Famous people from Bulgaria
Here is a list of famous people from Bulgaria. Curious if anybody from Bulgaria made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.
Nina Dobrev is a Bulgarian- born actress and model. She played the role of Mia Jones, the single teenage mother, on Degrassi: The Next Generation, from the show's sixth to ninth season. She stars as Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce on The CW American television drama, The Vampire Diaries.
Grigor Dimitrov is a professional Bulgarian tennis player, currently ranked World No. 23 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. His career high singles ranking is No. 22, which he achieved in October 2013 after winning his first ATP singles title at Stockholm open, and his highest ranking in doubles is No. 66 in the world. Dimitrov is the most successful Bulgarian male tennis player, both in terms of ranking reached — first and only player to rank inside the top 30 — and prize money won, being the only player to reach $1M and later also $2M. He is also the first Bulgarian to win an ATP title in singles and reach a final in doubles as well as the only Bulgarian male player to reach the 3rd round of a Grand Slam tournament. Prior to his professional career, Dimitrov enjoyed a successful junior career, in which he held the World No. 1 ranking and won the Boys' Singles titles at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships and the 2008 US Open.
Dimitar Ivanov Berbatov; born 30 January 1981 is a Bulgarian footballer, who plays as a striker for Fulham. He captained the Bulgarian national team from 2006 to 2010, and is its all-time leading goalscorer. He has also won the Bulgarian Footballer of the Year a record seven times, surpassing the number of wins by Hristo Stoichkov. Born in Blagoevgrad, Berbatov started out with home-town club Pirin before joining CSKA Sofia as a 17-year-old in 1998. He regularly played alongside Mark Wyatt as a central striker. He was signed by Bayer Leverkusen of Germany in January 2001 and played in his first Champions League final 18 months later, coming on as a substitute in the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final, which Leverkusen lost 2–1 to Real Madrid. After five-and-a-half years with Leverkusen, he joined English club Tottenham Hotspur in July 2006, where he spent two years before moving to Manchester United. He played in his second Champions League final in 2009, during his side's 2–0 defeat against Barcelona. Berbatov became the only non-Englishman in Premier League history to have scored five goals in a single match, having done so in Manchester United's 7–1 win over Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford in November 2010.
Pop rock Artist
Philipp Bedrosovich Kirkorov PAR is a Russian pop singer.
Hristo Stoichkov Stoichkov, sometimes Stoitchkov; born 8 February 1966 in Plovdiv is a retired Bulgarian footballer. He is regarded as one of the best footballers of his generation and the greatest Bulgarian footballer of all time. Nicknamed The Dagger, The Dog, The Modern Left. At Barcelona he earned the Spanish nickname 'El Pistolero' which translates to 'the gunslinger'. He was a member of the Bulgaria national team that finished fourth at the 1994 World Cup, of which he was the top scorer with 6 goals. Apart from his footballing talent, he was notable for his on-pitch temper. His awards include the European Golden Boot, the Ballon d'Or, the World Cup Golden Boot and the World Cup Bronze Ball.
Tsvetana Pironkova is a top-100 Bulgarian tennis player. She was born and lives in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Pironkova is right-handed and plays with a two-handed backhand. She achieved her career-high ranking of world no. 31 in September 2010. She is best known for reaching the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2010, and for defeating Venus Williams three times at Grand Slam tournaments. She is currently the Bulgarian no. 1, and has won six ITF titles in her career. Pironkova has been recognized by The New York Times for her "cerebral" grass-court abilities, and named one of the most beautiful women in sports by MSN.
Boyko Metodiev Borisov is a Bulgarian politician who was Prime Minister of Bulgaria and Mayor of Sofia. Borisov currently plays as a forward for Vitosha Bistritsa in the B PFG, the second division of Bulgarian football. At 54 years, two months and 12 days, Borisov holds the record for the oldest player ever to appear for a Bulgarian professional club.
Stiliyan Alyoshev Petrov is a retired Bulgarian professional footballer. Petrov joined Celtic from CSKA Sofia in 1999, and stayed with the club until he moved to Aston Villa in the Premier League, along with his former manager Martin O'Neill. He later became club captain. Petrov also played 106 matches for the Bulgaria national team. In March 2012, Petrov was diagnosed with acute leukaemia, suspending his football career to have treatment. He announced his retirement from the game in May 2013. Since retiring from playing, he took over as assistant coach of the Aston Villa Under-21 squad, working alongside another former Villa player, Gordon Cowans.
Flavius Belisarius was a general of the Byzantine Empire. He was instrumental to Emperor Justinian's ambitious project of reconquering much of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire, which had been lost less than a century previously. One of the defining features of Belisarius' career was his success despite varying levels of support from Justinian. His name is frequently given as one of the so-called "Last of the Romans".
Elias Canetti was a Bulgarian-born Swiss and British modernist novelist, playwright, memoirist, and non-fiction writer. He wrote in German. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1981, "for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power".
Julia Kristeva is a Bulgarian-French philosopher, literary critic, psychoanalyst, sociologist, feminist, and, most recently, novelist, who has lived in France since the mid-1960s. She is now a Professor at the University Paris Diderot. Kristeva became influential in international critical analysis, cultural theory and feminism after publishing her first book Semeiotikè in 1969. Her sizable body of work includes books and essays which address intertextuality, the semiotic, and abjection, in the fields of linguistics, literary theory and criticism, psychoanalysis, biography and autobiography, political and cultural analysis, art and art history. Together with Roland Barthes, Todorov, Goldmann, Gérard Genette, Lévi-Strauss, Lacan, Greimas, and Althusser, she stands as one of the foremost structuralists, in that time when structuralism took a major place in humanities. Her works also have an important place in post-structuralist thought. She is also the founder and head of the Simone de Beauvoir Prize committee.
