List of Tamil people
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This is a list of notable Tamil people. Entries on this list are demonstrably notable by having a linked current article or reliable sources as footnotes against the name to verify they are notable and define themselves as Tamil.
This list also includes emigrant Tamils and could be taken as a list of famous Tamils.
- 1 Kings and Rulers
- 2 Presidents
- 3 International Positions
- 4 Independence Movement
- 5 Contributions to Tamil people
- 6 Governors of States
- 7 Chief Ministers
- 8 Central Ministers
- 9 Political Leaders in Other countries
- 10 Political Families
- 10.1 Tamil Nadu
- 10.2 Sri Lanka
- 11 Military Leaders
- 12 Award winners
- 12.1 Bharat Ratna
- 12.2 Padma Vibhushan
- 12.3 Padma Bhushan
- 12.4 Padma Shri
- 12.5 Oscar Award
- 12.6 Nobel Prize Winners
- 12.7 Ramon Magsaysay Award
- 12.8 Dadasaheb Phalke Award
- 12.9 Param Vir Chakra
- 12.10 Sahitya Akademi Award
- 12.11 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award
- 12.12 Jnanpith Award
- 12.13 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
- 12.14 Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship
- 12.15 Guinness World Record
- 12.16 Arjuna Award
- 13 Social Workers
- 14 Business & Administration
- 15 Educationalist
- 16 Philanthropists
- 17 Diplomats
- 18 Journalists & Broadcasters
- 19 Scientists
- 20 Music
- 21 Dance
- 22 Cinema
- 23 Sports & Games
- 24 Entertainers
- 25 Religion and Spirituality
- 26 Tamil Literature
- 27 Modern Art
- 28 See also
- 29 References
Kings and Rulers
- Chola Dynasty
- Pandyan Dynasty
- Chera Dynasty
- Pallava Dynasty
- Eastern Ganga Dynasty
- Ay Dynasty
- Velir Dynasty
- Aryacakravarti Dynasty
- Vanni Dynasty
Other Royal Families
- Rulers of Ramnad
- Ramanatha Sethupathi (?-1979), last Raja of Ramnad estate
- Rajeswari Nachiyar (?-), only daughter of last Raja Ramanatha Sethupathi, present titular ruler of Ramnad estate
- Rajkumar Sethupathi (?-), actor, brother of last Raja Ramanatha Sethupathi and Latha, married leading actress in the 1980s Sripriya
- Latha (actress) (?-), actress, sister of last Raja Ramanatha Sethupathi and actor Rajkumar Sethupathi
- Rulers of Pudukkottai
- Rajagopala Thondaiman (1922–1997), last ruler of the princely state of Pudukkottai
- R. Rajagopala Thondaiman (1958–?), present head of the royal house of Pudukkottai, son of Radhakrishna Thondaiman, nephew of last ruler Rajagopala Thondaiman
- Charubala Thondaiman (1958–), wife of R. Rajagopala Thondaiman, member of the INC, former mayor of Tiruchirappalli (2001–2009)
- C. Rajagopalachari (1878–1972),former Governor-General of India, 21 June 1948 – 26 January 1950
- Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888–1975)
Radhakrishnan was a prominent philosopher and writer. He received Bharat Ratna award in 1954 before becoming the President.He was the first President from South India.
- R. Venkataraman (1910–2009), former President of India July 25, 1987 – July 25, 1992, before that he was the Vice President of India
- A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (1931–2015), former President of India, Bharat Ratna Awardee, Missile Man of India
Other Countries President
- S.R. Nathan (1924–2016), President of Singapore (September 1, 2002 – August 31, 2011)
- Veerasamy Ringadoo (1920–2000), President of Mauritius (12 March 1992 – 30 June 1992)
- Angidi Veeriah Chettiar (1928–2010), acting President of Mauritius (Feb 15, 2002 – Feb 18, 2002)
- Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay (1945–), acting President of Mauritius (Feb 18, 2002 – Feb 25, 2002)
- Radhika Coomaraswamy (1953–), Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict
- James Appathurai (1968–), spokesperson for NATO
- Roy Padayachie (1 May 1950 – 5 May 2012) was the Minister of Public Service and Administration of the Republic of South Africa. He also served in the economics desk of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and as deputy head of local government portfolio and also a consultant to UNICEF, UNESCO and the World Bank.
