Nina Dobrev is one of the most popular Canadian actresses. Apart from her acting career, she is also known for her activism and charity work. She uses her fame to support several charitable causes, such as Puma’s Project Pink. Also an enthusiastic volunteer, Dobrev takes part in social movements like WE movement, Me to We, and We Day.
Bulgarian professional boxer Kubrat Pulev has so-far won several titles in super-heavyweight division. These include at the Men’s 2008 European Amateur Boxing Championships and at the Strandzha Cup in 2005, 2006 and 2008. He was one of the two boxers who represented Bulgaria at the 2008 Olympics. Pulev has challenged for the unified heavyweight title in 2014 and in 2020.
Roman emperor Aurelian ruled from 270 to 275. His military triumphs reunited the Roman Empire and put an end to the Crisis of the Third Century. He built the Aurelian Walls in Rome. Known as the Restitutor Orbis, he defeated the barbarian armies of the Goths and the Alamanni.
Boris III became Tsar of the Kingdom of Bulgaria in the wake of Bulgaria's defeat in First World War. He is noted for legitimating the 1923 Bulgarian coup d'état and joining Axis Powers during Second World War. He however refrained from participating in German invasion of Soviet Union and resisted attempts of the Germans in deporting Bulgarian Jews during Holocaust.
The last king of Bulgaria, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, has also been the country’s prime minister. He had taken over as the king at 6, after his father’s mysterious death. He married a Spanish noble lady while in exile in Madrid and returned to Bulgaria 50 years after the abolition of monarchy.
Georgi Markov was a Bulgarian writer, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. After relocating to London due to political reasons, Markov worked as a journalist and broadcaster for the BBC World Service, Radio Free Europe, and Deutsche Welle. Georgi Markov was assassinated in 1978 and was posthumously honored with the Order of Stara Planina in 2000.
Tzvetan Todorov was a Bulgarian-French historian, philosopher, literary critic, and sociologist. He completed his doctorat ès lettres at the University of Paris and had a brilliant academic career. He helped to found the journal Poétique and served as one of its managing editors. He authored many books, including Conquest of America: The Question of the Other.
Irina Bokova is a Bulgarian politician best known for her service as the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs from 13 November 1996 to 13 February 1997. An important member of UNESCO, Bokova has also served as a Director-General of UNESCO from 15 October 2009 to 10 November 2017. Bokova is the recipient of many prestigious awards like the Hilal-i-Pakistan Award.
Five-time Olympian Bulgarian athlete Ivet Lalova-Collio is a master of the 100m and 200m sprint. She has been a European Champion and has won gold medals at the European Junior and Indoor Championships. He career almost ended after colliding with a fellow athlete during a warm-up session and breaking her right femur.
Raphael Mechoulam is an Israeli organic chemist currently serving as a professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. The son of a doctor, he received his M.Sc. in biochemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and completed his Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute. He is a founding member of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines.
Bulgarian environmental economist Kristalina Georgieva, the MD of IMF, believes developed nations should help low-income countries to prevent the Great Divergence. Her career boasts of a stint at the World Bank Group. She made it to the 2020 Time 100 and was named the European of the Year in 2010.
Professional Bulgarian tennis player Viktoriya Tomova has so far earned 16 ITF titles in singles and12 ITF titles in doubles. Her current WTA singles-ranking of No. 101 attained on July 11, 2022 is her best WTA singles-ranking, while she attained her career-high WTA doubles-ranking of No. 254 in August 2014. Tomova plays for the Bulgaria Fed Cup team as well.
Bulgarian boxer Tervel Pulev is not just an Olympic bronze medalist but also has 2 silvers and a bronze at the European Championship. He is the brother of heavyweight boxer Kubrat Pulev. He has held the WBA International and the European Union cruiserweight titles. He is also a 3-time Bulgarian Boxer of the Year.
Dimiter Marinov is a Bulgarian-American actor best known for his portrayal of Oleg in the 2018 American comedy-drama movie Green Book, which received the Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2019, Dimiter Marinov attended the 91st Academy Awards, becoming the first Bulgarian to walk the red carpet.
Roman emperor (in the East) Galerius was a staunch pagan and opposed Christianity. He persuaded his predecessor Emperor Diocletian to issue an edict to initiate persecution of the Christians. After Galerius became Roman emperor (in the East), he continued persecution and eventually issued Edict of Toleration, officially ending Diocletianic Persecution of Christianity in the eastern part of the Roman Empire.
Retired Bulgarian tennis player Magdalena Maleeva has had a career-high ranking of 4 in singles and 13 in doubles. She is also a 2-time Olympian and has won 10 singles titles throughout her illustrious career. She is one of the three Maleeva sisters, the daughters of former tennis player Yuliya Berberyan.
