Among the well-known Belarusian natives are historical personalities, statesmen and cultural figures, prominent scholars, cosmonauts and athletes, distinguished diplomats, Hollywood film producers and Nobel Prize winners.
Euphrosyne of Polotsk (circa 1110 -1167)
First Belarusian, and according to some sources Eastern European enlightener. The Polotsk Princess was the first woman in Ancient Rus to have been canonized.
Francysk Skaryna (circa 1490 - circa 1551)
Belarusian humanist of the first half of the sixteenth century, enlightener, the first publisher in Eastern Europe.
Ivan Fyodorov (circa 1510 - circa 1583)
The first known Russian (Moscow) book publisher, a native of the Belarusian lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Stanislaw August Poniatowski (1732-1798)
The last King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, one of the favorites of Russian Empress Catherine the Second.
Tadeusz Kosciuszko (1746 -1817)
A statesman and military leader. He is a national hero in Poland, the United States, an honorary citizen of France.
Michal Kleofas Oginski (1765-1833)
A composer and a poet, author of wonderful musical pieces such as the polonaise Farewell to the Fatherland.
Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855)
A great Polish poet who devoted his masterpiece, Pan Tadeusz poem, to the Belarusian land.
Ignacy Domeyko (1802-1889)
A prominent geographer, geologist and explorer, national hero of Chile.
Mikhail Glinka (1804 - 1857)
The great Russian composer, founder of the Russian classical music. Belonged to the old Belarusian noble family.
Napoleon Orda (1807-1883)
A pianist, composer, artist. Author of more than 1,000 watercolor sketches of unique specimens of architecture, history and culture of Belarus and other countries.
Michael Marks (1859-1907)
A British businessman, co-founder of Marks & Spencer retail chain, the founder of first supermarkets.
Leon Bakst (1866-1924)
A painter, scene and costumer designer, a scene-painter for Diaghilev with the Ballets Russes.
Yakub Kolas (1882-1956)
Founder of the modern Belarusian literature and Belarusian literary language, People's Writer of Belarus.
Yanka Kupala (1882-1942)
Founder of the modern Belarusian literature and Belarusian literary language, People's Poet of Belarus.
Louis Burt Mayer (1885-1957)
American film producer, one of the founders of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Marc Chagall (1887-1985)
A graphic artist, master of monumental and applied arts, one of the leaders of the avante-garde movement of the twentieth century.
Chaim Soutine (1893-1943)
A painter, one of the main representatives of the School of Paris, an artistic movement in 1910-1920.
Pavel Osipovich Sukhoi (1895-1975)
An aircraft constructor and designer, one of the founders of jet and supersonic aircraft.
Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko (1909 - 1989) A prominent Soviet diplomat, statesman.
Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)
An American writer of popular science, biochemist, author of numerous popular science and science fiction works.
Vasil Bykov (1924-2003)
Belarusian writer and publicist, People's Writer of Belarus. The writer is well-known outside Belarus. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages.
Vladimir Semyonovich Korotkevich (1930-1984)
Belarusian writer. In his literary pursuits, Vladimir Korotkevich drew heavily on local lore and legends.
Zhores Ivanovich Alferov (born 1930)
Russian physicist, Nobel Prize winner 2000.
Piotr Ilyich Klimuk (born 1942)
First Belarusian cosmonaut, two-time Hero of the Soviet Union. He went to space three times (in 1973, 1975, and 1978).
Vladimir Vasilyevich Kovalyonok (born 1942)
Belarusian cosmonaut, two-time Hero of the Soviet Union. He went to space three times (in 1977, 1978, and 1981).
Olga Valentinovna Korbut (born 1955)
A legendary Belarusian gymnast, four-time Olympic champion. The world's best gymnast 1972.
Vitaly Venediktovich Shcherbo (born 1972)
Belarusian gymnast, six-time champion at the Olympic Games in Barcelona (1992). The athlete of the Decade (1991-2000).
Yulia Viktorovna Nesterenko (born 1979)
Belarusian athlete, 100m champion at the Olympic Games in Athens (2004).
The family belonging to the high nobility in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania of the sixteenth-eighteenth centuries dubbed by the contemporaries as the uncrowned kings. At their heyday the Radziwills owned vast assets in the territory of what is now Belarus and held highest state-administrative and military posts. They were known as patrons and collectors of fine art.
Figures on the Political Scene of Israel
Many politicians of Israel had Belarusian roots. Among them are first President of the State of Israel Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952); Prime Ministers of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize winners Menachem Begin (1913-1992) and Shimon Peres (born 1923), Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir (born 1915).
Pesnyary is Belarus's musical legend
By combining folk and pop music, Pesnyary gave rise to a whole new trend in music. With a career spanning over four decades, Pesnyary has earned quite a reputation abroad, and was the first band whose record sales gained a gold status.
Belarusians in the NHL
Belarusian ice hockey players Ruslan Salei, Mikhail Grabovsky, Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyns are idols in their home country. They also have their fan base in North America. They play for the NHL clubs (Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadians respectively).