Todor Khristov Zhivkov, was the communist head of state of the People's Republic of Bulgaria from March 4, 1954 until November 10, 1989. He became First Secretary of the Bulgarian Communist Party in 1954 and remained on this position for 35 years, until 1989, thus becoming the longest-serving leader of any Eastern Bloc nation, and one of the longest ruling non-royal leaders in history. His rule marked a period of unprecedented political and economic stability for Bulgaria, marked both by complete submission of Bulgaria to Soviet rule and a desire for expanding ties with the West. His rule remained unchallenged until the deterioration of East-West relations in the 1980s, when a stagnating economic situation, a worsening international image and growing careerism and corruption in the BCP weakened his positions. He resigned on November 10, 1989, under pressure by senior BCP members due to his refusal to recognize problems and deal with public protests. Within a month of Zhivkov's ouster, Communist rule in Bulgaria had effectively ended, and within another month the People's Republic of Bulgaria had formally ceased to exist.
Vasil Levski, born Vasil Ivanov Kunchev, was a Bulgarian revolutionary and a national hero of Bulgaria. Dubbed the Apostle of Freedom, Levski ideologised and strategised a revolutionary movement to liberate Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. Founding the Internal Revolutionary Organisation, Levski sought to foment a nationwide uprising through a network of secret regional committees. Born in the Sub-Balkan town of Karlovo to middle class parents, Levski became an Orthodox monk before emigrating to join the two Bulgarian Legions in Serbia and other Bulgarian revolutionary groups. Abroad, he acquired the nickname Levski, "Leonine". After working as a teacher in Bulgarian lands, he propagated his views and developed the concept of his Bulgaria-based revolutionary organisation, an innovative idea that superseded the foreign-based detachment strategy of the past. In Romania, Levski helped institute the Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee, composed of Bulgarian expatriates. During his tours of Bulgaria, Levski established a wide network of insurrectionary committees. Ottoman authorities, however, captured him at an inn near Lovech and executed him by hanging in Sofia.
Valeri Emilov Bozhinov, also known as Valeri Bojinov, is Bulgarian football player. A well-rounded player, Bojinov is known for his vision, ability to hold the ball, heading and set piece skills.
Sesil Karatantcheva is a Bulgarian-born Kazakhstani professional tennis player. Karatantcheva's career's highlights include a quarterfinal appearance at the 2005 French Open, and a career-high ranking of No.35 on WTA singles ranking on November 7, 2005. Karatantcheva also tested positive in two drug tests for nandrolone; and after serving a two-year ban of playing professional tennis, she returned in 2008. As of October 21, 2013, she is ranked World No. 139 on the WTA Tour.
Martin Petyov Petrov is a Bulgarian footballer who plays for CSKA Sofia, as a winger.
Magdalena Maleeva is a Bulgarian former tennis player. She played on the WTA tour competing in singles and doubles, from April 1989 to October 2005. Her best position in the WTA Tour was no. 4 between 29 January to 4 February 1996.
Simeon Borisov Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Tsar Simeon II or Simeon II of Bulgaria is an important political and royal figure in Bulgaria. During his reign as the Tsar of Bulgaria from 1943 to 1946 he was a minor, the monarchical authority being exercised over the kingdom on his behalf by a regency. The regents were Simeon's uncle Prince Kiril of Bulgaria, General Nikola Mihov and the prime minister, Bogdan Filov. In 1946 the monarchy was overthrown as a consequence of a referendum, and Simeon was forced into exile. He returned to his home country in 1996. He resumed the role of leader of the nation upon taking office as Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria from July 2001 until August 2005. As of 2013, Simeon is one of the two last living heads of state from World War II, the only living person who has borne the Bulgarian title "Tsar", and one of the few monarchs in history to have become the head of government through democratic elections.
Aëtius, dux et patricius, was a Roman general of the closing period of the Western Roman Empire. He was an able military commander and the most influential man in the Western Roman Empire for two decades. He managed policy in regard to the attacks of barbarian peoples pressing on the Empire. Notably, he mustered a large Roman and allied army to stop the Huns in the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, ending the devastating Hunnic invasion of Attila in 451. Along with his rival Count Boniface, he has often been called "the last of the Romans". Edward Gibbon refers to him as "the man universally celebrated as the terror of Barbarians and the support of the Republic" for his victory at the Catalaunian Plains.
Georgi Dimitrov Mikhaylov, also known as Georgi Mikhaylovich Dimitrov was a Bulgarian Communist politician. He was the first Communist leader of Bulgaria, from 1946 to 1949. Dimitrov lead the Third Comintern under Stalin from 1934 to 1943.
Hrìsto Bòtev, born Hristo Botyov Petkov, was a Bulgarian poet and national revolutionary. Botev is widely considered by Bulgarians to be a symbolic historical figure and national hero.
Olympic Track and field Athlete
Ivet Lalova is a Bulgarian athlete who specialises in the 100 metres and 200 metres sprint events. She is the tenth fastest woman in 100 metres history, and is tied with Irina Privalova for the fastest time by a sprinter not of African or African-American descent. She finished fourth in the 100 metres and fifth in the 200 metres at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Her career was interrupted for two years between June 2005 and May 2007 due to a leg injury. In June 2012 she won Gold at the 2012 European Athletics Championships in Women's 100 metres.
Aleksandar Antonov Tonev is a Bulgarian footballer who plays as a winger for Aston Villa in the Premier League and the Bulgaria national football team.
Volen Nikolov Siderov is a Bulgarian politician and chairman of the nationalist party Attack. He has been the editor of numerous newspapers and has authored five books.
Plamen Oresharski is the current Prime Minister of Bulgaria.
