Famous people from Lithuania
Here is a list of famous people from Lithuania. Curious if anybody from Lithuania made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.
Traditional pop Artist
Al Jolson was an American singer, film actor, and comedian. At the peak of his career, he was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer". His performing style was brash and extroverted, and he popularized a large number of songs that benefited from his "shamelessly sentimental, melodramatic approach". Numerous well-known singers were influenced by his music, including Bing Crosby David Bowie, Bob Dylan and others, Dylan once referred to him as "somebody whose life I can feel". Broadway critic Gilbert Seldes compared him to the Greek god Pan, claiming that Jolson represented "the concentration of our national health and gaiety." In the 1930s, he was America's most famous and highest-paid entertainer. Between 1911 and 1928, Jolson had nine sell-out Winter Garden shows in a row, more than 80 hit records, and 16 national and international tours. Although he's best remembered today as the star of the first 'talking picture', The Jazz Singer, he later starred in a series of successful musical films throughout the 1930s. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Jolson became the first star to entertain troops overseas during World War II. After a period of inactivity, his stardom returned with The Jolson Story. Larry Parks played Jolson, with the singer dubbing for Parks. The formula was repeated in the sequel, Jolson Sings Again. In 1950 he again became the first star to entertain GIs on active service in the Korean War, performing 42 shows in 16 days. He died just weeks after returning to the U.S., partly owing to the physical exertion of performing. Defense Secretary George Marshall afterward awarded the Medal of Merit to Jolson's family.
Emma Goldman was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Kovno in the Russian Empire, Goldman emigrated to the U.S. in 1885 and lived in New York City, where she joined the burgeoning anarchist movement in 1889. Attracted to anarchism after the Haymarket affair, Goldman became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women's rights, and social issues, attracting crowds of thousands. She and anarchist writer Alexander Berkman, her lover and lifelong friend, planned to assassinate industrialist and financier Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed. Although Frick survived the attempt on his life, Berkman was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison. Goldman was imprisoned several times in the years that followed, for "inciting to riot" and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth. In 1917, Goldman and Berkman were sentenced to two years in jail for conspiring to "induce persons not to register" for the newly instated draft. After their release from prison, they were arrested—along with hundreds of others—and deported to Russia. Initially supportive of that country's Bolshevik revolution, Goldman reversed her opinion in the wake of the Kronstadt rebellion and denounced the Soviet Union for its violent repression of independent voices. In 1923, she wrote a book about her experiences, My Disillusionment in Russia. While living in England, Canada, and France, she wrote an autobiography called Living My Life. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, she traveled to Spain to support the anarchist revolution there. She died in Toronto on May 14, 1940, aged 70.
Józef Klemens Piłsudski was a Polish statesman; Chief of State, "First Marshal", and leader of the Second Polish Republic. From mid-World War I he had a major influence in Poland's politics, and was an important figure on the European political scene. He was the person most responsible for the creation of the Second Republic of Poland in 1918, 123 years after it had been taken over by Russia, Austria and Prussia. Under Piłsudski, Poland annexed Vilnius from Lithuania following Żeligowski's Mutiny but was unable to incorporate most of his Lithuanian homeland into the newly resurrected Polish State. He believed in a multicultural Poland with recognition of numerous ethnic and religious nationalities. His arch-rival Roman Dmowski by contrast called for a purified Poland based on Polish-speaking Catholics with little role for minorities. Early in his political career, Piłsudski became a leader of the Polish Socialist Party. Concluding that Poland's independence would have to be won by force of arms, he created the Polish Legions. In 1914 he anticipated the outbreak of a European war, the Russian Empire's defeat by the Central Powers, and the Central Powers' defeat by the western powers. When World War I broke out, he and his Legions fought under Austrian army control against Russia. In 1917, with Russia faring badly in the war, he withdrew his support from the Central Powers and was arrested by the Germans.
Jascha Heifetz was a Lithuanian-born American violinist. He was born in Vilnius. As a child, he moved with his family to the United States, where his Carnegie Hall debut was well received. He had a long and successful recording career; after an injury to his right arm, he focused on teaching. The New York Times called him "perhaps the greatest violinist of all time."
Emmanuel Levinas was a French philosopher of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry who is known for his work related to Jewish philosophy, existentialism, ethics, and ontology.
Rūta Meilutytė is a Lithuanian swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and world record holder. She is the current world record holder in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke. At the age of 15, she had already broken eleven Lithuanian women's swimming records. At the 2011 European Youth Summer Olympic Festival Meilutytė won the gold medal in the 100m breaststroke, a silver in the 50m freestyle and a bronze in the 100m freestyle. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Meilutytė won the gold medal in the women's 100 metre breaststroke with a time of 1:05.47. At age 15, she is also the youngest Lithuanian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. In the semi-final she broke the European record in the 100 m breastroke with a time of 1:05:21. In 2013 Meilutytė broke her own European record by 0.01 second. Rūta competed at 2013 World Aquatics Championships, in Barcelona, and achieved world records in the 100, and 50 meter breaststroke. Meilutytė is a swimming scholar at Plymouth College and is coached by Jon Rudd at the Plymouth Leander Swimming programme.
Romain Gary was a French diplomat, novelist, film director and World War II aviator of Litvak origin. He is the only author to have won the Prix Goncourt twice.
