List of Albanians

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This is a list of historical and living Albanians (ethnic Albanian people or people of full or partial Albanian ancestry) who are famous or notable, sorted by occupation and name.


Visual arts[edit]


  • Andrea Aleksi, architect, painter and sculptor and considered one of the most prestigious artists of the Dalmatian Renaissance period.
  • Architect Kasemi, master of Ottoman classical architecture.
  • Enver Faja, architect and diplomat.
  • Hasan Masurica, architect, scientist, engineer, inventor and muezzin who is considered to be one of the leading innovators and prominent science figures in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
  • Kolë Idromeno,painter, sculptor, photographer, architect and engineer.
  • Mimar Sinan, architect, he was responsible for the construction of more than three hundred major structures and other more modest projects, such as his Islamic primary schools (sibyan mektebs). His apprentices would later design the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, Stari Most in Mostar and help design the Taj Mahal in the Mughal Empire.
  • Pilo Keri architect.
  • Qemal Butka,architect, painter, politician, and postage stamps engraver.
  • Spiro Koleka, civil engineer, army official and communist politician.


Painters, cartoonists, illustrators[edit]












Performing Arts[edit]


Film and TV Directors[edit]

Models and Beauty Queens[edit]

Dancers and choreographers[edit]

Great Heroes[edit]

Albanians (born after 1900)[edit]

Kastrioti family[edit]

  • Skanderbeg (1405–1468) – 15th-century Albanian lord; "Hero of Christianism"; initiated and organized the League of Lezhë, which proclaimed him Chief of the League of the Albanian people
  • Pal Kastrioti – noble man in Albania of the 14th century; around 1383 he is attested as the ruler of two villages (Sina and Lower Gardi); father was a kephale of Kanina which belonged to the Principality of Valona;[dubious – discuss]; according to Gjon Muzaka Pal had three sons: Konstantin, Alexius and Gjon Kastrioti who was Skanderbeg's father
  • Gjon Kastrioti (fl. 1407-1437) – Scanderbeg's father
  • Gjon Kastrioti II – Count of Soleto; son of George Kastrioti
  • Hamza Kastrioti – nephew of Scanderbeg


People hero of Albania/Kosovo[edit]

  • Ali Demi (1918–1943) – hero of World War II
  • Ali Kelmendi – hero of Albania under the communist government; Kosovar Albanian communist; organizer of the communist movement in Albania
  • Bule Naipi – World War II heroine
  • Ded Gjo Luli (1840–1915) – one of the leading commanders of the Albanian Revolt of 1911; regarded a local hero
  • Isa Boletini (1864–1916) – Albanian nationalist figure and guerilla fighter; born in the village of Boletin near Mitroviça (now Kosovska Mitrovica), Ottoman Empire; freedom fighter in Kosovo and became a major figure of Albanian resistance against the Ottomans, Serbia and Montenegro
  • Ismail Qemali (1844–1919) – leader of the Albanian national movement; founder of the modern Albanian state as its first head of state and government
  • Luigj Gurakuqi (1879–1925) – writer and politician; important figure of the Albanian National Awakening; honoured with the People's Hero of Albania medal
  • Qemal Stafa (1920–1942) – founding member of the Albanian Communist Party, and the leader of its youth section
  • Adem Jashari – considered to be one of the chief architects of the Kosovo Liberation Army, along with Zahir Pajaziti; chief commander in the Drenica operation zone of the Kosovo Liberation Army
  • Hamëz Jashari (1950–1998) – Kosovo Albanian combatant; brother of Adem Jashari
  • Ramush Haradinaj (born 1968) – former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and former prime minister of Kosovo
  • Hashim Thaçi (born 1968) – Prime Minister of Republic of Kosovo; leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK); former political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)
  • Fatmir Limaj – politician from Kosovo; during the 1999 Kosovo War, was a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), in the Lapušnik area
  • Bajram Curri (1862–1925) – ethnic Albanian politician and activist within the Vilayet of Kosovo, Ottoman Empire; awarded the title Hero of Albania
  • Pretash Zeka Ulaj (1882–1962) – Albanian hero of the 1911 Battle of Deçiq (Battle of Dečić), near Tuzi, in which Albanians defeated the Turks
  • Prek Cali (1878–1945) Commander of Albanian Army,Guerrilla fighter, nationalist, and anti-communist. Fought against Ottoman Empire,Serbian Kingdom and Communism.
  • Ibrahim Rugova (1944–2006) – President of Kosovo, serving from 1992 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2006; prominent Kosovo Albanian political leader, scholar, and writer; oversaw a popular struggle for independence, advocating a peaceful resistance to Yugoslav rule and lobbying for U.S. and European support, especially during the Kosovo War


  • Joseph J. DioGuardi (born 1940) – certified public accountant and a Republican politician – his family traces its roots to the Arbëreshë
  • Mark Gjonaj – American politician
  • Ferid Murad (father surname: Murat Ejupi) (born 1936) – US scientist of Albanian origin, a co-winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo
  • Avni Mula (born 1928) – composer and father of Albanian opera soprano Inva Mula (born 1963)
  • Lejla Agolli (born 1950) – composer
  • Victor Gojcaj (born 1983) – American actor of Albanian origin
  • Kara DioGuardi (born 1970) – American contemporanean composer of Albanian ascent
  • Shaban Trstena (born 1965) – First Albanian Gold medalist
  • Azem Maksutaj (born 1975) – retired Kosovar Albanian-Swiss kickboxer and karateka; WMC Heavyweight Muay Thai World Champion
  • Laura Mersini-Houghton – theoretical physicist-cosmologist and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Igli Tare (born 1973) – former football striker; technical area coordinator of Lazio
  • Angelin Preljocaj – French dancer of Albanian origin; choreographer of contemporary dance
  • Stan Dragoti (born 1932) – Albanian-American film director; work includes the comedies Mr. Mom and Love at First Bite
  • Donald Lambro (born 1940) – Albanian-American journalist; chief political correspondent of The Washington Times; columnist nationally syndicated by United Feature Syndicate


Television personalities[edit]

  • Florina Kaja (born 1982) – American reality-television participant, singer and actress
  • Alketa Vejsiu (born 1982) – singer, television personality, producer and radio presenter
  • Claudia Conserva (born 1974) – Chilean actress, model and television presenter; of Italian-Albanian (Arbëreshë) descent
  • Hana Cakuli (born 1989) – singer; from Montenegro
  • Benet Kaci (born 1978) – Kosovan television personality; from Kosovo


  • Action Bronson (born 1984) – American rapper from Flushing, Queens, New York.
  • Rita Ora (born 1990) – British singer-songwriter and actress; in 2012, released her debut album, Ora which debuted at number one in the United Kingdom; of Albanian parents from Kosovo
  • Anna Oxa – Italy
  • Doruntina Disha – Norway
  • Elsa Lila – Italy
  • Elhaida Dani – Italy
  • Ermonela Jaho – Italy soprano
  • Bachelor Girl – Australia
  • Kristine Elezaj – United States
  • Anjeza Shahini – Europe
  • Miriam Cani – Germany
  • Ledina Çelo – Albania and Europe
  • Leonora Jakupi  – Kosovo-Albanian singer
  • Vesa Luma – pop singer
  • Gjyste Vulaj – pop and other genres
  • Aferdita Dreshaj – pop singer
  • Inva Mula (born 1963) – opera lyric soprano and actress
  • Fitnete Rexha – serenade and folk singer
  • Parashqevi Simaku – pop and folk singer
  • Agim Hushi – soprano
  • Alban Skënderaj
  • Adrian Gaxha – Albanian singer from Macedonia
  • Gabriella Cilmi (born 1991) – Australian singer-songwriter; of Italian-Albanian (Arbereshe) heritage
  • Alketa Vejsiu – singer and television presenter
  • Colos (born 1981 in Prizren, Kosovo) – Albanian rapper living in Germany; artist of Mellow Vibes Records; resides in Berlin
  • Dafina Zeqiri – Kosovar-Albanian singer and dancer
  • Bleona – singer and entertainer; dubbed the "Madonna of Albania" by New York City's Daily News
  • G4SHI – ethnic Albanian rapper and singer; originally from Kosovo; has had success with collaborations with more established artists such as French Montana and Nipsey Hussle; in 2011, released his debut album Last Of A Rare Breed under Concrete Music Group
  • Prolifik – Albanian-American rapper, radio personality and television anchor; night jock on WKSS/Kiss 95.7 and the afternoon drive traffic reporter on WTIC-TV/Fox 61 in Hartford, Connecticut
  • Presioni – rapper from Pristina, Kosovo
  • Unikkatil – Albanian entertainer, rapper, and record producer from The Bronx, New York
  • Mc Kresha – Kosovar-Albanian rapper
  • Patrick Nuo – Swiss singer, songwriter and model; born to a Kosovo-Albanian father
  • Kasem Hallulli – pop and traditional singer
  • JMSN – American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer, mixer, videographer and designer; of Albanian origin
  • Saimir Pirgu – Opera lyric Tenor and actor
  • Elvana Gjata – Albanian singer who is often referred as The Albanian Diva.



Visual artists[edit]

Painters and other artists[edit]



Models and beauty pageant participants[edit]




Basketball players[edit]

  • Ermal Kuqo (born 1980) – player for the Turkish team Anadolu Efes
  • Vildan Mitku (born 1983) – player for the Tigers Tübingen in the Basketball Bundesliga
  • Blerim Mazregu (born 1981) – ethnic Albanian; Kosovan professional basketball player

Football players[edit]

Martial artists[edit]


Volleyball players[edit]

Historical figures[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Spink, Kathryn (1997). Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography. New York. HarperCollins, pp.16. ISBN 0-06-250825-3.
  2. ^ Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910–1997)
  3. ^ "Turkey: The land a dictator turned into a democracy". Time. 12 October 1953. Retrieved 19 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Mango, Andrew, Ataturk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey, (Overlook TP, 2002), p. 27.
  5. ^ Lou Giaffo: Albania: Eye of the Balkan Vortex[page needed]
  6. ^ Jackh, Ernest, The Rising Crescent, (Goemaere Press, 2007), p. 31, Turkish mother and Albanian father]
  7. ^ Isaac Frederick Marcosson, Turbulent years, Ayer Publishing, 1969, p. 144.
  8. ^ Richmond, Yale, From Da to Yes: understanding the East Europeans, (Intercultural Press Inc., 1995), 212.