Simeon I of Bulgaria
Simeon I the Great ruled over Bulgaria from 893 to 927, during the First Bulgarian Empire. Simeon's successful campaigns against the Byzantines, Magyars and Serbs led Bulgaria to its greatest territorial expansion ever, making it the most powerful state in contemporary Eastern Europe. His reign was also a period of unmatched cultural prosperity and enlightenment later deemed the Golden Age of Bulgarian culture. During Simeon's rule, Bulgaria spread over a territory between the Aegean, the Adriatic and the Black Sea, and the new Bulgarian capital Preslav was said to rival Constantinople. The newly independent Bulgarian Orthodox Church became the first new patriarchate besides the Pentarchy, and Bulgarian Glagolitic translations of Christian texts spread all over the Slavic world of the time. Halfway through his reign, Simeon assumed the title of Emperor, having prior to that been styled Prince.
Manuela Georgieva Maleeva-Fragniere is a Bulgarian former professional tennis player. She played on the Women's Tennis Association tour between 1982 and 1994. Through her marriage Maleeva began representing Switzerland officially from January 1990 until her retirement in February 1994.
Veselin Aleksandrov Topalov is a Bulgarian chess grandmaster. Topalov became the FIDE World Chess Champion by winning the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005. He lost his title in the World Chess Championship 2006 match against Vladimir Kramnik. He won the 2005 Chess Oscar. According to FIDE, which began ranking chess players in 1971, he has been number one a total of 27 months, which when compared to all others who have been so ranked, places Topalov in fifth place after Kasparov, Karpov, Fischer and Carlsen. He was ranked number one in the world from April 2006 to January 2007, during which his peak Elo rating was 2813, a peak which had been surpassed only by Garry Kasparov, and subsequently by Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand and Levon Aronian. He regained the world No. 1 ranking again in October 2008, and officially remained No. 1 until January 2010, when he fell to No. 2 behind Carlsen. In December 2012 he was ranked number 8. In the World Chess Championship 2010, he was the challenger facing world champion Viswanathan Anand, losing the match 6½–5½.
Nikolay Mihaylov is a Bulgarian footballer. He is a goalkeeper for Verona and the Bulgarian national team.
Kubrat Venkov Pulev born 4 May 1981 in Sofia is a Bulgarian undefeated professional heavyweight boxer, best known to medal repeatedly at international tournaments as an amateur, winning the gold medal in the super heavyweight division at the 2008 European Championships. He currently holds the EBU Heavyweight title and the IBF International Heavyweight title.
Ivan Minchov Vazov was a Bulgarian poet, novelist and playwright, often referred to as "the Patriarch of Bulgarian literature". He was born in Sopot, a town in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria.
Boris III of Bulgaria
Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria, originally Boris Klemens Robert Maria Pius Ludwig Stanislaus Xaver, son of Ferdinand I, came to the throne in 1918 upon the abdication of his father, following the defeat of the Kingdom of Bulgaria during World War I. This was the country's second major defeat in only five years, after the disastrous Second Balkan War. Under the Treaty of Neuilly, Bulgaria was forced to cede new territories and pay crippling reparations to its neighbours, thereby threatening political and economic stability. Two political forces, the Agrarian Union and the Communist Party, were calling for the overthrowing of the monarchy and the change of the government. It was in these circumstances that Boris succeeded to the throne.
Rosen Asenov Plevneliev has been President of Bulgaria since January 2012. He was the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works from July 2009 to September 2011 as part of the cabinet of Boyko Borisov. In October 2011, Plevneliev was elected as President in a second round of voting; he was inaugurated on 18 January 2012.
Christian Rakovsky was a Bulgarian socialist revolutionary, a Bolshevik politician and Soviet diplomat; he was also noted as a journalist, physician, and essayist. Rakovsky's political career took him throughout the Balkans and into France and Imperial Russia; for part of his life, he was also a Romanian citizen. A lifelong collaborator of Leon Trotsky, he was a prominent activist of the Second International, involved in politics with the Bulgarian Social Democratic Union, Romanian Social Democratic Party, and the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Rakovsky was expelled at different times from various countries as a result of his activities, and, during World War I, became a founding member of the Revolutionary Balkan Social Democratic Labor Federation while helping to organize the Zimmerwald Conference. Imprisoned by Romanian authorities, he made his way to Russia, where he joined the Bolshevik Party after the October Revolution, and, as head of the Rumcherod, unsuccessfully attempted to generate a communist revolution in the Kingdom of Romania. Subsequently, he was a founding member of the Comintern, served as head of government in the Ukrainian SSR, and took part in negotiations at the Genoa Conference.
Tzvetan Todorov is a Franco-Bulgarian philosopher. He has lived in France since 1963 and now lives there with his wife Nancy Huston and their two children, writing books and essays about literary theory, thought history and culture theory.
Peter Konstantinov Deunov was a spiritual master and founder of a School of Esoteric Christianity. He is called Master Beinsá Dunó by his followers.
Stefka Kostadinova is a Bulgarian retired athlete and the current women's world record holder in the high jump. She is the current president of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee.
Alexis Weissenberg was a Bulgarian-born French pianist.
Teodora Rumenova Andreeva, best known by her stage name Andrea, is a Bulgarian pop-folk singer. She and the Romanian singer Costi Ionita performed together and released music as Sahara.
Lili Ivanova is a renowned Bulgarian singer. In tribute to her contribution to the culture of the country, she is often referred to as the "Prima of Bulgarian popular music". Her best known songs are "Панаири", "Щурче", "Стари мой приятелю", "Ветрове", "Без правила", "Детелини", "Осъдени души", "Наше лято", "За тебе бях", "Хризантеми", "Camino" and her Russian hit "Забудь обратную дорогу".
Ivelin Popov is a Bulgarian footballer playing for Russian Premier League side Kuban Krasnodar as an all-round attacking midfielder. He serves as captain for both Kuban and the Bulgaria national football team.
Georgi Milanov is a Bulgarian footballer playing for CSKA Moscow in the Russian Premier League and the Bulgaria national football team as a midfielder. His twin brother Iliya Milanov plays for Litex Lovech as a defender.
