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 63 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 48 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 75 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 33 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 27 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 40 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 32 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 46 Vikram Chatwal is an American hotelier and former actor.

Elvan Abeylegesse is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 33 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 43 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 64 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 75 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 60 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 30 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 28 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 57 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.

Selamawi Asgedom is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Selamawi Asgedom age 41 Selamawi Asgedom or Mawi Asgedom for short, is an author, public speaker, and a refugee of Ethiopian and Eritrean origin.

Mekonnen Gebremedhin is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Mekonnen Gebremedhin age 29 Mekonnen Gebremedhin Woldegiorg is an Ethiopian middle distance runner, who specializes in the 1500 metres. He is known for consistently placing close to the top three in each Diamond League ...more

Haile Gebrselassie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 44 Haile Gebrselassie is an Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete. He won two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 metres and four World Championship titles in the event. He won the ...more

Hailemariam Desalegn is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Hailemariam Desalegn age 52 Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe is an Ethiopian politician who has served as Prime Minister of Ethiopia since 2012. Hailemariam Desalegn previously served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of ...more

Tariku Bekele is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Tariku Bekele age 31 Tariku Bekele is an Ethiopian long-distance runner, who specializes in the 5000 metres. He is the younger brother of Kenenisa Bekele. He is the fourth fastest Ethiopian ever over 5000 m and 3000 ...more

Derartu Tulu is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 46 Derartu Tulu is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who competed in track, cross country running, and road running up to the marathon distance. Derartu grew up tending cattle in the village of ...more

Mohammed Aman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Mohammed Aman age 24 Mohammed Aman Geleto is an Ethiopian middle distance runner. Born in Asella, he is the winner of the 800-meter final at the 2013 World Athletics Championships in the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow. ...more

Fuad Ibrahim is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Fuad Ibrahim age 26 Abdusalam Abas Ibrahim,Amharic: ፉአድ ኢብራሒም known as Fuad Ibrahim and Ibee Ibrahim is an Ethiopian footballer.

Urige Buta is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Urige Buta age 39 Urige Buta is a Norwegian athlete. He was born in Ambo in the Oromiya Region, Ethiopia. He qualified for the marathon at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where he finished in 36th place. He ...more

Fatuma Roba is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 44 Fatuma Roba is an Ethiopian long distance runner from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, most known for being the first African woman to win a gold medal in the women's Olympic marathon race at the Atlanta ...more

Almensh Belete is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Almensh Belete age 28 Almensh Belete is an Ethiopian-born Belgian long-distance runner. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she competed in the Women's 5000 metres, finishing 11th in her heat and 19th overall in Round 1, ...more

Sossina M. Haile is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Sossina M. Haile age 51 Sossina M. Haile is an Ethiopian-American chemist. She is a professor of Materials Science and of Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology

Meskerem Assefa is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Meskerem Assefa age 32 Meskerem Assefa Legesse Wondimagegn is an Ethiopian middle- and long-distance runner. She represented Ethiopia at the 2012 London Olympics. She has personal bests including 4:02.12 minutes for ...more

Etenesh Diro is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Etenesh Diro age 26 Etenesh Diro Neda is an Ethiopian athlete. She competed in the 3000 metres steeplechase at the 2012 Summer Olympics; she qualified for the final by placing second in her heat with a time of ...more

Peter Spruyt is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Peter Spruyt Peter Spruyt is an actor, stand-up comedian and writer.

Gelila Bekele is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 31 Gelila Bekele is an Ethiopian model, humanitarian and social activist.

Noah Samara is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Noah Samara Noah A. Samara is a Chief Executive Officer of WorldSpace, the world's first to launch satellite radio system. He also played a pivotal role in the foundation of XM Satellite Radio. He claimed ...more

Fikru Teferra is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 32 Fikru Teferra Lemessa is an Ethiopian football striker for Bidvest Wits F.C. in the ABSA Premiership.

Kitaw Ejigu is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Kitaw Ejigu Dec. at 58 (1948-2006) Kitaw Ejigu was an Ethiopian American scientist who worked for NASA as Chief of Spacecraft and Satellite Systems engineer. He was also a political leader.

Mengistu Lemma is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Dec. at 64 (1924-1988) Mengistu Lemma was an Ethiopian playwright and poet. Mengistu was born in Harar, to Aleqa Lemma Hailu and Wro Abebech Yilma. After undertaking traditional religious studies at the Tiqo Mekane ...more

Oumed Oukri is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Oumed Oukri age 27 Oumed Oukri is an Ethiopian footballer. He currently plays as a striker for the Egyptian side Al Ittihad in the Egyptian Premier League. His name is often spelt as Oumed Oukuri or Omed Okwury.

Wosene Worke Kosrof is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Wosene Worke Kosrof age 68 Wosene Worke Kosrof is an Ethiopian painter and mixed-media artist. Wosene was awarded his B.F.A. from the School of Fine Arts in Addis Ababa in 1972, and received an M.F.A. from Howard ...more

Menelik II is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
Menelik II Dec. at 69 (1844-1913) Emperor Menelik II GCB, GCMG, baptized as Sahle Maryam, was Negus of Shewa, then Nəgusä Nägäst of Ethiopia from 1889 to his death. At the height of his internal power and external ...more

Lencho Skibba is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 30 Lencho Skibba is an Ethiopian football midfielder. Skibba began his career with USL First Division side Minnesota Thunder, and joined Kastoria F.C. in the Greek Beta Ethniki for the 2007–08 ...more

Asfa-Wossen Asserate is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous People From Ethiopia
age 69 Le'ul Dr. Asfa-Wossen Asserate, is a Consultant for African and Middle-Eastern Affairs, a political Analyst and a bestseller author writing in German. He is a member of the Imperial House of ...more