Indian independence movement
- V.O. Chidambaram Pillai (1872–1936)
- Subramanya Bharathi (1882–1921), poet and social reformer
- V. Kalyanasundaram (1883–1953), scholar
- Subramaniya Siva (1884–1925), writer
- Jeevanandham (1907–1963)
- Champakaraman Pillai (1891–1934)
- Tiruppur Kumaran (1904–1932)
Independence movements in other countries
- Nagappan Padayatchi (1891–1909), South African Satyagraha
- Thillaiaadi Valliammai (1898–1914), South African militant
- V.T. Sambanthan (1919–1979), one of the three founding fathers of Malaysia
- Velupillai Prabhakaran (1954–2009), Founder and leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, fighting for an inpendent Tamil state in Sri Lanka, Tamil Eelam.
- Pandara Vanniyan was a Tamil king of Sri Lanka who died battling British colonial rule on the island nation of Sri Lanka
Contributions to Tamil people
- Marshal Nesamony (1895–1968), responsible for Kanyakumari district merger with Tamil Nadu.
- Varadarajan Mudaliar (1926–1988), known as Vardha Bhai; Tamil movie Nayakan was based on his life story
Governors of States
- C. Rangarajan (1932–), Governor of Andhra Pradesh (1997–2003)
- T.V. Rajeswar (1926–), IPS Officer, Governor of Sikkim (1985–1989), West Bengal (1989–1990) and Uttar Pradesh (2004–2009)
- E.S.L. Narasimhan (1945–), IPS officer, Governor of Chhattisgarh (2007–2010), Andhra Pradesh (2007–Incumbent) and Telangana (2014–Incumbent)
- P. Sathasivam (1949–), Chief Justice of India (19 July 2013 – 26 April 2014), Governor of Kerala (2014–)
Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu
- C. Rajagopalachari (1878–1972)
- K. Kamaraj (1903–1975), Bharat Ratna Awardee
- M. Bhaktavatsalam (1897- 1987)
- C.N. Annadurai (1909–1969)
- V.R. Nedunchezhiyan (1920–2000)
- M.G. Ramachandran (1917–1987) Bharat Ratna
- J. Jayalalithaa (1948–2016)
- O. Panneerselvam (1951–)
- Karunanidhi (1924–)
Chief Ministers of Pondicherry
- V. Venkatasubha Reddiar (1909–1982), first Indian Chief Minister of Pondicherry, his son V. Vaithilingam was also the chief minister of Pondicherry
- Subramanyan Ramaswamy
- V. Vaithilingam (1950–), son of former chief minister of Pondicherry V. Venkatasubha Reddiar
- P. Shanmugam (1927–2013)
- N. Rangaswamy (1950–)
- R.K. Shanmukham Chetty (1892–1953), former Finance Minister of independent India.
- Jana Krishnamurthi, (1928–2007), former Union Law Minister.
- K. Santhanam (1895–1980), former Railway Minister of independent India.
- Satyavani Muthu (1923–1999), former Union Cabinet Minister
- Vazhappady K. Ramamurthy (1940–2002), former Union Cabinet Minister of Petroleum.
- M. Arunachalam (1944–2004), former union Cabinet Minister of Labour
- P. Chidambaram (1945–), former Finance Minister of India.
- A. Raja (1963–), former Communications and Information Technology Minister of India.
- Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan (1947–), former Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment of India.
- K. Venkatapathy (1947–), former Minister of State for Law and Justice of India.
- S. Regupathy (1950–), former Minister of State for Forests and Environment.
- Gingee N. Ramachandran (1944–), former Union Minister of State, Finance
- M.K. Azhagiri (1951–), former Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers.