Georgi Ivanov Markov was a Bulgarian dissident writer. Markov originally worked as a novelist and playwright in his native country, then governed by a communist regime under Chairman Todor Zhivkov, until his defection from Bulgaria in 1969. After relocating to the West, he worked as a broadcaster and journalist for the BBC World Service, the US-funded Radio Free Europe, and Germany's Deutsche Welle. Markov used such forums to conduct a campaign of sarcastic criticism against the incumbent Bulgarian regime. As a result of this, it has been speculated that the Bulgarian government may have decided to silence him, and may have asked the KGB for help. He died as a result of an incident on a London street when a micro-engineered pellet containing ricin was fired into his leg via an umbrella wielded by someone associated with the Bulgarian secret police.
Stanislav Todorov Trifonov, known as Slavi Trifonov, is a Bulgarian showman, actor, singer, and viola player, born in Pleven. Trifonov is mainly active in the folk music and chalga genres, but he has experimented with other genres such as pop-rock and punk as a part of Ku-ku Band. He is the host of Slavi's Show, bTV's late-night talk show. It is styled after the standard U.S. late-night talk shows; nevertheless, many topics and elements in the show's setup are aimed at providing a specific Bulgarian flavor. The main scriptwriters of Slavi's Show are Ivailo Vulchev, Ivo Siromahov, Toshko Iordanov, Dragomir Petrov, and Kalinka Todorova. Trifonov is a professionally trained violist. In the early 1990s, together with several of his classmates at NATFIZ, he created Ku-Ku. In 1996, as a cast member of Kanaleto, he took an active role in the protests that eventually led to the fall of the socialist government. He is both loved and hated in his home country. His current show is one of the most watched, although he is often criticized for his controversial humor. The concept of "Slavi's Show" has changed significantly over the years. Originally, it was based on the classic formula: for half of the show, he performed a type of "one-man show", and in the other half, Trifonov introduced a guest. At one point, the show became an arena for political debates before some important elections. Later on, Trifonov and his team changed the concept and made the show more music-focused. He held a contest called "I sing in KuKu Band" in order to choose a singer for the band. Every phase of the contest was aired. The contestants had to deal with difficult singing tasks. Finally, because of the growing popularity of the contestants, Trifonov decided to continue the contest, turning it into a show. He chose the five most popular contestants and let them compete for the grand prize: the winner would have the chance to record an album and have his or her own show. Meanwhile, Trifonov participated in the competition Eurovision - Bulgaria. There, he triggered a major scandal by stating that the winner was known in advance and the competition was not fair.
Petya Koleva Ivanova, best known by her stage name Preslava, is a Bulgarian pop-folk singer. She was born in Dobrich, Bulgaria where she completed her musical education with the specialty ‘folk singing’. Since 2006, Preslava has been one of the most successful Bulgarian pop-folk singers.
Krasimir Genchev Balakov is a Bulgarian former footballer turned manager. He was a key member of the Bulgarian national team that finished fourth in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. After Hristo Stoichkov, he is considered the greatest Bulgarian footballer of his generation.
Georgi Sedefchov Parvanov was President of Bulgaria from 2002 to 2012. He was elected after defeating his predecessor Petar Stoyanov in the second round of the presidential election in November 2001 and he took office on January 22, 2002. Georgi Parvanov started his second presidential mandate following victory in the 2006 presidential election. Parvanov supports membership of Bulgaria in NATO and the European Union. According to Bulgarian law, a Bulgarian president is not allowed to be a member of a political party, thus Parvanov is independent and he left the Socialist Party after his success in the presidential elections, although he identified as a socialist, Parvanov often declares being a 'social president'. After his second mandate Parvanov says he is going to return in BSP beginning a "leadership debate" although he does not prepare himself for party positions. Even though rumours persist that he is going to challenge Sergei Stanishev at his leader's position in BSP and even run for elections for the Prime Minister position.
Stanislav Manolev is a Bulgarian footballer playing for PSV Eindhoven, as a right-back/right-midfielder.
Boris Christoff was a Bulgarian opera singer, widely considered to have been one of the greatest basses of the 20th century.
Kera Tamara was the daughter of the Bulgarian Emperor Ivan Alexander and his second wife Sarah-Theodora. Kera Tamara was a sister of Ivan Shishman and Ivan Sratsimir. She was born in the 1340s and originates from the Shishman dynasty. The first husband of Kera Tamara was despot Constantine. According to one theory he was the despot of Velbazhd Constantine Dragash whose daughter Helena Dragash married the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II and became mother of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI. However, that theory has been dismissed by the historians because in 1371 Kera Tamara was already a widow while Constantine Dragash died in 1395. Therefore, despot Constantine who was depicted in the Tetraevangelia of Ivan Alexander next to the Bulgarian princess was another man. As early as 1371 when Ivan Alexander died and Ivan Shishman inherited the throne, in the capital Tarnovo arrived ambassadors from the Ottoman Sultan Murad I to arrange his relations with the new Emperor of Bulgaria. The Sultan who was obviously familiar with the beauty of Kera Tamara and the fact that she was a widow demanded her to become his wife as a guarantee for the peace between the two counties. Ivan Shishman managed to divert his demand and prolonged his decision for seven years. On that occasion an anonymous Bulgarian chronicle from the 15th century records:
Naim Süleymanoğlu, is a Turkish World and Olympic Champion in weightlifting. He won three Olympic Championships, seven World Championships and six European Championships and earned 46 world records.
Ludmilla "Lucy" Diakovska is a Bulgarian singer-songwriter, music producer, dancer, stage actress and television personality, who rose to fame as one of the founding members of the successful all-female pop band No Angels, the "biggest-selling German girlband to date," according to the German media. After a series of commercially successful releases with the group, Diakovska released two singles and her solo album Lucylicious under her same-titled stage name in 2005. In 2008, she became part of the jury on reality shows Music Idol and Starmania, the Bulgarian and Austrian version of the Idol series respectively.