Žydrūnas Savickas is a powerlifter and professional strongman. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest strongman competitors of all time,. He is the only modern strongman competitor to have won every major strongman competition, most notably the World's Strongest Man in 2009, 2010, & 2012, the Arnold Strongman Classic on six consecutive occasions from 2003–2008, the IFSA Strongman World Championships in 2005 & 2006, Fortissimus in 2009, the Strongman Champions League overall title in 2008 & 2012, the World Log Lift Championships in 2008, 2009, 2011 & 2012 and Europe's Strongest Man 3 times in 2010, 2012 & 2013. He stands 1.91 m and competes at 185 kg. Zydrunas is often referred to by his nickname, "Big Z".
Arvydas Romas Sabonis is a Lithuanian retired professional basketball player and businessman. Recognized as one of the best European players of his era, he won the Euroscar Award six times, and the Mr. Europa Award twice. He played in a variety of leagues, and spent seven seasons in the National Basketball Association in the United States. Sabonis played the center position and also won a gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea for the Soviet Union, and later earned bronze medals at the 1992 and 1996 games while playing for Lithuania. He retired from professional basketball in 2005. Sabonis is considered one of the best big man passers as well as one of the best overall centers in the history of the game. Bill Walton once called Sabonis a 7'3" Larry Bird due to his unique court vision, shooting range, rugged in-game mentality, and versatility. On August 20, 2010, Sabonis was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in recognition of his great play in international competition. On April 4, 2011, Sabonis was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and he was inducted on August 12, 2011. At that time, he was the tallest player to ever enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; one year later, he would be surpassed by 7'4" Ralph Sampson. On October 24, 2011, Sabonis was voted to be the next president of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation. He resigned from the position on October 2, 2013, but came back on October 10, 2013.
Laurence Harvey was a Lithuanian-born actor. In a career that spanned a quarter of a century, Harvey appeared in stage, film and television productions primarily in the United Kingdom and the United States. His 1959 performance in Room at the Top brought him global fame and an Academy Award nomination. That success was followed by the role of the ill-fated Texian commander William Barret Travis in The Alamo, produced by John Wayne, and as the brainwashed Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate. Many of his films earned nominations and awards for either the films or his co-stars.
Jogaila, later Władysław II Jagiełło was Grand Duke of Lithuania, King of the Kingdom of Poland, and then sole King of Poland. He ruled in Lithuania from 1377, at first with his uncle Kęstutis. In 1386 in Kraków he was baptized as Władysław, married the young Queen regnant Jadwiga of Poland, and was crowned King of Poland as Władysław II Jagiełło. In 1387 he converted Lithuania to Christianity. His own reign in Poland started in 1399, upon death of Queen Jadwiga, and lasted a further thirty-five years and laid the foundation for the centuries-long Polish–Lithuanian union. He was the founder of the Jagiellonian dynasty in Poland that bears his name and was the heir to the already established house of Gediminids in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. These royal dynasties ruled both states until 1572, and became one of the most influential dynasties in the late medieval and early modern Central and Eastern Europe. During his reign, the Polish-Lithuanian state was the largest state in the Christian world. Jogaila was the last pagan ruler of medieval Lithuania. After he became King of Poland, as a result of Union of Krewo, the newly formed Polish-Lithuanian union confronted the growing power of the Teutonic Knights. The allied victory at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, followed by the Peace of Thorn, secured the Polish and Lithuanian borders and marked the emergence of the Polish–Lithuanian alliance as a significant force in Europe. The reign of Władysław II Jagiełło extended Polish frontiers and is often considered the beginning of Poland's Golden Age.
Jonas Valančiūnas is a Lithuanian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association. He is a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team. Valančiūnas was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Czesław Miłosz was a Polish poet, prose writer, and translator of Lithuanian origin. His World War II-era sequence, The World, is a collection of twenty "naive" poems. After serving as a cultural attaché for the Republic of Poland, he defected to the West in 1951, and his nonfiction book, The Captive Mind, is a classic of anti-Stalinism. From 1961 to 1998 he was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. Miłosz later became an American citizen. He was awarded the 1978 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Ričardas Berankis is a Lithuanian professional tennis player and a prominent member of the Lithuania Davis Cup team. He is the first and only Lithuanian to enter the ATP top 100 making him the highest ranked Lithuanian tennis player of all time. Berankis has reached one final on the ATP World tour, at the Los Angeles Open in 2012.
Linas Kleiza is a Lithuanian professional basketball player who plays for Fenerbahçe Ülker of the Turkish Basketball League. He is also a member of the Lithuanian national team. Kleiza can play either forward position.
Basketball Point guard
Šarūnas "Golden Boy" Jasikevičius is a Lithuanian professional basketball player who currently plays for Žalgiris Kaunas . He is a 6'4¾ tall point guard. He has also been a member of the senior men's Lithuanian national team.
César Antonovich Cui was a Russian composer and music critic of French and Lithuanian descent. His profession was as an army officer and a teacher of fortifications, and his avocational life has particular significance in the history of music. In this sideline he is known as a member of The Five, a group of Russian composers under the leadership of Mily Balakirev dedicated to the production of a specifically Russian type of music.
