Famous people from Estonia
Here is a list of famous people from Estonia. Curious if anybody from Estonia made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.
Arvo Pärt is an Estonian composer of classical music and sacred music. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style that employs his self-invented compositional technique, tintinnabuli. His music is in part inspired by Gregorian chant.
Alfred Ernst Rosenberg was an early and intellectually influential member of the Nazi Party. Rosenberg was first introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart; he later held several important posts in the Nazi government. He is considered one of the main authors of key Nazi ideological creeds, including its racial theory, persecution of the Jews, Lebensraum, abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, and opposition to "degenerate" modern art. He is also known for his rejection of Christianity, having played an important role in the development of Positive Christianity, which he intended to be transitional to a new Nazi faith. At Nuremberg he was tried, sentenced to death and executed by hanging as a war criminal and for crimes against humanity.
Louis Isadore Kahn was an American architect, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. After working in various capacities for several firms in Philadelphia, he founded his own atelier in 1935. While continuing his private practice, he served as a design critic and professor of architecture at Yale School of Architecture from 1947 to 1957. From 1957 until his death, he was a professor of architecture at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Kahn created a style that was monumental and monolithic; his heavy buildings do not hide their weight, their materials, or the way they are assembled. Louis Kahn's works are considered as monumental beyond modernism. Famous for his meticulously built works, his provocative unbuilt proposals, and his teaching, Kahn was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal and the RIBA Gold Medal. At the time of this death, he was "America's foremost living architect."
Neeme Järvi is an Estonian conductor.
Valeri Georgievich Karpin is a former Russian professional association footballer, who played midfielder, and manager of FC Spartak Moscow.
Paul Keres was an Estonian chess grandmaster, and a renowned chess writer. He was among the world's top players from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s. Keres narrowly missed a chance at a world championship match on five occasions. He won the 1938 AVRO tournament, which led to negotiations for a title match against champion Alexander Alekhine, but the match never took place due to World War II. After the war Keres was runner-up in the Candidates' Tournament on four consecutive occasions. Due to these and other strong results, many chess historians consider Keres the strongest player never to become world champion. He was nicknamed "Paul the Second", "The Eternal Second" and "The Crown Prince of Chess". Keres was the only player in chess history to defeat nine undisputed world champions.
Carmen Kass is an Estonian model.
Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow
Patriarch Alexy II was the 15th Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus', the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church. Elected Patriarch of Moscow eighteen months prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, he became the first Russian Patriarch of the post-Soviet period.
Anne Veski is an Estonian pop singer who has recorded music in both her native language as well as Russian, and Polish. Anne Veski is Honored artist of the Estonian SSR.
Paavo Järvi is an Estonian-American conductor. Järvi was born in Tallinn, Estonia, to conductor Neeme Järvi and Liilia Järvi. His siblings, Kristjan Järvi and Maarika Järvi, are also musicians. He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Max Rudolf and Otto-Werner Mueller, and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute with Leonard Bernstein. From 1994 to 1997, Järvi was principal conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. From 1995 to 1998, he shared the title of principal conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra with Sir Andrew Davis. Järvi was music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 2001 to 2011. The orchestra made a number of recordings for the Telarc label during Järvi's tenure. In May 2011, he was named the orchestra's Music Director Laureate. Since 2004, he has been the artistic director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Bremen and an Artistic Advisor to the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Järvi became the principal conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, now known as the HR-Sinfonieorchester. He is scheduled to conclude his tenure with the HR-Sinfonieorchester at the end of the 2013-2014 season. In 2010, he became music director of the Orchestre de Paris. In June 2012, the NHK Symphony Orchestra named Järvi its next chief conductor, as of the 2015-2016 season, with an initial contract of 3 years.
Silvi Vrait was an Estonian singer and music teacher.
Andres Oper is an Estonian footballer who is currently a free agent. He last played for Nea Salamis Famagusta. He has set the goalscoring record for the Estonian national team, by scoring 38 goals in 133 matches.
Gerd Kanter is an Estonian discus thrower. He was the 2007 World Champion in the event and won the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and bronze in London 2012. His personal best throw of 73.38 m is the Estonian record and the third best mark of all-time. He made his first Olympic appearance in 2004 and established himself a year later by taking the silver medal at the 2005 World Championships. He was runner-up at the 2006 European Athletics Championships and won further medals at the World Championships in 2009 and 2011. He won the 2012 and the 2013 IAAF Diamond League in discus throw.