Talaat Pasha was one of the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress that controlled the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. He was born in Edirne Vilayet and was of Pomak descent. His career in Ottoman politics began by becoming Deputy for Edirne in 1908, then Minister of the Interior, and finally in 1917 Grand Vizier. He fled the empire with Enver Pasha and Djemal Pasha in 1918, and was assassinated in Berlin in 1921 by Soghomon Tehlirian, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. Mehmed Talaat, when Interior Minister, ordered on 24 April 1915 the arrest of Armenian leaders in Istanbul, and requested the Tehcir Law, or Temporary Deportation Law, of 30 May 1915 that initiated the deportations and subsequent massacre of the Ottoman Empire's Armenian population.
Ivan Kamenov Ivanov is a Bulgarian footballer who plays for Swiss club Basel and the Bulgarian national team, mainly as a centre-back.
Fritz Zwicky was a Swiss astronomer. He worked most of his life at the California Institute of Technology in the United States of America, where he made many important contributions in theoretical and observational astronomy.
Halil Mutlu is a professional Turkish weightlifter with several World and Olympic championships. Mutlu is one of the four weightlifters achieving three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games. His weightlifting career includes five World championships, nine European championships and more than 20 world records at 52 kg, 54 kg and 56 kg combined.
Stanislav Ianevski is a Bulgarian actor that is perhaps best known for playing Viktor Krum in the 2005 film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Ianevski was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and lived in England for five years and Israel. While attending Mill Hill School in the United Kingdom, Ianevski had no particular acting aspirations and was not a drama student. He had only auditioned for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire after being spotted by Fiona Weir, a casting director who prompted him to attend an acting workshop, which resulted in his casting as Viktor Krum, a Bulgarian character in the Harry Potter series. He was selected from 650 others, most of whom had auditioned in Sofia, Bulgaria. He also starred in Hostel: Part II, the sequel to Eli Roth's film Hostel. He reprised his role as Viktor Krum in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. However, his sequences were cut from the final film.
Miroslav Kostadinov is a Bulgarian singer and songwriter who represented Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 with the song Angel si ti. He is the son of the famous painter, writer, composer, director and singer Miroslav Adinov, whose story is told by the biographer Jim Wildcat in "Miroslav Adinov : the man, the legend".
Sofiya Marinova Kamenova, better known as Sofi Marinova, is a Bulgarian pop-folk and ethno-pop singer of Romani descent. She is one of the most popular singers in Bulgaria, famed for her extreme five-octave vocal range. She has won multiple music awards and contests. Оften called "the Romani pearl" and "the Romani nightingale", she is compared to Bulgarian pop singer, Lili Ivanova. In February 2012 she won the Bulgarian Eurovision national final with the song "Love Unlimited", thus becoming the representative of Bulgaria in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Stefan Nikolov Stambolov was a Bulgarian politician, who served as Prime Minister and regent. He is considered one of the most important and popular "Founders of Modern Bulgaria", and is sometimes referred to as "the Bulgarian Bismarck".
Lyuboslav Mladenov Penev is a former Bulgarian footballer who is currently manager of Bulgaria.
Sabahattin Ali was a Turkish novelist, short-story writer, poet, and journalist.
Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria
Ivan Alexander, also known as John Alexander, ruled as Emperor of Bulgaria from 1331 to 1371, during the Second Bulgarian Empire. The date of his birth is unknown. He died on 17 February 1371. The long reign of Ivan Alexander is considered a transitional period in Bulgarian medieval history. Ivan Alexander began his rule by dealing with internal problems and external threats from Bulgaria's neighbours, the Byzantine Empire and Serbia, as well as leading his empire into a period of economic recovery and cultural and religious renaissance. However, the emperor was later unable to cope with the mounting incursions of Ottoman forces, Hungarian invasions from the northwest and the Black Death. In an ill-fated attempt to combat these problems, he divided the country between his two sons, thus forcing it to face the imminent Ottoman conquest weakened and divided.
Spas Delev is a Bulgarian footballer who currently plays as a forward for Spanish side Las Palmas in the Segunda División.
Ahmed III was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and a son of Sultan Mehmed IV. His mother was Mâh-Pâre Ummatullah Râbi'a Gül-Nûş Valide Sultan, originally named Evmania Voria, who was an ethnic Greek. He was born at Hajioglupazari, in Dobruja. He succeeded to the throne in 1703 on the abdication of his brother Mustafa II. Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Pasha and his daughter, Princess Hatice directed the government from 1718 to 1730, a period referred to as the Tulip Era.
Katerina Maleeva is a former top 10 Bulgarian tennis player. She played in the WTA tour, competing in singles, doubles and mixed doubles between 1984 and 1997. Her best position in the WTA rank list was number 6 in 1990.
Galina Peneva Ivanova, better known as Gloria, is a famous Bulgarian Pop, Dance, Rock, and Pop folk singer. Arguably the most popular of her generation, she is known as the Mother of pop-folk.
Irina Georgieva Bokova is a Bulgarian politician and incumbent Director-General of UNESCO. She was member of the Bulgarian Parliament from the Bulgarian Socialist Party for two terms, minister and deputy minister of foreign affairs in the socialist cabinet of Prime Minister Zhan Videnov, and was Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to France and to Monaco, Permanent Delegate of Bulgaria to UNESCO and Personal Representative of the President of Bulgaria to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. On 22 September 2009, Bokova's candidacy was proposed for the post of Director-General of UNESCO. On 15 October 2009, The 35th Session of the General Conference elected Irina Bokova of Bulgaria as the tenth Director-General of UNESCO. Bokova is the first female and Eastern European to head UNESCO.