Vytautas; styled "the Great" from the 15th century onwards; c. 1350 – October 27, 1430 was one of the most famous rulers of medieval Lithuania. Vytautas was the ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which chiefly encompassed the Lithuanians and Ruthenians. He was also the Prince of Hrodna and the Prince of Lutsk, postulated king of Hussites. In modern Lithuania, Vytautas is revered as a national hero and was an important figure in the national rebirth in the 19th century. Vytautas is a popular male given name in Lithuania. In commemoration of 500 years of Vytautas' death Vytautas Magnus University was named after him. Monuments in his honour were built in many towns in the independent Republic of Lithuania during the interwar period, 1918–1939.
Živilė Raudonienė is a Lithuanian fitness model, bodybuilder and professional wrestler. She is currently signed to the WWE, performing under the ring name Aksana. Raudonienė began her career as a bodybuilder at the age of 16, where she began her training. At the age of 17, she was the youngest participant in the 1999 IFBB Arnold Classic Contest. During her time as a bodybuilder, she won three medals in Bodybuilding Amateur World Championships. In October 2009, Raudonienė signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory, where she became the Queen of FCW and won the FCW Divas Championship, and also became the first diva in history to have both titles simultaneously. In September 2010, she competed in the third season of NXT, but was unsuccessful in winning the competition. She made her debut on the main roster in August 2011, being attracted to SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long. In April 2012, she then began an on-screen relationship with Antonio Cesaro, also becoming his valet.
Žydrūnas Ilgauskas, or "Big Z", is a Lithuanian retired professional basketball center who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. He played for the Cavaliers from 1996 to 2010, and is the team's career leader in several categories, including games played and blocks. In 2012, Ilgauskas became assistant general manager for the Cavaliers under general manager Chris Grant.
Mindaugas was the first known Grand Duke of Lithuania and the only King of Lithuania. Little is known of his origins, early life, or rise to power; he is mentioned in a 1219 treaty as an elder duke, and in 1236 as the leader of all the Lithuanians. The contemporary and modern sources discussing his ascent mention strategic marriages along with banishment or murder of his rivals. He extended his domain into regions southeast of Lithuania proper during the 1230s and 1240s. In 1250 or 1251, during the course of internal power struggles, he was baptised as a Roman Catholic; this action enabled him to establish an alliance with the Livonian Order, a long-standing antagonist of the Lithuanians. During the summer of 1253 he was crowned King of Lithuania, ruling between 300,000 and 400,000 subjects. While his ten-year reign was marked by various state-building accomplishments, Mindaugas's conflicts with relatives and other dukes continued, and Samogitia strongly resisted the alliance's rule. His gains in the southeast were challenged by the Tatars. He broke peace with the Livonian Order in 1261, possibly renouncing Christianity, and was assassinated in 1263 by his nephew Treniota and another rival, Duke Daumantas. His three immediate successors were assassinated as well. The disorder was not resolved until Traidenis gained the title of Grand Duke ca. 1270.
Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel
Baron Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel or Vrangel was an officer in the Imperial Russian army and later commanding general of the anti-Bolshevik White Army in Southern Russia in the later stages of the Russian Civil War.
Dalia Grybauskaitė is the President of Lithuania, inaugurated on 12 July 2009. She was Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance, also European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget from 2004 to 2009. Often referred to as the "Iron Lady" or the "Steel Magnolia", Grybauskaitė is Lithuania's first female head of state.
Isaac Ilyich Levitan was a classical Russian landscape painter who advanced the genre of the "mood landscape".
Antanas Guoga, more commonly known as Tony G, is a Lithuanian-Australian businessman, professional poker player and philanthropist. As a child, he was the Rubik's Cube champion of Lithuania before moving to Melbourne, Australia at the age of 11. He has played poker since the age of 18, and is known for his outlandish table talk and frequent intimidation of his opponents. As a result of this verbal intimidation, he has often been able to coax players into playing hands that they would not normally play. He had a fifth-place finish in the World Poker Tour Grand Prix de Paris 2003. He finished in the money twice at the 2004 World Series of Poker in Seven-card stud and Pot Limit Texas hold 'em tournaments and three months later earned his then biggest tournament money finish in the WPT Grand Prix de Paris 2004, where his second place finish to England's Surinder Sunar earned him $414,478. He finished on the bubble later in the same month at the WPT 2004 Mirage Poker Showdown. On August 7, 2005 he won the $5,000 No Limit Hold-Em Main Event of the European Poker Championships, earning £260,000 Later in 2005 he made the final table of the World Speed Poker Open.
Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis
Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, also known as M. K. Čiurlionis was a Lithuanian painter and composer. Čiurlionis contributed to symbolism and art nouveau and was representative of the fin de siècle epoch. During his short life he composed about 250 pieces of music and created about 300 paintings. The majority of his paintings are housed in the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum in Kaunas, Lithuania. His works have had a profound influence on modern Lithuanian culture. The asteroid 2420 Čiurlionis is named after him.
Hermann Minkowski was a Lithuanian-German mathematician. He created and developed the geometry of numbers and used geometrical methods to solve problems in number theory, mathematical physics, and the theory of relativity. Minkowski is perhaps best known for his work in relativity, in which he showed in 1907 that his former student Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity, presented algebraically by Einstein, could also be understood geometrically as a theory of four-dimensional space-time. Einstein himself at first viewed Minkowski's treatment as a mere mathematical trick, before eventually realizing that a geometrical view of space-time would be necessary in order to complete his own later work in general relativity.
Lena Valaitis is a Lithuanian-German Schlager singer. She had her greatest success during the 1970s and 1980s and competed in three Eurovision Song Contests.
Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė is a Lithuanian actress, who plays mostly in Russian films.
Virgilijus Alekna is a Lithuanian discus thrower. He won medals at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, including two golds.
Valdas Adamkus was President of Lithuania from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2004 to 2009. In Lithuania, the President's tenure lasts for five years; Adamkus' first term in office began on 26 February 1998 and ended on 28 February 2003, following his defeat by Rolandas Paksas in the next presidential election. Paksas was later impeached and removed from office by a parliamentary vote on 6 April 2004. Soon afterwards, when a new election was announced, Adamkus again ran for president and was re-elected. His approval ratings were high and he was regarded as a moral authority in the state. He chose not to run for re-election during the Lithuanian presidential election in 2009 and was succeeded on 12 July 2009 by Dalia Grybauskaitė. He is married to Alma Adamkienė, who is involved in charitable activities in Lithuania. The President remains involved in international development, and is a member of the Club de Madrid, an organization that works to strengthen democratic leadership and governance worldwide and the International Honorary Council of the European Academy of Diplomacy.
Algirdas was a monarch of medieval Lithuania. Algirdas ruled the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1345–1377, which chiefly meant monarch of Lithuanians and Ruthenians. With the help of his brother Kęstutis, who defended the western border of the Duchy, he created a vast empire stretching from the Baltics to the Black Sea, reaching within fifty miles of Moscow.
Emilia Plater was a Polish–Lithuanian noblewoman and revolutionary from the lands of the partitioned Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Raised in a patriotic Polish tradition, she fought in the November 1830 Uprising, during which she raised a small unit, participated in several engagements, and received the rank of captain in the Polish-Lithuanian insurgent forces. Near the end of the Uprising, she fell ill and died. Though she did not participate in any major engagement, her story became widely publicized and inspired a number of works of art and literature. She is a national heroine in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus, all formerly parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. She has been venerated by Polish artists and by the nation at large as a symbol of women fighting for the national cause.
Wilhelm Carl Werner Otto Fritz Franz Wien was a German physicist who, in 1893, used theories about heat and electromagnetism to deduce Wien's displacement law, which calculates the emission of a blackbody at any temperature from the emission at any one reference temperature. He also formulated an expression for the black-body radiation which is correct in the photon-gas limit. His arguments were based on the notion of adiabatic invariance, and were instrumental for the formulation of quantum mechanics. Wien received the 1911 Nobel Prize for his work on heat radiation.
Donatas Motiejūnas is a Lithuanian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. Motiejūnas was selected 20th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Wanda Rutkiewicz was a Polish mountain climber. She was the first woman to successfully summit K2.
Alexander Berkman was an anarchist known for his political activism and writing. He was a leading member of the anarchist movement in the early 20th century. Berkman was born in Vilnius in the Russian Empire and emigrated to the United States in 1888. He lived in New York City, where he became involved in the anarchist movement. He was the lover and lifelong friend of anarchist Emma Goldman. In 1892, Berkman made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate businessman Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed, for which he served 14 years in prison. His experience in prison was the basis for his first book, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist. After his release from prison, Berkman served as editor of Goldman's anarchist journal, Mother Earth, and he established his own journal, The Blast. In 1917, Berkman and Goldman were sentenced to two years in jail for conspiracy against the newly instated draft. After their release from prison, they were arrested—along with hundreds of others—and deported to Russia. Initially supportive of that country's Bolshevik revolution, Berkman soon voiced his opposition to the Soviet's use of terror after seizing power and their repression of fellow revolutionaries. In 1925, he published a book about his experiences, The Bolshevik Myth.
Gabriel Narutowicz was a Lithuanian-born, Polish professor of hydroelectric engineering at Switzerland's Zurich Polytechnic, Polish Minister of Public Works, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the assassinated first president of the Second Polish Republic.
Basketball Shooting guard
Raimondas Šarūnas Marčiulionis is a retired Lithuanian professional basketball player. He was one of the first Europeans to become a regular in the North American National Basketball Association. In the 1988 Seoul Olympics Basketball Tournament, together with teammate Arvydas Sabonis, he led the USSR national team to a gold medal in basketball.
Leopold Godowsky was a Polish American pianist, composer, and teacher. One of the most highly regarded performers of his time, he became known for his theories concerning the application of relaxed weight and economy of motion in piano playing, principles later propagated by Godowsky's pupils, such as Heinrich Neuhaus. Ferruccio Busoni said that he and Godowsky were the only composers to have added anything of significance to keyboard writing since Franz Liszt. As a composer, Godowsky is best known for his transcriptions of works by other composers. His best known work in the field is 53 Studies on Chopin's Études.
Professional Ice hockey Player
Darius Kasparaitis is a retired Lithuanian professional ice hockey defenceman.
Ben Shahn was a Lithuanian-born American artist. He is best known for his works of social realism, his left-wing political views, and his series of lectures published as The Shape of Content.
Bernard Berenson was an American art historian specializing in the Renaissance. He was a major figure in pioneering art attribution and therefore establishing the market for paintings by the "Old Masters".
Alternative rock Artist
Andrius Mamontovas is a Lithuanian rock musician, songwriter, actor, performer and record producer. He was one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian rock band Foje. He is also one of the masterminds of the LT United project.
