Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia

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Haile Selassie I
Emperor of Ethiopia
Reign 2 November 1930–12 September 1974 (43 years)
Coronation 2 November 1930
Predecessor Zewditu I
Successor De jure Amha Selassie I (crowned in exile)
Head of State of Ethiopia
Predecessor Zewditu I
Successor Aman Andom (as Chairman of the Derg)
Spouse Empress Menen
Princess Romanework
Princess Tenagnework
Asfaw Wossen
Princess Zenebework
Princess Tsehai
Prince Makonnen
Prince Sahle Selassie
Full name
Ras Tafari Makonnen
House House of Solomon
Father Ras Makonnen Woldemikael Gudessa
Mother Weyziro Yeshimebet Ali Abajifar
Born 23 July 1892(1892-07-23)
Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia Ethiopia
Died 27 August 1975 (aged 83)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Ethiopia
Religion Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo

Haile Selassie I (July 23, 1892August 27, 1975), born Tafari Makonnen,[1] was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. The heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century.

At the League of Nations in 1936, the Emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people.[2] His internationalist views led to becoming a charter member of the United Nations, and his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring.[3] His suppression of rebellions among the nobles (mekwannint), as well as what some perceived to be Ethiopia's failure to modernize adequately,[4] earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians.[5]

Haile Selassie is revered as God incarnate among the Rastafari movement, the number of followers is estimated between 200,000 and 800,000.[6][7] Begun in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafarian movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora to a golden age of peace, righteousness, and prosperity.[8]


  1. Melvin Eugene Page, Penny M. Sonnenburg (2003), Colonialism: an international, social, cultural, and political encyclopedia, Volume 1, ABC-CLIO, p. 247, ISBN 9781576073353, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=qFTHBoRvQbsC&pg=PA247&dq=Haile+Selassie+I+born+TAFARI&client=firefox-a#v=onepage&q=Haile%20Selassie%20I%20born%20TAFARI&f=false, retrieved 2009-10-05 
  2. Safire, William. Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History. 1997, page 297-8.
  3. Karsh, Efraim. Neutrality and Small States. 1988, page 112.
  4. Meredith, Martin. The Fate of Africa: From the Hopes of Freedom to the Heart of Despair. 2005, page 212-3.
  5. Rebellion and Famine in the North under Haile Selassie, Human Rights Watch
  6. Adherents.com: Major religions ranked by size - Rastafarian
  7. Barrett, Leonard E. Sr (1997) The Rastafarians. Boston: Beacon Press.
  8. Sullivan, Michael, C. In Search of a Perfect World. 2005, page 86
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