simona Halep
17
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 27, 1991
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Constanta, Romania

Simona Halep is a Romanian tennis player. With 22 WTA singles titles and two Grand Slam singles titles under her belt, Simona Halep is one of the most successful Romanian female tennis players of all time. She is also widely considered one of the WTA Tour's best returners of the current generation.

 7 
Elie Wiesel
(Writer)

Elie Wiesel
5
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sighetu Marmației, Romania
Died: July 2, 2016

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.

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Michael of Romania
4
Birthdate: October 25, 1921
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Peleș Castle, Sinaia, Romania
Died: December 5, 2017

 9 
Ovid
(Poet)

Ovid
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: March 20, 0043
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sulmo, Italy, Roman Republic
Died: 0017 AD

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.

 10 
Gheorghe Hagi
(Football Attacking Midfielder)

Gheorghe Hagi
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 5, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sacele, Romania

 11 
Inna
(The Best-Selling Romanian Artist)

Inna
7
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 16, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mangalia, Romania

Inna is a Romanian songwriter and singer who achieved popularity after releasing her debut studio album Hot, which was certified Platinum and Gold. Over the years, she has received several awards, such as MTV Europe Music Awards, Romanian Music Awards, and Balkan Music Awards. Also a human rights activist, Inna supports LGBT and children's rights. 

 12 
Gheorghe Mureșan
(Basketball player)

Gheorghe Mureșan
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 14, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tritenii de Jos, Romania

 13 

Constantin Brâncuși
2
Birthdate: February 19, 1876
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hobita, Romania
Died: March 16, 1957

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. 

 14 
Ilie Năstase
(Tennis player)

Ilie Năstase
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 19, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania

 15 
Alaric I
(King of the Visigoths (395-410))

Alaric I
0
Birthdate: 0370 AD
Birthplace: Peuce Island
Died: 0410 AD

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.

 16 

John Houseman
4
Birthdate: September 22, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania
Died: October 31, 1988
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 17 
Klaus Iohannis
(President of Romania)

Klaus Iohannis
9
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 13, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sibiu
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, who is also the National Liberal Party leader and had initially been a physics teacher, calls himself a “firefighter.” Though he has pledged to fight against corruption in Romania, Iohannis believes his country is not yet ready for the legalization of same-sex marriages. 

 18 

Marie of Romania
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 29, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Eastwell Park, Kent, England
Died: July 10, 1938

 19 

Alexandra Stan
5
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: June 10, 1989
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Constanța, Romania

 20 
Emil Cioran
(Philosopher)

Emil Cioran
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 8, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rasinari, Romania
Died: July 20, 1995
Born to a priest father, Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran grew up to include religious and melancholic themes in his works. His award-winning bestseller A Short History of Decay was followed by books such as The Trouble with Being Born, all of which spoke of illness and suicide.

 21 
Ana Ularu
(Actress)

Ana Ularu
2
Birthdate: June 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania

Ana Ularu is a Romanian actress best known for playing the role of Matilda in the action film Outbound. She began her acting career in the mid-1990s and appeared in a handful of minor roles in TV shows. As her career progressed, she started acting in films as well. She has received a Locarno International Film Festival Award.

 22 
Carol II of Romania
(King of Romania (1930-40))

Carol II of Romania
1
Birthdate: October 15, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Peleș Castle, Sinaia, Romania
Died: April 4, 1953

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. 

 23 
Nicolae Ceaușescu
(Former President of Romania)

Nicolae Ceaușescu
18
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 26, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Scornicești
Died: December 25, 1989

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.

 24 
Ion Antonescu
(43rd Prime Minister of Romania)

Ion Antonescu
6
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 14, 1882
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pitești, Romania
Died: June 1, 1946

 25 
Mircea Eliade
(Historian of Religion and Author)

Mircea Eliade
4
Birthdate: March 13, 1907
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania
Died: April 22, 1986

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.

 26 
Adrian Mutu
(Professional Football Manager & Former Player)

Adrian Mutu
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 8, 1979
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Călinești, Romania

 27 

Mihai Eminescu
4
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 15, 1850
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Botoșani, Romania
Died: June 15, 1889

 28 

Carol I of Romania
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1839
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sigmaringen, Germany
Died: October 10, 1914

 29 
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
(Politician, Essayist)

Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 13, 1899
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Huși
Died: November 30, 1938

 30 
Aurelia Dobre
(Artistic gymnast)

Aurelia Dobre
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 16, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania

Aurelia Dobre is a Romanian former artistic gymnast who won three gold medals at the 24th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 1987. In the same World Championships, she won two bronze medals. In 1988, she helped her team win the silver medal at the Summer Olympics. In 2016, she was made an inductee of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

 31 
Ingrid Bisu
(Actress)

Ingrid Bisu
4
Birthdate: September 15, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania

 32 
Dan Petrescu
(Football Player)

Dan Petrescu
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 22, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania

 33 
Robert Bobroczky
(Basketball player)

Robert Bobroczky
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 17, 2000
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Arad, Romania

 34 
Mircea Lucescu
(Association football player, Association football manager)

Mircea Lucescu
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 29, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bucharest

 35 

Michael the Brave
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 15, 1558
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Drăgoeşti, Vâlcea
Died: August 9, 1601

 36 
Maia Sandu
(Politician)

Maia Sandu
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Risipeni, Moldova

 37 
Laura Bretan
(Soprano)

Laura Bretan
2
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: April 7, 2002
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 38 
George Enescu
(Romanian composer)

George Enescu
2
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: August 19, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: George Enescu, Botoşani
Died: May 4, 1955

 39 

Alexandru Ioan Cuza
0
Birthdate: March 20, 1820
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bârlad, Romania
Died: May 15, 1873

 40 
Márta Károlyi
(Gymnastics coach)

Márta Károlyi
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Odorheiu Secuiesc, Romania

Márta Károlyi is a Hungarian-born Romanian-American gymnastics coach. She was the former national team coordinator for USA Gymnastics. Her husband, Bela, is also a prominent gymnastics coach, and between them, the couple has trained nine Olympic champions, fifteen world champions, sixteen European medalists, and many US national champions. She retired from coaching in 2016. 

 41 
Sorana Cirstea
(Tennis player)

Sorana Cirstea
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 7, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania

 42 

Paul Celan
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: November 23, 1920
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chernivtsi, Ukraine
Died: April 20, 1970

 43 
Gordian III
(Emperor)

Gordian III
1
Birthdate: January 20, 0225
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rome
Died: February 11, 0244

Queen Anne of Romania
2
Birthdate: September 18, 1923
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 1, 2016

 45 

Lucian Bute
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 28, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pechea, Galați, Romania

 46 
Traian Băsescu
(Former President of Romania)

Traian Băsescu
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 4, 1951
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Murfatlar

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.

 47 
Beatrice Cenci
(Noblewoman)

Beatrice Cenci
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 6, 1577
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: September 11, 1599

 48 
Gyorgy Dozsa
(Soldier)

Gyorgy Dozsa
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1470 AD
Birthplace: Dalnic, Romania
Died: July 20, 1514

 49 
Ion Tiriac
(Tennis player)

Ion Tiriac
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 9, 1939
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brașov, Romania

 50 

Cătălina Ponor
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 20, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Constanța, Romania