Joe Slovo (May 23, 1926 – January 6, 1995) was a South African politician, long-time leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP), and leading member of the African National Congress. Slovo was born in Obeliai, Lithuania to a Jewish family who emigrated to South Africa when he was eight. His full name was Yossel Mashel Slovo. His father worked as a truck driver in Johannesburg. Slovo left school in 1941 and found work as a dispatch clerk. He joined the National Union of Distributive Workers and, as a shop steward, was involved in organising a strike. Slovo joined the SACP in 1942. Inspired by the Red Army's battles against the Nazis on the Eastern Front of World War II, Slovo volunteered to fight in the war, afterwards joining the Springbok Legion, a multiracial radical ex-servicemen's organization, upon his return. Between 1946 and 1950 he completed a law degree at Wits University and was a student activist. He was in the same class as Nelson Mandela and Harry Schwarz. In 1949 he married Ruth First, another prominent Jewish anti-apartheid activist and the daughter of SACP treasurer Julius First. They had three daughters, Shawn, Gillian and Robyn. First was assassinated in 1982 by order of Craig Williamson, a major in the Apartheid security police. Both First and Slovo were listed as communists under the Suppression of Communism Act and could not be quoted or attend public gatherings in South Africa. He became active in the Congress of Democrats (an ally of the ANC as part of the Congress Alliance) and was a delegate to the June 1955 the "Congress of the People" organised by the ANC and Indian, Coloured and white organisations at Kliptown near Johannesburg, that drew up the Freedom Charter. He was arrested and detained for two months during the Treason Trial of 1956. Charges against him were dropped in 1958. He was later arrested for six months during the State of Emergency declared after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. In 1961, Slovo and Abongz Mbede emerged as one of the leaders of Umkhonto we Sizwe - a military body formed in alliance between the ANC and the SACP. In 1963 he went into exile and lived in Britain, Angola, Mozambique and Zambia. Slovo was elected general secretary of the SACP in 1984. He returned to South Africa in 1990 to participate in the early "talks about talks" between the government and the ANC. Ailing, he stood down as SACP general secretary in 1991 and was succeeded by Chris Hani who was soon murdered. Slovo was given the titular position of chairperson of the SACP. Slovo was a leading theoretician in both the party and the ANC. In the 1970s he wrote the influential essay No Middle Road which stated that the apartheid government would be unable either to achieve stability or to co-opt significant sections of the small but growing black middle class - in other words the only choice was between the overthrow of apartheid or ever greater repression. At the time the SACP's orthodox pro-Soviet and stage-ist view of change in South Africa was dominant in the ANC-led liberation movement and figures such as Thabo Mbeki were leading SACP members. Being Jewish and a Communist, Slovo was a demonised figure on the far right of Afrikaner society. In 1989, he wrote "Has Socialism Failed?" which acknowledged the weaknesses of the socialist movement and the excesses of Stalinism, while at the same time rejecting attempts by the left to distance themselves from socialism. Slovo died in 1995 of cancer. In 2004 he was voted 47th in the Top 100 Great South Africans. It was he who in 1992 proposed the breakthrough in the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa with the "sunset clause" for a coalition government for the five years following a democratic election, including guarantees and concessions to all sides. After the elections of 1994 he became Minister for housing in Nelson Mandela's government, until his death in 1995. A committed Marxist internationalist,...
Donald Kagan is an American historian at Yale University specializing in ancient Greece, notable for his four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War. He formerly taught in the Department of History at Cornell University. In a review in The New Yorker, critic George Steiner said of Kagan's seminal four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War: "The temptation to acclaim Kagan's four volumes as the foremost work of history produced in North America in this century is vivid." At present, Kagan is considered among the foremost scholars of Greek history.
Alexandra was the stage name of German singer Doris Nefedov, maiden name Treitz.
Ice Hockey Right winger
Dainius Gintas Zubrus is a Lithuanian professional ice hockey right winger and center currently playing for the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League. He is the first Lithuanian to have played 1000 games in the National Hockey League.
Vincas Kudirka was a Lithuanian poet and physician, and the author of both the music and lyrics of the Lithuanian National Anthem, Tautiška giesmė. He is regarded in Lithuania as a National Hero. Kudirka used pen names - V. Kapsas, Paežerių Vincas, Vincas Kapsas, P.Vincas,Varpas, Q.D, K., V.K, Perkūnas. Kudirka was born in Paežeriai. He began studying history and philosophy in Warsaw in 1881, but changed his major and began studying medicine the following year. During his studies, he was arrested as a subversive for having a copy of Das Kapital in his possession, and was expelled from the University of Warsaw, but later re-admitted. He graduated in 1889, and worked as a country doctor in Šakiai and Naumiestis. Kudirka began writing poetry in 1888. Simultaneously he became more active in the Lithuanian national rebirth movement. Together with other Lithuanian students in Warsaw, he founded the secret society Lietuva. The following year the society began publishing the clandestine newspaper Varpas, which Kudirka edited and contributed to for the next ten years. In issue number 6 of Varpas, in September 1898, he published the text of Tautiška Giesmė, which would officially become in 1918, the Lithuanian National Anthem, set to music written by Kudirka himself for a violin.
Jonas Vaitkus is a lecturer, theatre and film director well known in Lithuania and throughout Europe. From 1969 to 1974 Jonas Vaitkus studied at the State Theatre, Music and Cinematography Institute of Leningrad. From 1977 to 1988 he was the artistic director of Kaunas State Drama Theater, and from 1989 to 1995 was the artistic director of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre. A winner of various awards throughout his career, Jonas Vaitkus has directed many films and more than 60 plays. Jonas Vaitkus has mentored a number of actors and directors, including director Oskaras Koršunovas and actress Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė, both of whom are well-known internationally.