Tarmo Kink is an Estonian professional footballer, who is currently playing to Győri ETO on loan from A.S. Varese 1910. He is an attacking left-footed winger or striker and is also a member of the Estonia national football team.
Harald Nugiseks is a former SS-Unterscharführer in World War II, who served voluntarily in the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS of the Waffen SS. Nugiseks is also one of the four Estonian soldiers who received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Nugiseks was born in Särevere, Järvamaa, Estonia. In 1943, he voluntarily joined the Estonian Legion. He received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for leading the capture of the Vaasa-Siivertsi-Vepsküla bridgehead. As the I Battalion, Waffen-Grenadier Regiment der SS 46 lost almost all of its officers, Nugiseks stepped in as the leader of the attack. He immediately changed tactics, loading the supply of hand grenade onto sledges so the attackers would not have to crawl back for the supplies over the mine field. With the hand grenades being passed on along the trenches, the bridgehead was squeezed in from the north by the "rolling" tactics. Nugiseks was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht and in the magazine Signal following his Knight's Cross award, which was personally given to him by the SA occupation head in Estonia, Karl-Siegmund Litzmann, while Nugiseks was in hospital. It was filmed.
Henrik Ojamaa is an Estonian international footballer who plays professionally for Ekstraklasa side Legia Warsaw. His preferred position is as a striker, but he is often used as an attacking midfielder or winger.
Wolfgang Köhler was a German psychologist and phenomenologist who, like Max Wertheimer, and Kurt Koffka, contributed to the creation of Gestalt psychology.
Adam Johann von Krusenstern
Adam Johann Ritter von Krusenstern was an admiral and explorer, who led the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe.
Rein Taaramäe is an Estonian road bicycle racer for UCI Professional Continental cycling team Cofidis.
Margus Hunt is an Estonian American football defensive end for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. Before taking up American football, he competed in the discus throw and shot put, and was the former world junior record holder in discus throw. He played college football for Southern Methodist University. The Cincinnati Bengals selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Lennart Georg Meri was a writer, film director and statesman who served as the second President of Estonia from 1992 to 2001. Meri was a leader of the Estonian independence movement.
Jürgen Zopp is the current number one male Estonian tennis player. He is a prominent member of the Estonia Davis Cup team. Zopp reached the second round of the Australian and US Open Boys' Tournaments in 2006. He made a breakthrough on the ATP tour in 2012, when he qualified for the first time to a Grand Slam tournament, doing it three times in a row at the Australian Open, Roland Garros, and Wimbledon, achieved a first ATP tournament main draw tournament win in Bucharest and established himself as a Top 100 player in the ATP rankings.
Professional Ice hockey Player
Leonid Aleksandrovitš Komarov is a Finnish-Russian professional ice hockey player. He is currently a member of the Moscow Dynamo of the Kontinental Hockey League. Prior to joining the Dynamo, Komarov was a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League. Raised in Finland, Komarov is the first Estonian-born player in the NHL. Komarov was a member of the gold-winning Finnish national team in the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
Tõnis Mägi is an Estonian singer, guitarist, composer and actor. He is one of the most influential and remarkable names in the Estonian rock music for the past 40 years. He grew up in a musical family, music became interesting in his early childhood. While attending in the Tallinn 22nd High School he started performing as the choir's soloist in the early grades. After learning to play guitar, Mägi started his musician career as a guitarist in school bands Juuniorid and Rütmikud. After serving in the compulsory Soviet Army he became the vocalist of Baltika. Later he sang in the bands Kärjed, Laine, Muusik Seif, 777 and Ultima Thule. In the 1970s and 1980s, Mägi gained big popularity not only in Estonia, but in the whole Soviet Union. One of his most popular songs Olimpiada became a symbol of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. In 1987, he gave his last concert in Russia, after which he returned to Estonia and focused on the Singing Revolution. Among other patriotic songs of the time, Mägi's song Koit became a symbol of freedom. Since 1996 he has been working in Vanemuine theatre in Tartu.
Adolf von Harnack
Carl Gustav Adolf von Harnack, was a German Lutheran theologian and prominent church historian. He produced many religious publications from 1873 to 1912. Harnack traced the influence of Hellenistic philosophy on early Christian writing and called on Christians to question the authenticity of doctrines that arose in the early Christian church. He rejected the historicity of the gospel of John in favor of the synoptic gospels, criticized the Apostles' Creed, and promoted the Social Gospel. In the 19th century, higher criticism flourished in Germany, establishing the historical-critical method as an academic standard for interpreting the Bible and understanding the historical Jesus. Harnack's work is part of a reaction to Tübingen, and represents a reappraisal of tradition. Besides his theological activities, Harnack was a distinguished organizer of sciences. He played an important role in the foundation of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft and became its first president.
