Haile Selassie I
1891­1975

Emperor of Ethiopia (1930­6, 1941­74), born near Harer, Ethiopia. He led the revolution in 1916 against Lij Yasu, and became regent and heir to the throne, westernizing the institutions of his country. He settled in England after the Italian conquest of Abyssinia (1935­6), but in 1941 was restored after British liberation. In the early 1960s he helped to establish the Organization of African Unity. The disastrous famine of 1973 led to economic chaos, industrial strikes, and mutiny among the armed forces, and he was deposed (1974) in favour of the crown prince.Accusations of corruption levelled at him and his family have not destroyed the reverence in which he is held by certain groups, notably the Rastafarians.

Except where noted, data in the BIOGRAPHY® Online Database is from the AND Reference Database, which incorporates the Cambridge Encyclopedia Database. Copyright © 1997, AND Reference Data Ltd., Oxford, UK. and The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, edited by J S. Bowmen. Copyright © 1995 Cambridge University Press. Reproduced with permission.

 

Return to longer biography of Haile Selassie I