Professor Vytautas Landsbergis is a Lithuanian conservative politician and Member of the European Parliament. He was the first head of state of Lithuania after its independence declaration from the Soviet Union, and served as the Head of the Lithuanian Parliament Seimas. Professor Landsbergis is an intellectual who has been active in Lithuania's political arena for almost two decades, and is a notable politician who helped contribute to the demise of the Soviet Union. He has written twenty books on a variety of topics, including a biography of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, as well as works on politics and music. He is a founding signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, and a member of the international advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
Professional Road Racing Cyclist
Ramūnas Navardauskas is a Lithuanian professional road racing cyclist, who currently rides for UCI ProTeam Garmin-Sharp. Born in Šilalė, Tauragė, Lithuania, Navardauskas now resides in Oliva, Valencia, Spain. As a native Lithuanian, Navardauskas has twice won the National Road Race Championships, and in 2012, won his first National Time Trial Championship. During the 2012 Giro d'Italia, Navardauskas finished sixth place in Stage 1's opening individual time trial, only 22 seconds shy of the winner Taylor Phinney. In Stage 4's team time trial, Garmin-Barracuda were the day's winners, and Navardauskas took the race lead, becoming the first Lithuanian to wear the pink jersey.
Alternative rock Artist
Alina Orlova is a Lithuanian sung poetry singer and musician. She is of mixed Polish-Russian heritage.
Barbara Radziwiłł was Queen of Poland and Grand Duchess of Lithuania as consort to Sigismund II Augustus.
Tomas Danilevičius is a Lithuanian professional footballer, who is currently playing for Gorica on loan from Parma. A striker, he stands 1.91m tall and weighs 82 kg.
George Maciunas was a Lithuanian-born American artist. He was a founding member and the central coordinator of Fluxus, an international community of artists, architects, composers, and designers. Other leading members brought together by this movement included Ay-O, Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Dick Higgins, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, and Wolf Vostell. He is most famous for organising and performing early happenings and for assembling a series of highly influential artists' multiples.
Edita Vilkeviciute is a fashion model.
Jacques Lipchitz was a Cubist sculptor. Jacques Lipchitz was born Chaim Jacob Lipchitz, in a Litvak family, son of a building contractor in Druskininkai, Lithuania, then within the Russian Empire. At first, under the influence of his father, he studied engineering, but soon after, supported by his mother he moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian. It was there, in the artistic communities of Montmartre and Montparnasse, that he joined a group of artists that included Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso as well as where his friend, Amedeo Modigliani, painted Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz. Living in this environment, Lipchitz soon began to create Cubist sculpture. In 1912 he exhibited at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salon d'Automne with his first solo show held at Léonce Rosenberg's Galerie L’Effort Moderne in Paris in 1920. In 1922 he was commissioned by the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania to execute five bas-reliefs. With artistic innovation at its height, in the 1920s he experimented with abstract forms he called transparent sculptures. Later he developed a more dynamic style, which he applied with telling effect to bronze compositions of figures and animals.
Marius Žaliūkas is a Lithuanian footballer who is the former captain of Scottish Premier League club Hearts, currently playing for Leeds United. He plays as either a centre back or a defensive midfielder.
Kristijonas Donelaitis was a Prussian Lithuanian Lutheran pastor and poet. He lived and worked in Lithuania Minor, a territory in the Kingdom of Prussia, that had a sizable minority of ethnic Lithuanians. He wrote the first classic Lithuanian language poem, The Seasons, which became one of the principal works of Lithuanian poetry. The poem, a classic work of Lithuanian literature, depicts everyday life of Lithuanian peasants, their struggle with serfdom, and the annual cycle of life.
Marius Stankevičius is a Lithuanian professional footballer who plays for the Turkish Süper Lig club Gaziantepspor. He was the Lithuanian player of the year in 2008 and 2009.
Elazar Menachem Man Shach also spelled Eliezer Schach, or Elazar Shach, was a leading Lithuanian-born and educated Haredi rabbi in Bnei Brak, Israel. He also served as one of three co-deans of the Ponevezh yeshiva in Bnei Brak along with Rabbis Shmuel Rozovsky and Dovid Povarsky. Due to his differences with the Hasidic leadership of the Agudat Yisrael in 1984 he allied with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who had founded the Shas party. Later, in 1988, Shach sharply criticized Ovadia Yosef and said that "Sepharadim are not yet ready for leadership positions", and subsequently founded the Degel HaTorah political party representing Lithuanian non-Hasidic Ashkenazi Jews in the Israeli Knesset. He was an ideologue and a zealot who repeatedly led his followers into ideological battles.
Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas was the first President of a newly independent post-Soviet Lithuania from 1993 to 1998 and Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006. He also served as head of the Communist Party of Lithuania that broke with Moscow, an act which arguably helped bring about the demise of the Soviet Union.
Kšyštof Lavrinovič is a Polish-Lithuanian professional basketball player for Žalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League. He plays at the power forward and center. He has a brother, Darjuš, who he played with UNICS Kazan in the Russian SuperLeague, as well as with the Lithuanian national basketball team. He has been one of the greatest European basketball players, playing in Europe, for the last 10 years.