Anton Pann, was an Ottoman-born Wallachian composer, musicologist, and Romanian-language poet, also noted for his activities as a printer, translator, and schoolteacher. Pann was an influential folklorist and collector of proverbs, as well as a lexicographer and textbook author.
Zhan Vasilev Videnov was prime minister of Bulgaria from 25 January 1995 until 13 February 1997, a term remembered for the most severe economic and financial crisis in recent Bulgarian history. He was chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party from 1991 to 1996. Currently he is a college lecturer and inspirer of the radical youth communist movement Che Guevara of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, which is one of the initiators of the February 2013 protests in Bulgaria that led to the resignation of the right-wing government of GERB.
John of Rila
Saint John of Rila was the first Bulgarian hermit. He was revered as a saint while he was still alive. The legend surrounding him tells of wild animals that freely came up to him and birds that landed in his hands. His followers founded many churches in his honor, including the famous Rila Monastery. One of these churches, "St Ivan Rilski" was only discovered in 2008 in the town of Veliko Tarnovo. Today, he is honored as the patron saint of the Bulgarian people and as one of the most important saints in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
Nicolai Ghiaurov was a Bulgarian opera singer and one of the most famous basses of the postwar period. He was admired for his powerful, sumptuous voice, and was particularly associated with roles of Verdi. Ghiaurov married the Italian soprano Mirella Freni in 1978, and the two singers frequently performed together. They lived in Modena up until Ghiaurov's death in 2004 of a heart attack.
Professional Figure Skater
Albena Denkova is a Bulgarian ice dancer. With partner and fiance Maxim Staviski, she is a two-time World champion, a two-time European silver medalist, and the 2006 Grand Prix Final champion. Denkova and Staviski are the first Bulgarians to medal at the World Figure Skating Championships.
Ivan Yordanov Kostov was Prime Minister of Bulgaria from May 1997 to July 2001 and leader of the Union of Democratic Forces between December 1994 and July 2001. Ivan Kostov graduated in Economics from the Karl Marx Higher Institute of Economics in Sofia in 1974, and later earned a Ph.D. in Mathematical Modeling of Economic Processes from Sofia University. He then worked as an associate professor at Sofia Technical University and entered politics after the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the Bulgarian communist dictator, Todor Zhivkov. Kostov became an economic expert for the Union of Democratic Forces. His political career began as Member of Parliament in the 7th Grand National Assembly in 1990 and he went on to become Bulgaria's Finance Minister in the two consecutive governments of Dimitar Popov and Filip Dimitrov. Kostov was elected chairman of the UDF in 1994. In late 1996 and early 1997, mass protests took place against Bulgarian Socialist Party's government which had led the country to hyperinflation and a complete crisis, and those protests ultimately led to the fall of the current government. UDF won the May 1997 elections, and Kostov became Bulgaria's Prime Minister, his cabinet eventually becoming the country's first post-communist government to serve its full 4-year term. He is credited with turning around his country's fortunes, starting sustainable economic growth, and establishing a path towards Bulgaria's complete integration with the West. Under his government, long-delayed economic reforms were carried out, including privatization of state-owned enterprises was carried on a large scale and the country started long-sought accession talks with the European Union. Additionally, during the war in Kosovo he took some difficult but ultimately beneficial decisions, such as to allow NATO but not Russia to use Bulgaria's airspace, and also not to allow refugees from Kosovo to enter Bulgaria.
Trifon Marinov Ivanov is a former Bulgarian international football player. Sometimes known by his nickname "The Bulgarian Wolf" due to his unshaven appearance and mullet hairstyle, Ivanov started his career with the team Etar of Veliko Tarnovo. Later moves included spells at CSKA Sofia during 1994–95 and 1997–98 as well as at the Austrian teams Austria Vienna and Rapid Vienna and the Spanish club Real Betis. Ivanov's international distinctions include being a member of the Bulgaria national football team that reached the fourth place in the 1994 World Cup in United States. He also participated in the European Football Championship in England in 1996. Ivanov's goal against Russia on 10 September 1997, in the qualifiers for the 1998 World Cup in France, was the one that clinched Bulgarian qualification. Ivanov scored 6 goals in 76 caps in 10 years with the national side. Ivanov is famous for his long-range shots and free-kicks at goal. In Euro 96 particularly, he had a number of 40–45 yards shots at goal narrowly missing the target. In 2013, a Brazilian amateur tournament was named after him.
Tsvetan Valentinov Genkov is a Bulgarian footballer who plays as a striker for Levski Sofia.
Georgi Rangelov Asparuhov, nicknamed Gundi was a Bulgarian football player. He is considered to be among the top Bulgarian footballers of all time. Normally a striker, Asparuhov was renowned for his finishing, technique and heading ability. Asparuhov was a striker for Levski Sofia from 1960 to 1961 and 1964 to 1971, and for Botev Plovdiv from 1961 to 1963. He played 245 matches and scored 150 goals in the top Bulgarian division. Some of the top European clubs at the time sought his services. In the 1965–66 European Cup, Levski played Benfica. When Benfica eliminated Levski after hard fought 3:2 and 2:2 scorelines and Gundi having netted 3 of all Levski goals, Europe began to view Gundi with interest. In fact, he was the first player to score two goals in Benfica's stadium. In the aftermath of this match, Levski grew in popularity in Europe. The rich Portuguese club wanted to buy Asparuhov, but the communist government of Bulgaria did not allow them to do so. For the Bulgaria national football team, Asparuhov featured in 50 games and has 19 goals. He scored the only goals for Bulgaria in Chile '62 and in England '66.
