Ras (Duke) Tafari Makonnen, born in 1892 near Harar, was selected to be regent and heir to Empress Zauditu by Ethiopia's Tases (feudal lords) in 1916. He ascended the throne of Shoa in 1928 and was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia upon Zauditu's death in November 1930. One among a dwindling number of absolute monarchs in the twentieth century, "the Lion" gained wide recognition for his impassioned 1936 speech to the League of Nations, when Abyssinia was being overrun by Mussolini's armies. He was among the founders of the Organization of African Unity, headquartered in Addis Ababa, but failed to modernize Ethiopia despite a 1960 attempted coup. He was deposed in 1974 and died in captivity less than a year later, by which time power was in the hands of the Marxist Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam.
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Emperor Haile Selassie I
History and pictures of the emperor.
Haile Sellassie Family Web
Site about the royal family maintained by the late emperor's great-granddaughter. Ethiopian history, present and the past, documents, art, photos, and links.
Wikipedia - Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
Hyperlinked encyclopedia article provides his biography.
Last update:September 30, 2007 at 15:11:19 UTC