Andrius Kubilius is a Lithuanian politician who was Prime Minister of Lithuania from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012. He is the leader of the conservative political party Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats.
Edgaras Jankauskas is a Lithuanian retired footballer, and the former assistant manager of Heart of Midlothian F.C. in the Scottish Premier League. A powerful striker who excelled in the physical side of the game, he was also relatively skilled. Other than in his own he played professionally in nine different countries, and represented the Lithuanian national team for almost 20 years. Whilst with Porto Jankauskas made history as the first Lithuanian footballer to win the UEFA Champions League, in 2004.
Meyer Schapiro was a Lithuanian-born American art historian known for forging new art historical methodologies that incorporated an interdisciplinary approach to the study of works of art. An expert on early Christian, Medieval, and Modern art, Schapiro explored art historical periods and movements with a keen eye towards the social, political, and the material construction of art works. Credited with fundamentally changing the course of the art historical discipline, Schapiro's scholarly approach was dynamic and it engaged other scholars, philosophers, and artists. An active professor, lecturer, writer, and humanist, Schapiro maintained a long professional association with Columbia University in New York as a student, lecturer, and professor.
Darius Songaila is a Lithuanian professional basketball player for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius of the Lithuanian Basketball League. He has also played for the Lithuania national team. He can play power forward and center positions, but prefers the former.
Mantas Kalnietis is a Lithuanian professional basketball player for Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar of the Russian Basketball Super League. He is also a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team. He plays the point guard position.
Skirgaila, also known as Ivan; ca. 1353 or 1354 – 11 January 1397 in Kiev; baptized 1383/1384 as Casimir was a regent of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania for his brother Jogaila from 1386 to 1392. He was son of Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, and his second wife Uliana of Tver.
Maironis is one of the most famous Lithuanian romantic poets. He was born in Pasandravys, Raseiniai district municipality, Lithuania. Maironis graduated from Kaunas high school and went on to study Literature at Kiev University. However, in 1884, after one year of studies at the university, he entered Kaunas Spiritual Seminary. While being at the seminary, Maironis became an active member of the Lithuanian National Revival. Maironis wrote a number of poems. Some of them are contained in his most famous collection of poems "Pavasario Balsai". Later Maironis studied at St. Petersburg Catholic Theological Academy. In the later years of his life, Maironis worked as a rector of Kaunas Priest Seminary and as a professor at the University of Lithuania, where he taught literature. He died in Kaunas where he was interred in the mausoleum constructed in the cathedral.
Basketball Shooting guard
Martynas Pocius is a Lithuanian professional basketball player who plays for BC Žalgiris of LKL. He is also a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team.
Darjuš Lavrinovič, is a Polish-Lithuanian professional basketball player for Budivelnyk Kyiv of the Ukrainian SuperLeague. His twin brother Kšyštof is also a professional basketball player. He is 2.12m in height. He plays the center position. He is also a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team.
Władysław Kozakiewicz is a Polish pole vault jumper, an Olympic champion at the 1980 Summer Olympics.
Jonas Mačiulis, nicknamed, "The Bull", is a Lithuanian professional basketball player who plays for Panathinaikos in the Greek Basket League and the Euroleague. He is also a member of the senior men's Lithuania national team. He is 2.00 m tall and he plays at the small forward position.
David Geringas is a world-renowned Lithuanian cellist and conductor who studied under Mstislav Rostropovich. In 1970 he won the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition. He also plays the Baryton, a rare instrument associated with music of Joseph Haydn.
Aharon Barak is a Professor of Law at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and a lecturer in law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Yale Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Barak was President of the Supreme Court of Israel from 1995 to 2006. Prior to that, he served as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Israel, as the Attorney General of Israel, and as the Dean of the Law Faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Nina Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg
"Nina" Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg was the wife of Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, the leader of the failed plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler on 20 July 1944. Following the plot's failure, she was arrested and imprisoned, during which time she delivered her youngest child.
Rolandas Paksas is a Lithuanian politician who was President of Lithuania from 2003 to 2004. He was previously Prime Minister of Lithuania in 1999 and again from 2000 to 2001, and he also served as Mayor of Vilnius from 1997 to 1999 and again from 2000 to 2001. He has led Order and Justice since 2004 and has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2009. A national aerobatics champion in the 1980s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Paksas founded a construction company, Restako. In 1997, he was elected to Vilnius City Council for the centre-right Homeland Union and became mayor. In May 1999, Paksas was appointed Prime Minister, but resigned five months later after a disagreement over privatisation. Paksas joined the Liberal Union of Lithuania in 2000. The LLS won the 2000 election, and Paksas became PM again, but he left within seven months after another dispute over economic reforms. In 2002, Paksas founded the Liberal Democratic Party, and ran for the presidency, winning the run-off against incumbent Valdas Adamkus in January 2003. It emerged that he had granted citizenship to a major campaign donor, leading to his impeachment and removal from office in April 2004. He was the first European head of state to have been impeached. Barred from the Seimas, Paksas was elected to the European Parliament in 2009, while leading his party, now called Order and Justice. His lifetime ban from the Seimas was ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights in 2011.
Shabtai Kalmanovich, alternatively spelled Shabtai Kalmanovic, was a KGB spy, who later became known in Russia as a successful businessman, concert promoter and basketball sponsor.