Aleksandar Stamboliyski was the prime minister of Bulgaria from 1919 until 1923. Stamboliyski was a member of the Agrarian Union, an agrarian peasant movement which was not allied to the monarchy, and edited their newspaper. He opposed the country's participation in World War I and its support for the Central Powers. In a famous incident during 1914 Stamboliyski's patriotism was challenged when members of the Bulgarian parliament questioned whether he was Bulgarian or not, to which he shouted in response "I am neither a Bulgarian nor a Serb, I am a South Slav!". This statement relates to his belief in a Balkan Federation which would unite the region and supersede many of the national identities which existed at the time. He was court-martialed and sentenced to life in prison in 1915. In 1918, with the defeat of Bulgaria, Tsar Ferdinand abdicated in favor of his son Tsar Boris III who released Stamboliyski from prison. He joined the government in January, 1919, and was appointed prime minister on October 14 of that year. On March 20, 1920, the Agrarian Union won national elections and Stamboliyski was confirmed as prime minister.
Georgi Iliev Rusev is a Bulgarian footballer who captains Cherno More Varna. He primarily plays as a centre midfielder. He has been capped 15 times for Bulgaria.
Lyuben Stoychev Karavelov was a Bulgarian writer and an important figure of the Bulgarian National Revival. Karavelov was born in Koprivshtitsa. He began his education in a church school, but in 1850 he moved to the school of Nayden Gerov in Plovdiv. He was then sent by his father to study in a Greek school for two years, before transferring to a Bulgarian school, where he also studied Russian literature. He moved to Odrin for an apprenticeship, but he soon came back to Koprivshtitsa and was sent to Constantinople in 1856. There he developed a strong interest in politics and the Crimean War. At the same time, he studied the culture and ethnography of the region. In 1857, Karavelov enrolled in the Faculty of History and Philology at the University of Moscow, where he fell under the influence of Russian revolutionary democrats, was placed under police surveylance in 1859, and took part in student riots in 1861. With a group of other your Bulgarian student radicals, he published a journal and started writing poetry and long short stories in Bulgarian, scholarly publications in Bulgarian ethnography and journalism in Russian. In 1867 he went to Belgrade as a correspondent for Russian newspapers, started publishing prose and journalism in Serbian, in 1868 was forced to move to Novi Sad, Austria-Hungary, for his contacts with the Serb opposition, was arrested and spent time in a Budapest prison for alleged participation in a conspiracy, and in 1869 settled in Bucharest with the intent to start his own newspaper and to cooperate with the newly founded Bulgarian Scholarly Society.
Paisius of Hilendar
Saint Paisius of Hilendar or Paìsiy Hilendàrski was a Bulgarian clergyman and a key Bulgarian National Revival figure. He is most famous for being the author of Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya, the second modern Bulgarian history after the work of Petar Bogdan Bakshev from 1667, “History of Bulgaria”. Most Bulgarians think of him as the forefather of the Bulgarian National Revival. Paisius was born in the Samokov eparchy of the time, probably in the village of Bansko. He established himself in the Hilandar monastery on Mount Athos in 1745, where he was later a hieromonk and deputy-abbot. Collecting materials for two years through hard work and even visiting the lands of the Germans, he finished his Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya in 1762 in the Zograf Monastery. The book was the first attempt to write a complete history of Bulgaria and attempted to awake and strengthen Bulgarian national consciousnesses. The most famous part of the whole book is the sentence: "Why are you ashamed to call yourself Bulgarian?" This more or less signifies the purpose of the author who speaks about the danger of Bulgarians falling victim to the hellenization policies of the mainly Greek clergy. The book's first manual copy was done by Sophronius of Vratsa in 1765. Structurally, Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya consists of two introductions, several chapters that discuss various historic events, a chapter about the "Slavic teachers", the disciples of Cyril and Methodius, a chapter about the Bulgarian saints, and an epilogue. As Paisius toured Bulgaria as a mendicant friar, he brought his work, which was copied and spread among the Bulgarians. He is thought to have died on the way to Mount Athos near Ampelino.
Aleko Konstantinov was a Bulgarian writer, best known for his character Bay Ganyo, one of the most popular characters in Bulgarian fiction.
Yordan Yovchev Yovchev, is a Bulgarian gymnast. Yovchev was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He won silver in the men's rings at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens with a score of 9.850. In the same Olympic Games, Yovchev won bronze in the men's floor exercise with a score of 9.775. In the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, he won the bronze on both floor exercise and still rings with 9.787 and 9.762 respectively. He also won two World Championship Bronze medals in the all around. Yovchev made his fifth Olympic team for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and qualified again for the Rings exercise. He qualified second with a score of 16.275 under the new scoring system, but missed a handstand and finished the final in last place with a score of 15.525. He has competed in many SASUKE tournaments, reaching the final stage in the 8th competition; he did not pass the spider climb in the first 15 seconds, so the walls spread apart and he fell. He is the only competitor to not pass the spider climb in this version of the final stage, other than Shingo Yamamoto who did not complete it due to injury, but his early failure could be attributed to the heavy rain during the entire competition. Since then he has not passed the third stage.
Emil Lubtchov Kostadinov is a former Bulgarian football striker, former member of the Bulgaria national team for which he played in two World Cups. He shares his birthdate with another legendary Bulgarian footballer Dimitar Yakimov, who was born on 12 August 1941.
Olympic Volleyball Player
Matey Kaziyski is a Bulgarian volleyball player. With Dynamo Moscow he won the bronze medal at the Men's CEV Champions League 2006–07 and was awarded Final Four' "Best Server". In late 2007 Kazijski was involved in a contract dispute between his first club Slavia and the Russian Dynamo Moscow and his new club Trento. It ended with the player joining the Italian Trento in the summer of 2007. Matey's mother and father were both Bulgarian national volleyball players. Still young he trained different sports like football, basketball and even bow shooting and horse riding. His volleyball career started in the junior team of Slavia Sofia as a setter. Subsequently he played in all positions until he finally became a spiker. In April 2009, Kaziyski won the Men's CEV Champions League 2008–09 with Trentino Volley. He was awarded the Final Four's MVP award. In 2010 Trentino Volley defended their CEV Champions League title with a 3-1 win against Zenit Kazan. In 2012 Kaziyski left the Bulgarian National Volleyball Team, together with coach Radostin Stoytchev, due to a scandal with Bulgarian Volleyball Federation. The player said he would not get back, until the leadership and structure of the BFV was changed.