Karl Ernst von Baer
Karl Ernst Ritter von Baer, Edler von Huthorn, also known in Russia as Karl Maksimovich Baer, from the Governorate of Estonia, was a naturalist, biologist, geologist, meteorologist, geographer, a founding father of embryology, explorer of European Russia and Scandinavia, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a co-founder of the Russian Geographical Society and the first President of the Russian Entomological Society.
Eduard Gustav von Toll was a Baltic German geologist and Arctic explorer in Russian service. Often referred to as Baron von Toll or as Eduard v. Toll, in Russia he is known as Eduard Vasiliyevich Toll. Eduard Toll was born on March 14 [O.S. March 2] 1858, in Reval and he died in 1902 in an unknown location in the Arctic Ocean. He belonged to a noble family of Baltic German origin and was married to Baroness Emmy von Toll. Eduard Toll graduated from the University of Dorpat as a zoologist in 1882. Already while he was a student he traveled to the Mediterranean and researched the fauna, flora and geology of Algeria and the Balearic Islands.
Mart Poom is an Estonian former football goalkeeper. He retired after Estonia's 0–0 draw against Portugal on 10 June 2009 to focus on his job as goalkeeping coach at Arsenal and the Estonian national team.
Heinrich Friedrich Emil Lenz was a Russian physicist of Baltic German ethnicity. He is most noted for formulating Lenz's law in electrodynamics in 1833. The symbol, conventionally representing inductance, is chosen in his honor. Lenz was born in Dorpat, the Governorate of Livonia, in the Russian Empire at that time. After completing his secondary education in 1820, Lenz studied chemistry and physics at the University of Dorpat. He traveled with the navigator Otto von Kotzebue on his third expedition around the world from 1823 to 1826. On the voyage Lenz studied climatic conditions and the physical properties of seawater. The results have been published in "Memoirs of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences". After the voyage, Lenz began working at the University of St. Petersburg, Russia, where he later served as the Dean of Mathematics and Physics from 1840 to 1863 and was Rector from 1863 until his death in 1865. Lenz also taught at the Petrischule in 1830 and 1831, and at the Mikhailovskaya Artillery Academy. Lenz had begun studying electromagnetism in 1831. Besides the law named in his honor, Lenz also independently discovered Joule's law in 1842; to honor his efforts on the problem, it is also given the name the "Joule–Lenz law," named also for James Prescott Joule.
Sergei Pareiko is an Estonian footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for the Estonia national football team. He is currently plays for Volga Nizhny Novgorod.
Erki Nool is an Estonian decathlete and politician. Nool is a winner of the gold medal for decathlon in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Although Nool did not place first in any individual event, his total score was the highest. Nool won the title after the competition referee decided to over-rule a discus judge, who had red-flagged his last and only valid attempt due to alleged step-out. The reinstatement of his 43.66-metre third throw sparked unsuccessful counter-protests from other teams. Nool took gold ahead of the Czech Roman Šebrle and American Chris Huffins. On September 1997 he established the first private athletics school in Estonia. Since 2005, Erki Nool has been the Vice Chairman of the EOC Athletes Commission and since 2007, member of the European Athletics Development Committee. In 2006, Nool participated as a celebrity contestant on the first season of Tantsud tähtedega, an Estonian version of Dancing with the Stars. His professional dancing parner was Ave Vardja. Nool was elected to the Estonian Parliament, Riigikogu, on 4 March 2007, representing the Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica. Since 2008, he is also member of the Executive Committee of the Estonian Olympic Committee.
Urmo Aava is an Estonian rally driver competing in the World Rally Championship. His regular co-driver was Kuldar Sikk, who later became Ott Tänak's co-driver.
Johann Urb is an American actor and former model.
Jaan Kross was an Estonian writer.
Siim Kallas is an Estonian politician, currently serving as European Commissioner for Transport. He is also one of five vice-presidents of the 27-member Barroso Commission. He has been nominated as commissioner for Transport and vice-president in the second Barroso Commission. Kallas has been Prime Minister of Estonia, Estonian Minister of Finance, Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Member of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union and member of the Riigikogu. Kallas is a member and former leader of the free-market liberal Estonian Reform Party. Kallas was a vice-president of Liberal International.