Justinas Marcinkevičius was a prominent Lithuanian poet and playwright.
Sir Aaron Klug, OM, PRS is a Lithuanian-born British chemist and biophysicist, and winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his development of crystallographic electron microscopy and his structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic acid-protein complexes. His scientific biography is currently being written by former colleague Kenneth Holmes.
Salomėja Nėris was a Lithuanian poet.
Julian Rachlin is a Lithuanian-born violinist and violist.
Jonas Biliūnas was a Lithuanian writer, poet, and a significant contributor to the national awakening of Lithuania in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The artist Lasar Segall was a Brazilian Jewish painter, engraver and sculptor born in Lithuania. Segall's work is derived from impressionism, expressionism and modernism. His most significant themes were depictions of human suffering, war, persecution and prostitution.
Yosef Shalom Eliashiv
Yosef Shalom Elyashiv was a Haredi rabbi and posek who lived in Jerusalem, Israel. Until his death at the age of 102, Elyashiv was the paramount leader of both Israel and the Diaspora Lithuanian-Haredi community, and many Ashkenazi Jews regarded him as the posek ha-dor, the contemporary leading authority on halakha, or Jewish law. He spent most of his days engaged in Talmudical study, and delivered lectures in Talmud and Shulkhan Arukh at a local synagogue in the Meah Shearim area in Jerusalem where he lived. He received supplicants from all over the world and answered the most complex Halakhic inquiries.
Deividas Šemberas is a Lithuanian professional footballer who plays as centre back for Russian Premier League club Alania Vladikavkaz. He also plays as a right-back or as a defensive midfielder. He plays for his country's national team and has made over 80 caps. Šemberas, who is a Lithuanian international, has played for FK Žalgiris Vilnius, Dynamo Moscow and PFC CSKA Moscow, where he played ten seasons from 2002 to 2012.
Arvydas "Kalashnikov" Macijauskas is a retired Lithuanian professional basketball player. He announced termination of his career two years after his last club, Olympiacos, released him following a prolonged judicial litigation.
Simas Jasaitis is a Lithuanian professional basketball player. He is a small forward and currently plays for Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar. He also represents the Lithuanian national basketball team.
Antanas Baranauskas was a Lithuanian poet, mathematician and a catholic bishop of Sejny. Baranauskas is best known as the author of the Lithuanian language poem Anykščių šilelis. He used various pseudonyms, including A.B., Bangputys, Jurksztas Smalaūsis, Jurkštas Smalaūsis, and Baronas. He also wrote poetry in Polish.
Mordecai Menahem Kaplan, was a rabbi, essayist and Jewish educator and the co-founder of Reconstructionist Judaism along with his son-in-law Ira Eisenstein.
Bluma Wulfovna Zeigarnik was a Soviet psychologist and psychiatrist, a member of Berlin School of experimental psychology and Vygotsky Circle. She discovered the Zeigarnik effect and contributed to the establishment of experimental psychopathology as a separate discipline in the Soviet Union in the after-World War II period.
Moshe Arens is an Israeli aeronautical engineer, researcher and former diplomat and politician. A member of the Knesset between 1973 and 1992 and again from 1999 until 2003, he served as Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Arens has also served as the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and was professor at the Technion in Haifa.
Sung poetry Artist
Vytautas Kernagis was a Lithuanian singer-songwriter, bard, actor, director, and television announcer. He is considered a pioneer of Lithuanian sung poetry.
Bronislovas Lubys was a Lithuanian entrepreneur, former Prime Minister of Lithuania, signatory of the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, and businessman. Lubys was born in Plungė. He was CEO and main shareholder of the Lithuanian company Achema. As of August 2008, he was the richest Lithuanian, according to the Lithuanian magazine Veidas. Lubys died of a heart attack while riding a bicycle in Druskininkai on 23 October 2011.
Steponas Darius was a Lithuanian American pilot. Born in Rubiškė, in the Kovno Governorate of the Russian Empire, Darašius emigrated to the USA with his family in 1907. In 1917 he joined the United States Army, after the United States entered World War I, and changed his name to Darius. He served as a telephone operator in the 149th Field Artillery Regiment, fought in France, was wounded and received the Purple Heart medal. In 1920 he returned to Lithuania and joined the Lithuanian Army, graduating from military school in 1921. He helped to organize the Klaipėda Revolt of 1923. While living in Lithuania he completed pilot training. In 1927 he returned to the USA and started working in civil aviation. He initially formed South Bend Airways in partnership with Carl G. Jordan of South Bend, Indiana. Their fleet consisted of a Pheasant H-10 and a Longwing Eaglerock, both powered by OX-5 engines of World War I vintage. He lived for a while in the Jordan household prior to moving to Chicago. While living in Lithuania he actively promoted various sports. He initiated building of first stadium in Kaunas; it was later was named after him - the S. Darius and S. Girėnas Stadium. He played basketball, baseball, ice hockey, and practiced boxing and athletics. Since he was the first to publish booklets about basketball and baseball, he is considered to have brought those sports to Lithuania. He was also the first chairman of Lithuanian Physical Education Union, and a founder of Sporto Žurnalas.
Vytautas Edmundas Čekanauskas was a Lithuanian architect, professor of the Vilnius Academy of Art. In 1974 he, together with colleagues, was awarded the Lenin Prize in architecture for the design of Lazdynai, a microdistrict of Vilnius. In 2000 he was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas.