READ Famous People From Ethiopia

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List of famous people from Ethiopia, including photos when available. The people below are listed by their popularity, so the most recognizable names are at the top of the list. Some of the people below are celebrities born in Ethiopia, while others are simply notable locals. If you're from Ethiopia you might already know that these prominent figures are also from your hometown, but some of the names below may really surprise you. This list includes people who were born and raised in Ethiopia, as well as those who were born there but moved away at a young age.

List ranges from Noah Samara to Yemrehana Krestos and more.

If you want to answer the questions, "Which famous people are from Ethiopia?" or "Which celebrities were born in Ethiopia?" then this list is a great resource for you.

Haile Selassie is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Dec. at 83 (1892-1975)
Haile Selassie I, born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. He was a member of the Solomonic dynasty. At the League of ...more

Abraham Verghese is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 64
Abraham Verghese is a physician-author, Professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford University Medical School and Senior Associate Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. ...more

Siad Barre is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Siad Barre Dec. at 76 (1919-1995)
Mohamed Siad Barre was the military dictator and President of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969-91. During his rule, he styled himself as Jaalle Siyaad. The Barre-led military junta that ...more

Julie Mehretu is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 49
Julie Mehretu is an artist, best known for her densely layered abstract paintings and prints. She lives and works in New York City. Mehretu shares her New York studio with her partner, the ...more

Wilfred Thesiger is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Dec. at 93 (1910-2003)
Major Sir Wilfred Patrick Thesiger, CBE, DSO, FRAS, FRGS, also called Mubarak bin London was a British explorer and travel writer. Thesiger is best known for his travel books Arabian Sands, on ...more

Mulatu Astatqé is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 76
Mulatu Astatke is an Ethiopian musician and arranger best known as the father of Ethio-jazz. Born in the western Ethiopian city of Jimma, Mulatu was musically trained in London, New York City, ...more

Haile Gerima is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 72
Haile Gerima is an Ethiopian filmmaker who lives and works in the United States. He is a leading member of the L.A. Rebellion film movement, also known as the Los Angeles School of Black ...more

Bakri Sapalo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Dec. at 85 (1895-1980)
Sheikh Bakri Sapalo was an Oromo scholar, poet and religious teacher. He is best known as the inventor of a writing system for the Oromo language.

Maryam Yusuf Jamal is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 34
Maryam Yusuf Jamal is a Bahraini middle-distance runner. She is the first Bahraini athlete to win an Olympic medal, a bronze medal in the 1500m women's race, in the 2012 Summer Olympics in ...more

Genzeb Shumi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 28
Genzeb Shumi Regasa is an Ethiopian-born middle distance runner who competes internationally for Bahrain. She won the 1500 metres gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in 2011 and the ...more

Dinaw Mengestu is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 41
Dinaw Mengestu is an Ethiopian-American novelist and writer. In addition to three novels, he has written for Rolling Stone on the war in Darfur, and for Jane Magazine on the conflict in northern ...more

Tirunesh Dibaba is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 33
Tirunesh Dibaba also known as Tirunesh Dibaba Kenene is an Ethiopian long distance track athlete and the outdoor 5000 metres world record holder. She is the current World and Olympic 10,000 ...more

Vikram Chatwal is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 47
Vikram Chatwal is an American hotelier and former actor.

Elvan Abeylegesse is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 36
Elvan Abeylegesse, is an Ethiopian-born Turkish middle and long distance track and field athlete who runs in the disciplines of 1500 m, 3000 m and 5000 m, but also 10000 m, 2 miles and cross ...more

Birtukan Mideksa is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 44
Birtukan Mideksa is an Ethiopian politician and former judge who is the founder and leader of the opposition party, the Unity for Democracy and Justice party.

Zera Yacob Amha Selassie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Zera Yacob Amha Selassie age 65
Zera Yacob Amha Selassie, Crown Prince of Ethiopia is the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie and son of Emperor-in-Exile Amha Selassie of Ethiopia. He has been Head of the Imperial House of ...more

Said Sheikh Samatar is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 76
Said Sheikh Samatar was a prominent Somali scholar and writer.

Berhanu Nega is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 61
Berhanu Nega was elected as mayor of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in the Ethiopian general elections, 2005. He is a founding chairman of the Rainbow Ethiopia: Movement for Democracy and Social Justice ...more

Ashenafi Kebede is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Ashenafi Kebede Dec. at 60 (1938-1998)
Ashenafi Kebede was an Ethiopian composer, conductor, ethnomusicologist, historical musicologist, music educator, novelist, and poet.

Sofia Assefa is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Sofia Assefa age 31
Sofia Assefa is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who specializes in the 3000 metres steeplechase. She finished thirteenth at the 2009 World Championships and fourth at the 2009 World Athletics ...more

Dejen Gebremeskel is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Dejen Gebremeskel age 29
Dejen Gebremeskel is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who primarily competes in track events. His personal best of 12:46.81 minutes for the 5000 metres ranks him as the fifth fastest of all ...more

Mulugeta Seraw is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Mulugeta Seraw Dec. at 28 (1960-1988)
Mulugeta Seraw was an Ethiopian student who went to the United States to attend college. Seraw was killed in November 1988, at age 28, in Portland, Oregon by three white supremacists. His father ...more

Yohannes Haile-Selassie is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Yohannes Haile-Selassie age 58
Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie is an Ethiopian paleoanthropologist. An authority on pre-Homo sapiens hominids, he particularly focuses his attention on the East African Rift and Middle Awash ...more

Azeb Mesfin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Azeb Mesfin
Azeb Mesfin Haile is the widow of former Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi. She is the founder and patron of Ethiopia's National Initiative for Mental Health. In early 2009, she was ...more

Nikos Papatakis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Dec. at 92 (1918-2010)
Nikos Papatakis was a Greek-born naturalised French filmmaker, who lived in France.