Top 30 Most Famous people from Transylvania
1 Vlad the Impaler, Dracula Voievode – famous ruler of Wallachia, born in Transylvania considered a national hero in Romania for fighting against the Otoman Empire
2 Bela Lugoji – American actor, born in Transylvnaia, best remembered for portraying Count Dracula in the 1931 film; Lugosi was buried wearing one of the “Dracula” cape costumes in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
3 Stan Lee -American comic book writer; his family emigrated from Transylvania. He co-created numerous popular fictional characters, including superheroes Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man
4 Art Garfunkel – American singer, poet, and actor; his family emigrated from Transylvania. He is best known for his partnership with Paul Simon in the folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel.
5 Marisa Tomei – American actress best known for My cousin Vinie movies; his family emigrated from Transylvania.
6 Horea– Vasile “Ursu” Nicula-Transylvanian revolutionary from 1784 the first Romanian who asked for the abolition of serfdom and nobility
7 Lauren Bacal – American actress; her mother emigrated from the Kingdom of Romania, through Ellis Island. She was named the 20th-greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema by the American Film Institute
8 Johny Weissmuler– American actor born in Timisoara. He was known for playing Edgar Rice Burroughs’ ape man Tarzan in films of the 1930s and 1940s and for having one of the best competitive swimming records of the 20th century.
9 Herman Oberth – German physicist and engineer born in Medias, Transylvania. He is considered one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics. He acted as consultant for the movie ‘Woman on the moon’ where he created a rocket model so close to the real one on which the Nazi worked on that they banned the film from being shown in cinemas
10 Elie Wiesel– Transylvanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor.
11 Hertha Muller – Transylvanian-born German novelist, poet, essayist and recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature. After WW2 when Russians toke the German ethnics from Transylvania and deported them for forced labor in USSR her mother was hiding during the winter. But because off the fresh snow the Russian soldiers find her and deported her. For this reason Hertha Muller hates the snow.
12 Matthias Corvinus -born Feb. 24, 1443, Cluj, Transylvania king of Hungary (1458–90), who attempted to reconstruct the Hungarian state after decades of feudal anarchy, chiefly by means of financial, military, judiciary, and administrative reforms.
12 Victor Babeş – Romanian physician, bacteriologist, academician and professor. One of the founders of modern microbiology
13 Ion Rațiu, Romanian politician
14 Béla Bartók, Hungarian composer
15 Traian Vuia, Romanian inventor and aviation pioneer
16 Liviu Rebreanu, Romanian novelist
17 Octavian Goga, Romanian poet and politician
18 Iancu de Hunedoara– leading Hungarian military and political figure in Central and Southeastern Europe during the 15th century. He was the son of a noble family of Romanian ancestry, father of Matthias Corvinus.
19 Samuel von Brukenthal, administrator of Transylvania, during the time Transylvania was part of the Hapsburg Empire
20 Avram Iancu, Romanian revolutionary from 1848
21 Gheorghe Mureșan, Romanian basketball player
22 Florin Piersic, Romanian actor
23 Dumitru Prunariu, the first Romanian cosmonaut (and the only one for the moment)
24 Aurel Vlaicu, Romanian aviation pioneer
25 Sergiu Comisiona-was a Romanian-Israeli-American conductor and violinist.
26 János Bolyai, Hungarian mathematician (the name of Cluj Napoca main university is Babes-Bolyai)
27 George Coșbuc, Romanian poet
28 Lucian Blaga, Romanian poet, playwright, and philosopher – in fact the only Romanian philosopher that created an entire philosophical system to explain the universe
29 Johannes Honter, Renaissance humanist and Reformer
30 Gheorghe Lazar – born in Avrig, Sibiu County, was a Transylvanian, later Romanian scholar, the founder of the first Romanian language school in Bucharest, 1817
|History of Transylvanian emigration – |
For almost a hundred years Romanians streamed out into the world, drawn by ambitions, pressed by wars, political persecution and economic disasters.
An estimated one million Romanian – Americans live in the United States today, and another million are descendents of Romanian emigrants (according to wikipedia.com).
Historians can establish four major immigration waves: at the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century when economic decline and a high birth rate compelled simple villagers to flee to the New World, the land of opportunities.
After the II World War the political persecutions of communism determined mostly artists and intellectuals to escape.
The third wave was in the middle of the 70’s and the beginning of the 80’s. The last wave of emigrants was after the events of December 1989 due to not only political but also social and economic crisis.
|Romanian Diaspora – |
Artists, scientists, musicians and creators
The new citizens happy to have found freedom and a fresh start, were eager to establish themselves in their adoptive country.
From the Romanian Diaspora valuable scientists, artists, philosophers, musicians and publicists became famous and renowned throughout the world.
They dedicated their talents and experience to help build and enrich their new country, people like Nobel Prize winner Emil Palade, Nobel Peace Award winner Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Award winner Hertha Muler.
Nadia Comaneci the famous gimnast.
Actors like Johnny Weissmuller (main caracter of Tarzan movie), Harvey Keitel, Lauren Bacall, Marisa Tomei, comic book creator Stan Lee (Spider-Man, X-men, Incredible Hulk etc.), musician Art Garfunkel from “Simon and Garfunkel”, conductor and musician Sergiu Comissiona and many more.