- S. S. Palanimanickam (1950–), former Minister of State for Finance of India.
- S. Jagathrakshakan (1950–), former Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry.
- T. R. Baalu (1941–), former Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways.
- Mani Shankar Aiyar (1941–), former Union Cabinet Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas
- Subramanian Swamy (1939–), former Cabinet Minister of Commerce and Law
- R. Velu (1940–), former Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways
- V. Radhika Selvi (1976–), former Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs
- V. Narayanasamy (1947–), former Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
- Nirmala Sitharaman (1959–), present Minister of State for Ministry of Commerce & Industry
- Anbumani Ramadoss (1968–),former Minister of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India
- Pon Radhakrishnan (1952–), present Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping
Political Leaders in Other countries
- Moses Veerasammy Nagamootoo (1947–), Prime Minister, Guyana.
- S Jayakumar (1939–), former Deputy Prime Minister, Singapore.
- Tharman Shanmugaratnam (1957–), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Singapore.
- Vivian Balakrishnan (1961–), Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Singapore.
- S Rajaratnam (1915–2006), former Deputy Prime Minister, Singapore.
- S Dhanabalan (1937–), former Minister (various portfolios), Singapore.
- J. B. Jeyaretnam, (1926–2008) ex-opposition leader and MP, Singapore.
- Ramasamy Palanisamy (1949–), Deputy Chief Minister of Penang state, Malaysia.
- Nagalingam Shanmugathasan (1920–1993), founding General Secretary of the Ceylon Communist Party, Sri Lanka.
- Bala Tampoe (1922–2014), Tamil trade unionist, Sri Lanka.
- Pillayan alias Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (1975–), former Chief Minister of Eastern Province, Sri Lanka
- P. P. Devaraj (b.1929), Former Cabinet Minister of Sri Lanka.
- Radhakrishnan (?-), Current Deputy Minister for Industry Affairs of Sri Lanka.
- Visvanathan Rudrakumaran(?-), Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam.
- Samy Vellu (1937–), former Works Minister and Leader of Malaysian Indian Congress, Malaysia.
- K.R. Somasundram (1930–), politician and member of Malaysian Indian Congress, Malaysia.
- Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam (1926–2008), founder of Reform Party of Singapore
- Radhakrishna Padayachi (1950–2012), Deputy Minister for Communication, Republic of South Africa.
- Rathika Sitsabaiesan (1981–), Member of Parliament, Canada.
- Gunasagaran Gounder (?-), prominent politician and a member of Fiji Labour Party, Fiji.
- Perumal Mupnar (?-), prominent politician and a member of Fiji Labour Party, Fiji.
- S.J.V. Chelvanayakam (1898–1977), leader and father figure of Sri Lankan Tamils.
- Savumiamoorthy Thondaman (b.1913, d.1999), leader of Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka and had served the Sri Lankan Cabinet.
- N. Shanmugathasan (1920–1993), prominent Communist politician, Sri Lanka.
- Joseph Pararajasingham (1934–2005), Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka.
- Lakshman Kadirgamar (1932–2005), former Foreign Minister, Sri Lanka.
- Veerasingham Anandasangaree (1933–), Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka.
- Murugesu Sivasithamparam (1923–2002), Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka.
- Rajavarothiam Sampanthan (1933–), Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka.
- Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam (1944–1999), Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka.
- Appapillai Amirthalingam (1927–1989), leader of the opposition, Parliament of Sri Lanka.
- Douglas Devananda (1957–), leader of EPDP and Minister of Rehabilitation, Sri Lanka.
- Thamizhavel G. Sarangapani (1903–1974), Tamil journalist, writer, publisher, social activist
- Patrick Pillay (?-), has been the Minister of External Affairs of the Seychelles
- Jean-Paul Virapoullé(1944–), member of the Senate of France, representing the island of Réunion
- E.E.C. Thuraisingham (1898–1979), first local Member in British-ruled Malaya
P.T. Rajan Family
- P.T. Rajan (1892–1974), former Chief Minister of Madras Presidency.
