Ethiopian Emperor. Born Tafari Makonnen, he ruled Ethiopia as regent and crown prince from 1916 to his 1928 ascension to the Kingly throne under the name Ras Tafar. He assumed the title of Emperor and the new name Haile Selassie (meaning "Holy Trinity") in 1930. Seeking to modernize Ethiopia, Selassie secured membership in the League of Nations in 1923 and enacted the first Ethiopian constitution in 1931. Following Italian invasion in 1935, Selassie went into exile until the reclaimation of his country by British and Ethiopian forces in 1941. As one of the few African monarchs to escape colonization, Selassie came to be revered by the emergent Rastafarian religion as a messiah for Africans worldwide, though his increasingly conservative policies aligned his nation more closely with the west than with the post-colonial African states. In 1974, Selassie was overthrown by a Marxist coup and died in police custody the following year. He was finally given a formal funeral on November 5, 2000.
Bio by: Stuthehistoryguy