A list of famous Egyptians from ancient Pharoahs to modern Egyptians.
Menes (c 3200-3000 BCE) is a legendary Egyptian king (based on the Pharoah Narmer) who is credited with uniting Upper and Lower Egypt into one kingdom. During his reign, Menes is credited with ushering a new era of prosperity, peace and culture in ancient Egypt.
Moses (c 1571 BC) Moses was born among the people of Israel enslaved in Egypt. It was Moses who led the enslaved Israelites out of Egypt across the Red Sea. He is considered a prophet of Judaism and Christianity.
Hatshepsut (1478-1458 B.C. 18th Dynasty) Hatshepsut was the second known female ruler of Egypt and is considered to be one of the most successful Egyptian pharaohs, ruling for 23 years and overseeing a major expansion in trading routes and also many major building projects. After a few initial military victories, her reign was also characterised by comparative peace with her neighbours.
Neferneferuaten Nefertiti (1370 – c. 1330 BC) Nefertiti was an Egyptian Queen, the consort of Akhenaten. They ruled Egypt during a period of great wealth and religious revival. Nefertiti was immortalised in a bust by sculptor Thutmose created in 1345 B.C. The bust depicts a model of feminine beauty and reveals the Egyptian understanding of facial proportions.
Tutankhamun (1332–1323 BC) The Egyptian Pharaoh owned all of Egypt’s wealth. His elaborate tomb displayed an array of riches, including his coffin being lined with sheet gold. The gold weighed 110.4 kg
Rameses II (c. 1303 – 1213 BC) Known as Ramesses the Great, he is considered the greatest Egyptian Pharoah of the New Kingdom. He reigned for over 30 years, building cities, temples, and monuments and then expanding the control of Egypt into Canaan and Nubia.
Cleopatra (69 BCE–30 BCE) The last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra sought to defend Egypt from the expanding Roman Empire. In doing so, she formed relationships with two of Rome’s most powerful leaders, Marc Anthony and Julius Caesar.
Mosheh ben Maimon ‘Maimonides’ (1135 – 1204) Prolific and influential Sephardic Jewish philosopher. His Mishneh Torah he helped to codify Torah law. He was also a polymath and preeminent astronomer and physician. Maimonides was born in Spain and moved to Egypt where he became elected the head of the Egyptian Jewish population.
Saladin (1138 – 1193) Born in Iraq, Saladin united Arab nations, becoming the Sultan of Egypt and founding the Ayyubid Dynasty. He led Muslim opposition to the Christian Crusades and was highly regarded for his nobility on both sides.
Muhammad Ali Pasha of Egypt (1769 – 1849) Ali was considered the founder of modern Egypt an Ottoman Albanian he rose to Pasha of Egypt and due to his reforms of Egypt enabled it to gradually rise in prominence from the decaying Ottoman Empire.
Dorothy Hodgkin (1910–1994) British chemist. Hodgkin was awarded the Nobel prize for her work on critical discoveries of the structure of both penicillin and later insulin. These discoveries led to significant improvements in health care. An outstanding chemist, Dorothy also devoted a large section of her life to the peace movement and promoting nuclear disarmament.
Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918 – 1970). Second President of Egypt (1956). Nasser’s Presidency had a significant influence on Egypt and world politics. He renationalised the Suez canal and was popular throughout the Arab world.
Anwar Sadat (1918 – 1981) – Third President of Egypt. Sadat reintroduced multi-party elections and led Egypt in the Yom Kippur war. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 for his role in peace talks with Israel.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1922 – ) Secretary-General of the United Nations (1992-1996). Born in Egypt. Also served as Egypt’s Deputy Prime Minister.
Hosni Mubarak (1928 – ) Egyptian political leader who served as the fourth President of Egypt from 1981 to 2011. He assumed the presidency after the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981 and ruled for 30 years until the Egyptian revolution of 2011 where he was forced aside and later tried for human rights abuses.
Omar Shariff (1932 – 2015) An Egyptian actor who began his career in Egypt before becoming a star on the global stage. He starred in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965) He won three Golden Globe Awards.
Dodi Fayed (1955 – 1997) the son of Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed. Dodi Fayed had a career as a film producer, and was the executive producer of Chariots of Fire and Breaking Glass. He died in a car crash with Princess Diana in Paris in 1997.
Mo Salah (1992- ) An Egyptian professional footballer Salah plays for the Egyptian national side, and Liverpool F.C. Salah is considered one of the best strikers of the modern game and was a key factor in the success of Liverpool FC to win European Champions League in 2019.
Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Famous Egyptians”, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net Published 27 October 2018.
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