Haile Selassie Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Aashita Dhingra
Jan 30, 2024 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Aug 22, 2022
Edited by Dolly Chhatwani
Fact-checked by Bidisha Chatterjee
Haile Selassie was one of the most famous leaders of Ethiopian history.
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Read time: 4.3 Min

About Haile Selassie

Haile Selassie was born in Harar, Ethiopia, on July 23, 1892.

Haile Selassie was born to Makonnen Wolde Mikael and Yeshimebet Ali. He is also famous for the name Lij Tafari Makonnen.

Haile Selassie died on August 27, 1975, at Addis Ababa.

Haile Selassie's Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Haile Selassie’s net worth?

Haile Selassie's exact fortune is not known to the public as of 2022.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Haile Selassie?

Haile Selassie was 5 ft 1 in (155 cm) tall.

How old was Haile Selassie?

Haile Selassie was 83 years old when he died.

Childhood And Education

Haile Selassie was educated by French missionaries at home. Haile Selassie was a child of above-average intelligence with an excellent memory and a remarkable capacity for hard work. His childhood name was Lij Tafari Makonnen, and the regnal name Haile Selassie was given to him when he was baptized as an infant.

Around the age of 14, Haile Selassie was appointed as governor of Gara Maleta, a province of Harar, for six years. He was formally recognized as the crown prince or a regent, heir apparent to the throne of Ethiopia, on September 27, 1916.

His ancestry can be traced back to the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Haile Selassie’s partner?

On August 3, 1911, Haile Selassie got married to Menen Asfaw, niece of Lij Iyasu, the successor to the throne. They had seven children.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Haile Selassie served as a political leader who presided as Ethiopia's regent from 1916-1930 and its emperor from 1930-1974. Initially, Haile Selassie worked under the administration of Empress Zewditu.

Haile Selassie was regarded as an autocratic political leader who wanted to take his country into the modern era. When Menelik II passed away in 1913, his grandson Lij Iyasu ascended to the throne. Ras Tafari became the center of the Christian uprising, and in 1916 he deposed Lij Iyasu. As a result, Menilek II's daughter Zewditu was crowned empress in 1917, and Ras Tafari was appointed regent and heir apparent. His name changed to Ras Tafari Makonnen on February 11, 1917, when he was crowned Le'ul-Ras. Ras is a nobility rank that translates to head and is comparable to the duke.

Beginning when he effectively controlled Ethiopia in 1916, he brought various political and social reforms after becoming chief adviser of Emperess Zewditu. In the same direction, in 1931, he introduced Ethiopia's first written constitution. He increased people's engagement in politics by making the lower house of parliament an elected legislature while maintaining substantial power as emperor.

Haile Selassie was compelled to reside in exile with his family in 1936 when the Italians led by Benito Mussolini invaded Ethiopia. From 1936-1941, members of the Ethiopian diaspora hosted the emperor at Bath, a British town roughly 90 mi (145 km) from West London.

Due to the allied military soldier's resistance and that of his fellow countrymen, he was able to return in 1941.

In 1923, Selassie mediated Ethiopia's entry into the League of Nations by declaring a commitment to end slavery.

After the passing of Empress Zewditu on November 2, 1930, Tafari was given the title of emperor, or negusa nagast, which is the Arabic translation for the king of kings.

Charity Work

Haile Selassie donated 1235.5 acres (500 ha) of property to the Ethiopian World Federation Incorporated in 1948 at Shashamane, 160 mi (250 km) south of Addis Ababa, for the benefit of people of African descent who aided Ethiopia during the war.

What awards did Haile Selassie win?

The Guinness Book of World Records acknowledged him as having received the most decorations throughout his lifetime.

Other Interesting Haile Selassie Facts And Trivia

  • Haile Selassie holds Ethiopian nationality.
  • Haile Selassie received the Man Of The Year title from Time magazine in its January 1936 edition.
  • Ethiopians continue to commemorate the birth of Haile Selassie. During his reign as an emperor, Selassie would welcome all his well-wishers and admirers, who would be in thousands, that arrived at his palace in Addis Abeba on his birthday. He would stand on the balcony and wave. Many Rastafarians also saw him as the African race's messiah.
  • The Rastafari movement, which regarded Haile Selassie as a true king of blacks, was profoundly influenced by the ideologies of Marcus Garvey. Despite being an eastern orthodox Christian, he served as an inspiration to numerous followers of the Rastafari movement.
  • In 1936, during the League of Nations' meeting, the president of the assembly introduced Haile Selassie as His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Ethiopia. The introduction incited loud jeers, heckling, and whistling from a large number of Italian journalists in the audience.
  • The lion of Judah is the royal emblem of the Ethiopian empire. From 1897-1974, Ethiopia's flag featured a representation of the lion as it was the hereditary title of the Solomonic Ethiopian rulers, including Yohannes IV, Menelik, and Haile Selassie.
  • Bob Marley, famous for reggae music, referred to Haile Selassie as the new name of Christ and recorded the song 'War', of which the majority of the lyrics were taken from a speech delivered by Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie I, before the UN General Assembly on October 4, 1963.
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Haile Selassie Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Tafari Makonnen

Date of Birth

1892-07-23

Date of Death

1975-08-27

Nationality

Ethiopian

Place of Birth

Ejersa Goro

Height

155 cm

Occupation

Emperor

Partner

Menen Asfaw

Parents

Makonnen Wolde Mikael, Yeshimebet Ali
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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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