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Haile Selassie I
Emperor of Ethiopia
Reign 2 November 1930–12 September 1974 (&000000000000004300000043 years, &0000000000000314000000314 days)
Coronation 2 November 1930
Predecessor Zewditu I
Successor De jure Amha Selassie I (crowned in exile)
Head of State of Ethiopia
Predecessor Zewditu I
Successor Aman Andom (as Chairman of the Derg)
Spouse Empress Menen
Princess Romanework
Princess Tenagnework
Asfaw Wossen
Princess Zenebework
Princess Tsehai
Prince Makonnen
Prince Sahle Selassie
Full name
Ras Tafari Makonnen
House House of Solomon
Father Ras Makonnen Woldemikael Gudessa
Mother Weyziro Yeshimebet Ali Abajifar
Born (1892-07-23)23 July 1892
Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia
Died 27 August 1975(1975-08-27) (aged 83)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Religion Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Haile Selassie
1st & 5th Chairman of the Organization of African Unity
In office
25 May 1963 – 17 July 1964
Succeeded by Gamal Abdel Nasser
In office
5 November 1966 – 11 September 1967
Preceded by Joseph Arthur Ankrah
Succeeded by Joseph-Désiré_Mobutu

Rastafari movement
Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg

Main doctrines
Jah · Afrocentrism · Ital · Zion · Cannabis use
Central figures
Haile Selassie I · Jesus · Itege Menen · Marcus Garvey
Key scriptures
Bible · Kebra Nagast · The Promise Key · Holy Piby · My Life and Ethiopia's Progress · Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy
Branches and festivals
Mansions · in United States · Shashamane · Grounation Day · Reasoning
Notable individuals
Leonard Howell · Joseph Hibbert · Mortimer Planno · Vernon Carrington · Charles Edwards · Bob Marley · Midnite · Mutabaruka
See also:
Vocabulary · Persecution · Dreadlocks · Reggae · Ethiopian Christianity · Index of Rastafari articles

Haile Selassie I (Ge'ez: ኃይለ፡ ሥላሴ, "Power of the Trinity"[1]) (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975), born Tafari Makonnen,[2] was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. The heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century, and from there by tradition back to King Solomon and Queen Makeda, Empress of Axum, known in the Abrahamic tradition as the Queen of Sheba. Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history.[3][4]

At the League of Nations in 1936, the Emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people.[5] His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations, and his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring.[6] His suppression of rebellions among the nobles (mekwannint), as well as what some perceived to be Ethiopia's failure to modernize adequately,[7] earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians.[8]

Haile Selassie is revered as the returned Messiah of the Bible, God incarnate, among the Rastafari movement, the number of followers of which is estimated between 200,000 and 800,000.[9][10] Begun in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafari movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness, and prosperity.[11] He himself remained an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life.

  1. Gates, Henry Louis and Appiah, Anthony. Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. 1999, page 902.
  2. Melvin Eugene Page, Penny M. Sonnenburg (2003). Colonialism: an international, social, cultural, and political encyclopedia. Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 247. ISBN 9781576073353. Retrieved 2009-10-05. |volume= has extra text (help)
  3. Erlich, Haggai. The Cross and the River: Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Nile. 2002, page 192.
  4. Murrell, Nathaniel Samuel and Spencer, William David and McFarlane, Adrian Anthony. Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader. 1998, page 148.
  5. Safire, William. Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History. 1997, page 297-8.
  6. Karsh, Efraim. Neutrality and Small States. 1988, page 112.
  7. Meredith, Martin. The Fate of Africa: From the Hopes of Freedom to the Heart of Despair. 2005, page 212-3.
  8. Rebellion and Famine in the North under Haile Selassie, Human Rights Watch
  9. Major religions ranked by size - Rastafarian
  10. Barrett, Leonard E. Sr (1997) The Rastafarians. Boston: Beacon Press.
  11. Sullivan, Michael, C. In Search of a Perfect World. 2005, page 86