Tanel Padar is an Estonian singer. He is best known internationally for winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2001. Padar became famous by winning the Kaks takti ette, a biennial televised competition for young Estonian singers, in 1999. In 2000, he was one of the backing vocalists for Ines – who at the time was also his girlfriend – at the Eurovision Song Contest 2000. In 2001, Padar along with the boyband 2XL and Aruba born Dave Benton claimed the spotlight by winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 with the song "Everybody". Padar performs in a band called Tanel Padar & The Sun, one of the most popular bands in Estonia. In 2006, Tanel Padar & The Sun had the following positions in the Estonian 2006 chart: #1, #4, #12, #23, #29, #31. One of their songs also claimed the R2 Hit of the Year prize. The song "Hopelessness You" made it to the MTV World Chart Express.
Marie Under was one of the greatest Estonian poets.
Andrus Ansip is an Estonian politician who has been Prime Minister of Estonia since 2005. He is chairman of the market liberal Estonian Reform Party.
Markko Märtin is a rally driver from Estonia, who competed in the World Rally Championship from 2000 until 2005.
Robert Gernhardt was a German writer, painter, caricaturist and poet.
Gustav Suits is considered one of the greatest Estonian poets. He was also an early leader of the literary movement group Noor-Eesti.
Joel Lindpere is an Estonian professional footballer who currently plays for Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer. He plays as a midfielder.
Ott Lepland is an Estonian singer, who is best known as the winner of the third season of Eesti otsib superstaari. Lepland represented Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan with the song "Kuula" placing 6th in the final. Lepland has been singing since he was a child. He released four albums with children songs in 1995 and 1996. At the moment Lepland is studying at Georg Ots' Tallinn Music School pop and jazz singing. He has also studied piano for ten years. Ott has performed in several plays, including the role of Troy Bolton in Estonian State Puppet & Youth Theatre's musical, the Estonian version of High School Musical. In 2010, Lepland released his self-titled first album after winning the Estonian version of Pop Idol. The self-titled album consists of 12 songs, including singles "Otsides ma pean su jälle leidma", "Süte peal sulanud jää", etc. In December 2010, a fan book of Lepland was released, it is titled "Lubage mul olla. Ott Lepland." with subtitle "8 kuud superstaarina". In 2011, Ott participated in another TV3 TV show Laulupealinn, where Ott represented Estonian town Kärdla. Every week, Lepland had to perform with partners from Kärdla or Hiiu County, including his grandmother, nephew, and a local mixed choir. Lepland won the show and Kärdla has now the title of Singing Capital of Estonia.
Jaan Kirsipuu is a retired Estonian road bicycle racer, living in Estonia. Kirsipuu initially retired at the end of the 2006, but participated in the 2007 Estonian championship, becoming time trial champion for the sixth time. In 2008 he was the manager of Latvian UCI Continental cycling team Rietumu Banka - Rīga. In 2009 he joined Team Giant-Veoila. So far Jaan has over 130 professional wins. He retired again in 2012, and became a sporting director with the Astana team. At his peak he was one of Estonia's top athletes and the first Estonian rider to win a stage in the tour de France . He dropped out of the Tour de France 12 times, which is the record. In spite of this, he won multiple stages and wore the yellow jersey for six days in 1999.
Anett Kontaveit is an Estonian tennis player. Kontaveit has won nine singles and four doubles titles on the ITF tour during her career. On 4 November 2013, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 228. On 4 November 2013, she peaked at world number 290 in the doubles rankings. Kontaveit won the Estonian Championships in 2009 and again in 2010, being the youngest player ever in Estonia to do so. Kontaveit is coached by Peeter Lamp.
Georg Karl Julius Hackenschmidt was an early 20th-century strongman, professional wrestler, writer and philosopher. He was the first free-style heavyweight champion of the world. He launched his professional career in Reval, Governorate of Estonia, and lived most of his life in London, England, where he gained the nickname of 'The Russian Lion'. Hackenschmidt is believed to be the creator of the professional wrestling version of the bear hug as well as the person who popularised the hack squat, a deadlift with arms behind the body.
Baruto Kaito is a former professional sumo wrestler from Estonia. Making his debut in May 2004, he was one of only two Estonians ever to join the sport in Japan, and the first to reach the top division, which he achieved after just two years in sumo in May 2006. After suffering a number of injury problems in 2007 which delayed his progress, he reached the third highest rank of sekiwake in November 2008, and was promoted to ōzeki rank after finishing the March 2010 tournament with a score of 14–1. He has been a tournament runner-up four times and earned five special prizes for Fighting Spirit, one for Outstanding Performance and one for Technique. In the 2012 January tournament he recorded his first top division championship. He lost his ōzeki rank after more injury problems at the end of 2012, and having fallen greatly in rank after withdrawing from the May 2013 tournament, he announced his retirement in September of that year at the age of 28.
Mart Laar is an Estonian statesman and historian. He served as the Prime Minister of Estonia from 1992 to 1994 and from 1999 to 2002. Laar is credited with having helped bring about Estonia’s rapid economic development during the 1990s. In April 2011, Mart Laar became Minister of Defence in the cabinet of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and served until his resignation for reasons of health in May 2012. In April 2013, Riigikogu appointed Laar as chairman of the supervisory board of the Bank of Estonia, his term beginning on 12 June 2013.
Getter Jaani is an Estonian pop singer. She represented Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with her entry "Rockefeller Street". Despite being an initial favourite and qualifying for the final, she finished in the penultimate position at 24th place. Among Eurovision fans and fan sites the term "pulling a Getter Jaani" was coined to describe a huge favorite to win Eurovision that fails to reach the top 10 or even top 20. Getter Jaani came to stardom on the third season of Eesti otsib superstaari, an Estonian version of Pop Idol, where she finished fourth which led her to the role of Sharpay Evans in "High School Musical" in Tallinn. In 2013 she is playing the role of Sandy in the musical "Grease". She has also taken part as herself in a popular TV series, called "Riigimehed", aired on ETV. Getter was born and raised in Tallinn where she continues her studies at the Centre of Vocational Disciplines to become a tailor-stylist. She also takes acting classes at the School of Fine Arts, led by Kaari Sillamaa who has written the Estonian lyrics for the Estonian Eurovision entries of 1996 and 1999.
Tanel Kangert is an Estonian road bicycle racer, who currently rides for UCI ProTour team Astana. After the 2009 season, he was sacked by his team, Ag2r-La Mondiale, because of a knee injury that nearly ended his career.
Alexander Mikhailovich Gorchakov, was a Russian statesman from the Gorchakov princely family. He has an enduring reputation as one of the most influential and respected diplomats of the nineteenth century. From 1863 to 1883 he was chancellor of the Russian Empire.
Ernst Julius Öpik was an Estonian astronomer and astrophysicist who spent the second half of his career at the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland.
Sander Puri is an Estonian footballer who plays for York City as a midfielder. He is a member of the Estonia national team.
Eri Klas is an Estonian Jewish conductor. Klas has mainly worked in the nordic scene since, but might be best known for his work leading the defunct Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. He premiered Alfred Schnittke's 1st Cello Concerto and Peer Gynt ballet, and has worked on the diffussion of the Estonian symphonic repertory. He is also active as a pedagogue, holding professorships at the Sibelius Academy and the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, where he has received an honorary doctorate. He has been decorated the Order of the Lion of Finland and the Order of the White Star, and is an UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. In 1986 he was named a People's Artist of the USSR. A former Estonian lightweight junior boxing champion, he is also a member of the Estonian Olympic Committee.
Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie
Count Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie was a Swedish statesman and military man. He became a member of the Swedish Privy Council in 1647 and came to be the holder of three of the five offices counted as the Great Officers of the Realm, namely Lord High Treasurer, Lord High Chancellor and Lord High Steward. He also served as Governor-General in the Swedish dominion of Livonia.
Eda-Ines Etti is a singer and celebrity in Estonia, also known for her participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2000. Under her abbreviated stage name Ines, she was Estonia's representative for the contest in Sweden. Her song "Once in a Lifetime" received fourth place in the contest. Ines was designed to be once again Estonia's public face at the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 held in Estonia, as she was the first choice for the production team of the Eurolaul entry "Runaway". However, she pulled out at the last moment, and an experienced Swedish singer, Sahlene was hurriedly drafted in to perform "Runaway" at Eurolaul. This caused some controversy, with Ines' role in the affair coming under question. In the same year, Ines became the face for the Finnish mobile ticketing company Plusdial. Since then, she has once been the national spokeswoman during the voting procedure of Eurovision Song Contest and a co-presenter of Eurolaul in 2005. Ines's first album in Estonian, 15 magamata ööd, was issued in 2004. The title-track of the record brought her the second "Female Artist of the Year" at the Estonian Music Awards. Ines' backup band was formed in 2005, including her brother Ivo Etti, Siim Mäesalu, Erki Pärnoja, and Magnus Pajupuu. The first two instrumentalists were freshly recruited from Ruffus, the participants of Eurovision Song Contest 2003.
Henri Anier is an Estonian professional footballer, who plays for Motherwell in Scottish Premiership on loan from Viking FK. He plays the position of striker.
Felix Kersten was before and during World War II the personal masseur of Heinrich Himmler. Kersten used his position to aid people persecuted by Nazi Germany, although whether his actions were as decisive as Kersten claimed in his memoirs is not readily verifiable from other sources.
Ragnar Klavan is an Estonian footballer who plays for German Fußball-Bundesliga club FC Augsburg and for the Estonian national team. He plays the position of left-footed defender.
Lenna Kuurmaa is an Estonian singer-songwriter and actress. She is a member of the girl group Vanilla Ninja, but after the band's hiatus since 2009, continued to work as a solo-artist. She also formed a band with the name "Lenna" who released the debut album Lenna in June 2010.
Koit Toome is an Estonian singer and musical actor.
Ivo Linna is a singer and an actor.
Alexander von Benckendorff
Count Alexander von Benckendorff, Russian: граф Александр Христофорович Бенкендорф, Aleksandr Khristoforovich Benkendorf, 4 July [O.S. 23 June] 1781 or 1783 – 5 October [O.S. 23 September] 1844, was a Russian Cavalry General and statesman, Adjutant General of Tsar Alexander I, a commander of partisan (Kossak irregular) units during the War of 1812-13. However, he is most frequently remembered for his later role, under Tsar Nicholas I, as the founding head of the Gendarmes and the Secret Police in Imperial Russia.
Heavy metal Artist
Gunnar Graps-Grafs was a popular Estonian musician and one of the pioneers of hard rock in Estonia and Soviet Union. He has sold hundreds of thousands of records all over the world and in 2004 Graps was given a lifetime award at Estonian Music Awards. He has been compared to Mick Jagger and Alice Cooper, both who were his own personal idols, and is often called Raudmees.
Folk rock Artist
Urmas Alender was an Estonian singer and musician who is possibly best recalled as the vocalist of such popular Estonian bands as Ruja and Propeller. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, Alender began his musical career in the rock band Shades in 1969 but departed the following year to become the vocalist for Andromeeda. In 1971, Alender fronted the progressive rock band Ruja with pianist Rein Rannap. The band was influenced by such Western acts as Genesis, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson and often incorporated the poetry of Estonian writers Juhan Viiding and Ott Arder into the lyrics. The band were one of the first nationally commercially successful rock bands to perform in their native Estonian language. Alender would remain with the band until its demise in 1988. From 1979 until 1980, Urmas Alender also fronted the Estonian punk rock band Propeller. Other bands Alender performed with were Teravik, Data, and in 1983, he briefly played in an outfit called Kaseke. In 1987, Alender appeared in the Estonian rockumentary Pingul keel alongside such other popular Estonian musicians as Tõnis Mägi, Ivo Linna and Anne Veski.
Eduard Tubin was an Estonian composer and conductor.
Kevin Korjus is an Estonian racing driver.
Riho Sibul, born 26 June 1958, is an Estonian singer and guitarist of rock band Ultima Thule.
Maret Ani is an Estonian tennis player. At the start of 2006, she was the top-ranked player in Estonia, before losing that spot to Kaia Kanepi. Ani was a junior basketball champion, but devoted herself to tennis from the age of 14. She moved to Italy three years later after finding sponsorship for coaching. She was coached initially by Aita Põldma and later by Pierfrancesco Restelli. Ani first played for the Estonia Fed Cup team in 1998.
Alexander Schmemann was a prominent 20th century Orthodox Christian priest, teacher, and writer.
Paul von Rennenkampf
Paul von Rennenkampf was a Russian general who served in the Imperial Russian Army for over 40 years, including during World War I.
Ott Tänak is an Estonian rally driver.
Vaiko Eplik is an independent Estonian pop-composer, producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist. Vaiko Eplik was born into a music-loving family. Vaiko studied music at the Tallinn Music School, specialising in pop-jazz singing and also studied the guitar, which he now teaches. The British Council nominated Eplik for the International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2008 in the following words: "Vaiko is a highly creative and engaging individual who is clearly passionate about music. He is obviously a highly influential figure in the Estonian industry. The judges appreciate his integrity and his thought-through artistic approach. He has defined his own business model that reflects his aspirations and expectations and that allows him to quietly champion a different approach." After the split of the group, Eplik started his solo project under the name Eliit. He has released three albums, all of them reaching the top of Estonian album charts. He has emphasised his aspiration to "earn enough money to get by, and keep being intelligent and free to be creative with music." Eplik is a principled independent artist, producing his music at home and releasing it under his independent record label. He has commented on it in the following words:"Home-made music has no rival... From now on to in about five years time, record companies will be bankrupt."
Marko Asmer is an Estonian racing driver, whose career in single seater junior formula is notable for his British Formula Three Championship title in 2007. Asmer is also the first Estonian to test a Formula One car, having tested for the Williams BMW team in 2003 after just half a season of car racing in British Formula Ford. Asmer's father is a former racing driver Toivo Asmer, who was Estonian Minister of Regional Affairs between 1999 and 2003.
Basketball Small forward
Kristjan Kangur is an Estonian professional basketball player for Emporio Armani Milano of the Italian League. He is 2.02 m tall, 100 kg, and he can play at both the small forward and power forward positions.
Jacob De la Gardie
Field Marshal and Count Jacob Pontusson De la Gardie was a statesman and a soldier of the Swedish Empire. He was appointed Privy Councilor in 1613, Governor of Swedish Estonia between 1619 and 1622, Governor General of Livonia in 1622, and Lord High Constable in 1620. He introduced reforms based on the then novel Dutch military doctrine into the Swedish army. He commanded the Swedish forces in Russia and against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He also served as one of the five regents jointly ruling Sweden during the minority of Queen Christina.
Martin Reim is an Estonian professional football coach and former player. He was also a member of the Estonian national team. Reim was the most experienced footballer never to have played in a World Cup and most capped European player until Latvia's Vitālijs Astafjevs broke the record in November 2009. Now Reim is the most capped player not to have played in any final tournament.
Pop rock Artist
Marya Roxx is an Estonian hard rock/metal singer-songwriter residing in Los Angeles. She is a former member of Estonian girl band Vanilla Ninja.
Hella Wuolijoki was a Finnish writer known for her Niskavuori series.
Thomas Johann Seebeck
Thomas Johann Seebeck was a physicist who in 1821 discovered the thermoelectric effect. Seebeck was born in Reval to a wealthy Baltic German merchant family. He received a medical degree in 1802 from the University of Göttingen, but preferred to study physics. In 1821 he discovered the thermoelectric effect, where a junction of dissimilar metals produces an electric current when exposed to a temperature gradient. This is now called the Peltier–Seebeck effect and is the basis of thermocouples and thermopiles.
Konstantin Vassiljev is an Estonian professional footballer, who plays in Russian Premier League, for Amkar Perm. He plays the position of midfielder and is 1.75 m tall and weighs 72 kg. He is also a member of the Estonia national football team.
Mikk Pahapill is an Estonian decathlete. His personal best score is 8398 points, achieved at the 2011 Hypo-Meeting in Götzis. His coach is Remigija Nazarovienė Pahapill won 2009 European Indoor Championships in heptathlon with 6362 points, which is currently 10th all-time result. Pahapill was the runner-up at the 2009 Décastar meeting with a personal best score of 8255 points and runner-up at the 2011 competition with the result 8184 points. He was also the runner-up at the 2010 European Cup Combined Events in Tallinn, recording a total of 8198 points to finish behind Romain Barras. Pahapill finished fourth at the 2010 European Championships where he also set up his personal record.
Ekaterina Volkova is an actress.
Lydia Emilie Florentine Jannsen, known after her pen name Lydia Koidula was an Estonian poet. Her sobriquet means 'Lydia of the Dawn' in Estonian. It was given her by the writer Carl Robert Jakobson. She is also frequently referred to as Koidulaulik – 'Singer of the Dawn'. In Estonia, like elsewhere in Europe, writing was not considered a suitable career for a respectable young lady in the mid-nineteenth-century. Koidula's poetry and her newspaper work for her populist father, Johann Voldemar Jannsen remained anonymous. In spite of this, she was a major literary figure, the founder of Estonian theatre, and closely allied to Carl Robert Jakobson, the influential radical and Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald, writer of the Estonian national epic, Kalevipoeg.
Tanel Leok is an Estonian motocross racer competing in the FIM Motocross World Championships in MX1 class.
Karmen Pedaru is an Estonian fashion model.