Meglena Shtilianova Kuneva is a Bulgarian and EU politician. Born in Sofia she is descended from a Catholic family from the town of Rakovski. Kuneva graduated in Law from Sofia University in 1981. In 1984 she became a Doctor of Law. She worked as a journalist for the Law Programme of the Bulgarian National Radio while being an Assistant Professor at Sofia University. In 1990 she took a job as Senior Legal Advisor at the Council of Ministers and held it until 2001. In the meantime Kuneva specialized in Foreign Affairs and Environmental Law at Georgetown University and other universities abroad. In June 2001 she was elected a deputy as a founding member of the Liberal Simeon II National Movement party. In August 2001 Kuneva left her position in the Bulgarian parliament because she was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chief Negotiator of the Republic of Bulgaria with the European Union. She represented the Bulgarian Government in the Convention on the Future of Europe, which designed the EU Constitutional Treaty. In May 2002 she was appointed Bulgaria's first Minister of European Affairs in the government of former Tsar Simeon Sakskoburggotski. She held that job even after the 2005 parliamentary elections, when NDSV became a junior partner in the Bulgarian Socialist Party-dominated coalition government of Sergey Stanishev – the only minister of the former cabinet to retain her post.
Peyo Yavorov was a Bulgarian Symbolist poet. He was considered to be one of the finest poetic talents in the fin de siècle Kingdom of Bulgaria. Yavorov was a prominent member of the Misal group. His life and work are closely connected with the liberation movement Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization in Macedonia. He was also a supporter of the Armenian Independence Movement, and wrote a number of poems about Armenians. Most of his poems are romantic in subject, and dedicated to the two women in his life — Mina Todorova and Lora Karavelova. His first love Mina died from tubercolosis, which greatly saddened Yavorov. She was buried in the cemetery of Boulogne Billancourt. Later on he met Lora, the daughter of statesman Petko Karavelov. They were married, and the letters correspondence between them was considered evidence of their ardent and vivid love, and thus different from the relationship Yavorov had with Mina Todorova. In 1913, Lora shot herself and Yavorov tried to commit suicide. The bullet went through his temporal bone, which left him blind. In despair over the trial provoked by Lora's death and the rumor that he had killed her, Yavorov poisoned and then shot himself in autumn 1914, at the age of 36.
Valeri Domovchiyski is a Bulgarian footballer who plays as a striker for Botev Plovdiv.
Blagoy Georgiev is a Bulgarian footballer who currently plays for Amkar Perm as a midfielder.
Georgi Peev is a Bulgarian footballer who currently plays for FC Amkar Perm.
Kotoōshū Katsunori is a professional sumo wrestler or rikishi. He made his debut in 2002, reaching the top division just two years later. In 2005 he reached the rank of ōzeki or 'champion', the second-highest level in the sumo ranking system behind only yokozuna. On May 24, 2008, Kotoōshū made history by becoming the first European sumo wrestler to win an Emperor's Cup. Upon the retirement of Kaiō, he became the longest serving active ōzeki.
Nasko Petkov Sirakov is a retired Bulgarian footballer who played mainly as a striker. Part of the Bulgarian team at the 1994 FIFA World Cup as it finished fourth, he was one of the most important footballers in the country in the 1980s/1990s, being a legend at Levski Sofia, a club he represented in four different spells. Having surpassed the 300-goal mark as a professional – he was crowned the country's top division topscorer four times – Sirakov also worked with his main club in directorial capacities.
Julius Mordecai Pincas, known as Pascin, Jules Pascin, or the "Prince of Montparnasse", was born in Bulgaria. During World War I, he worked in the United States. He is best known as a painter in Paris, where he was strongly identified with the Modernist movement and the artistic circles of Montparnasse. Having struggled with depression and alcoholism, he committed suicide at the age of 45.
Тодор Колев is a musical artist.
Prince Kiril of Bulgaria
Yusuf Ismail, also widely known as Youssouf Ishmaelo, was a Turkish professional wrestler who competed in Europe and the United States as Yusuf Ismail the Terrible Turk during the 1890s. During his lifetime, his native Turks knew him as Şumnulu Yusuf Pehlivan. However, writer Rıza Tevfik posthumously awarded him the honorific Koca, and thus he was later remembered as Koca Yusuf. Widely known for his massive size and brute strength, he was recognized as one of the top three strongmen in the world by Alan Calvert, pioneer of American weight training, and photographer Edmond Desbonnet during the turn of the century. Prior to his arrival in the United States, he remained undefeated in his near four-year career and successfully challenged Evan "Strangler" Lewis for the American Heavyweight Championship in 1898. Yusuf Ismail was the original wrestler to be known as "the Terrible Turk", but several others, including Kızılcıklı Mahmut and Armenian-American Robert Manoogian, also used the name throughout the first half of the 20th century.
Yordanka Donkova is a former hurdling athlete notable for winning an Olympic gold medal and bronze medal as well as 9 medals at European indoor and outdoor championships. Donkova set four world records in 1986. Her fifth, a 100m hurdles time of 12.21 set in 1988, is still the current world record.
Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov was a Bulgarian poet, communist and revolutionary. Working most of his life as a machinist, he only wrote in his spare time. Despite the fact that he ever published only one poetry book, he is considered one of the most important Bulgarian poets. Because of his underground communist activity against the government of Boris III and the German troops in Bulgaria, Vaptsarov was arrested, tried, sentenced and executed the same night by a firing squad. He is also considered an ethnic Macedonian writer in the Republic of Macedonia.