Bulgarian footballer Ivelin Popov started his youth career with Septemvri Sofia and later graduated to Turkish and Russian clubs. He won the Russian Premier League with Spartak Moscow and the Bulgarian Cup and Supercup with Litex Lovech. He has also been a Bulgarian Footballer of the Year thrice.
While she initially represented Bulgaria, former world number 3 tennis star Manuela Maleeva began playing for Switzerland after her marriage to Swiss tennis coach François Fragnière. Politically vocal, the Olympic bronze medalist co-established the party Yes, Bulgaria! She also owns a foundation that helps disabled children.
Bulgarian chess grandmaster Antoaneta Stefanova was Women's World Champion from 2004 to 2006. She has represented Bulgaria in Women's Chess Olympiad since 1992 and in Chess Olympiad in 2000. Her achievements include winning Bulgarian women's championship in 1995 and 3rd European Individual Women's Championship in June 2002. She became an MP for There Is Such A People party in 2021.
Nicknamed The Emperor, Bulgarian volleyball player Matey Kaziyski is not just an Olympian but also a FIVB World Cup and FIVB World Championship bronze medalist. Born to national volleyball player parents, he was naturally drawn to the game and also grew up playing basketball and football.
Kiril, Prince of Preslav is best remembered for his role as the Prince Regent of Bulgaria from 1943 to 1944. The son of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria and Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma, Kiril was appointed Head of State in 1943 as Simeon II of Bulgaria, the late Tsar's son, was still a minor at the time of his father's death.
French badminton player Christo Popov, affiliate with Fos club, attained World Junior number 1 ranking in boys’ singles in January 2020 and won boys’ singles title at the 2020 European Junior Championships. He also won silver in mixed-team, and bronze in mixed-doubles events at the tournament. In 2020, Popov also won the men's singles title at the French national championships.
Iliana Iotova is a Bulgarian politician and the current Vice President of Bulgaria. From 2007 to 2017, Iotova was one of the Members of the European Parliament. Prior to her political career, Iliana Iotova worked as a reporter, editor, and news presenter at Bulgarian National Television.
Retired professional-boxer Daisy Lang became the first Bulgarian woman to win a world title. Her accomplishments as professional boxer include becoming three division world champion. She held the WIBF titles for super-flyweight, bantamweight, and super-bantamweight between 1999 and 2004. Prior to her boxing career, Lang also became European Taekwondo Champion, World Karate Champion, World Kickboxing Champion and European Kickboxing Champion.
Yordanka Donkova was 5 when she lost 3 fingers on her right hand in an accident, but that didn’t stop her from becoming one of the best Bulgarian hurdling athletes. She not just won a World Indoor Championship silver but is also an Olympic gold and bronze medalist.
Vladimir Stoychev was a Bulgarian diplomat, Colonel General, and Olympic equestrian. As part of the Bulgarian Army, Stoychev took part in the Balkan Wars and the First World War. In the interwar period, Vladimir Stoychev competed at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics as an equestrian. From 1952 to 1987, he served as a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Bulgarian tennis player Adrian Andreev had a successful junior career, scripting history as the second Bulgarian to win the US Open, though in doubles. He also bagged a Youth Olympics silver. He later has a career-high global ranking of 319 in singles and 653 in doubles.
Stefan Danailov was a Bulgarian actor and politician. He is best remembered for his service as the Minister of Culture of Bulgaria from August 2005 to July 2009. He is also remembered for playing important roles in numerous plays and films. Stefan Danailov also taught at the Theatre Academy in Sofia, where he served as a professor for 20 years.
Once world number 35 in singles, Bulgarian tennis sensation Sesil Karatantcheva is best known for beating tennis legend Venus Williams and reaching the 2005 French Open quarterfinals. From 2009 to 2014, she represented Kazakhstan internationally. She is the daughter of former MP and rower Radoslav Karatantchev.
Bulgarian rhythmic gymnast Boryana Kaleyn, who began her journey with gymnastics at age 6, is not just an Olympian but has also won 3 European Championship gold medals. She is also a World Championship silver medalist and has won the Bulgarian National Championship 4 times.
Kapka Kassabova is a writer and poet whose works have earned her several prestigious awards such as a Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Highland Book Prize. Many of her books have also been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Baillie Gifford Prize, the Duff Cooper Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Awards.
Retired Bulgarian tennis player Katerina Maleeva is a former world number 6 in singles and number 24 in doubles. She is one of the 3 Maleeva sisters of world tennis, the daughters of tennis star Yuliya Berberyan, the other 2 being Manuela and Magdalena.