Juhan Parts is an Estonian politician who was Prime Minister of Estonia from 2003 to 2005. He was chairman of the Res Publica Party for a time. Since 5 April 2007 he is the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications in Andrus Ansip's second government. Juhan Parts is a member of the Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica party.
Maarja-Liis Ilus, sometimes better known by her performing name Maarja is a pop musician. She has represented her native Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest twice.
Andrus Veerpalu is a former and so far the most successful Estonian male cross country skier.
Kristiina Ojuland was the Foreign Minister of Estonia from 2002 through 2005. In June 2004 she ran for the post of secretary-general of the Council of Europe, but was defeated, receiving 51 of 299 votes. She was a member of the Estonian Reform Party from 1995 till 5 June 2013 and since 2009 she serves as 1 of the 6 Estonian MEPs in the European parliament. She was expelled from the Reform Party on 5 June 2013 . She is a member of the Reconciliation of European Histories Group.
Anton Hansen Tammsaare
A. H. Tammsaare, born Anton Hansen, was an Estonian writer whose pentalogy Truth and Justice is considered one of the major works of Estonian literature and "The Estonian Novel".
Kristina Šmigun-Vähi is a former and so far most successful Estonian female cross-country skier. Her parents, Anatoli Šmigun and Rutt Rehemaa were both prominent Nordic skiers. Kristina Šmigun-Vähi was coached by her father. On 12 February 2006, she won the Winter Olympics gold medal for the 7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit, becoming the first Estonian woman to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. Four days later, she won a second gold medal in the 10 km classical. On 15 February 2010, she won her third Olympic medal, a silver in the 10 km freestyle race. With two golds and one silver, Kristina Šmigun-Vähi is the most successful Estonian athlete in Olympic history, tying the record of men's cross-country skier Andrus Veerpalu. Šmigun-Vähi has also found success at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, earning six medals. This included one gold, three silvers, and two bronzes. On 2 July 2010, Šmigun-Vähi announced that she will quit her professional sport career to focus on her family and her daughter Victoria-Kris.
Jelena Glebova is an Estonian figure skater. She is a seven-time Estonian national champion.
Friedrich Fromhold Martens, or Friedrich Fromhold von Martens, also known as Fyodor Fyodorovich Martens in Russian and Frédéric Frommhold Martens in French was a diplomat and jurist in service of the Russian Empire who made important contributions to the science of international law. He represented Russia at the Hague Peace Conferences, and helped to settle the first cases of international arbitration, notably the dispute between France and Great Britain over Newfoundland. As a scholar, he is probably best remembered today for having edited 15 volumes of Russian international treaties.
Mati Nuude was an Estonian weightlifter and singer. Nuude was born to a family of an Estonian officer, repressed by the Soviet Union. In 1949 Nuude, his mother and brother were deported to Northern Kazakhstan. They were allowed to return to Estonia in 1958. His coach in weightlifting was Alfred Neuland. During 1965-1975 he was 7 times champion of Estonia in weightlifting and at his peak he was the 8th strongest man in the world. During 1975-1989 he was a singer in the band Apelsin. Later he was a solo singer. Mati Nuude is interred in the Metsakalmistu cemetery, Tallinn.
Otto von Kotzebue
Otto von Kotzebue was a Baltic German navigator in Russian service. The second son of writer and diplomat August von Kotzebue, he was born in Reval, then part of the Russian Empire. After attending the St Petersburg school of cadets, he accompanied Adam Johann von Krusenstern on his voyage of 1803–1806. On promotion to lieutenant, Kotzebue was placed in command of an expedition, fitted out at the expense of the imperial chancellor, Count Nikolay Rumyantsev, in the brig Rurik. In this vessel, with only twenty-seven men, including the naturalists Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz and Adelbert von Chamisso, and the artist Louis Choris, Kotzebue set out on July 30, 1815 to find a passage across the Arctic Ocean and explore the less-known parts of Oceania. Proceeding via Cape Horn, he discovered the Romanzov Islands, Rurik Islands and Krusenstern Islands, then made for Kamchatka, and in the middle of July proceeded northward, coasting along the north-west coast of North America, and discovering and naming Kotzebue Sound or Gulf and Cape Krusenstern in the remote Chukchi Sea. Returning by the coast of Asia, he again sailed to the south, sojourned for three weeks at the Sandwich Islands, and on January 1, 1817 discovered New Year Island. After further cruising in the Pacific Ocean, he again proceeded north, but severe illness compelled him to return to Europe, and he reached the Neva on August 3, 1818, bringing home a large collection of previously unknown plants and much new ethnological information.