- P.T.R. Palanivel Rajan (1932–2006), former minister in the state cabinet, son of P.T. Rajan
P. Subbarayan Family
- P. Subbarayan (1889–1962), former Chief Minister of Madras Presidency (1926–1930)
- Mohan Kumaramangalam (1916–1973), former Minister of Steel and Mines, son of P. Subbarayan
- Parvathi Krishnan (1919–2014), was member of the Communist Party of India, daughter of P. Subbarayan
C.P. Ramaswami Iyer Family
M. Bhaktavatsalam Family
- M. Bhaktavatsalam (1897–1987), Chief Minister of Madras state (1962–1967).
- Jayanthi Natarajan (1954–), former Minister of State for Environment and Forests, daughter of Rukmini, granddaughter of M. Bhaktavatsalam
- C. Rajagopalachari alias Rajaji (1878–1972), Chief Minister of Madras Presidency (1937–1940)
E.V.K. Sampath Family
- E.V.K.S. Elangovan (1948–), son of E. V. K. Sampath
Kumari Ananthan Family
- H. Kumari Ananthan (1933–)
- Tamilisai Soundararajan (1961–), daughter of Kumari Ananthan
- H. Vasanthakumar (1950–), brother of Kumari Ananthan
G.K. Moopanar Family
- G.K. Moopanar (1931–2001), Indian politician and founder of the Tamil Maanila Congress.
- G.K. Vasan (1964–), State leader of the Indian National Congress, former Union Minister of Shipping, son of G.K. Moopanar
M. Karunanidhi Family
- M. Karunanidhi (1924–), leader of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, was a 5-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- M.K. Alagiri (1951–), former Central Minister, son of Karunanidhi
- M.K. Stalin (1953–), former Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, son of Karunanidhi
- Kanimozhi (1968–), former Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), daughter of Karunanidhi
- Murasoli Maran (1934–2003), former Central Minister, nephew of Karunanidhi
- Dayanidhi Maran (1966–), former Central Minister, grandnephew of Karunanidhi
Dr. S. Ramadoss Family
Arumugampillai Coomaraswamy Family
- Arumugampillai Coomaraswamy (1783–1836), Gate Mudaliyar, Member of Legislative Council
Arunachalam Ponnambalam Family
- Arunachalam Ponnambalam (1814–1887), son in law of Arumugampillai Coomaraswamy
- P. Coomaraswamy (1849–1906), first son of Arunachalam Ponnambalam
- P. Ramanathan (1851–1930), second son of Arunachalam Ponnambalam
- P. Arunachalam (1853–1924), third son of Arunachalam Ponnambalam
S. Pararajasingam Family
- S. Pararajasingam, senator, son in law of P. Arunachalam, married Pathmavathy (daughter of P. Arunachalam)
V.P. Ganeshan Family
- V.P. Ganeshan (?-), founder of the Democratic Workers' Congress, film producer and actor
Savumiamoorthy Thondaiman Family
- Savumiamoorthy Thondaiman (1913–1999), founder and leader of the Ceylon Workers' Congress, government minister, Member of Parliament
G.G. Ponnambalam Family
- G.G. Ponnambalam (1901–1977), founder and leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, government minister, Member of Parliament, Member of State Council
Arumugam Canagaratnam Family
- Arumugam Canagaratnam (873-?), Member of Legislative Council
- General Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam (1913–2000), 7th Chief of Army Staff (June 7, 1966 – June 7, 1969).
- General Krishnaswamy Sundararajan (1930–1999), 14th Chief of Army Staff (February 1, 1986 – April 30, 1988).
- Admiral Oscar Stanley Dawson was the 12th Chief of Naval Staff, India, serving from March 1, 1982 to November 30, 1984.
- Admiral Sushil Kumar (?-) 16th Chief of the Naval Staff (India) (December 30, 1988 – December 29, 2001).
- Air Chief Marshal Srinivasapuram Krishna Swamy (1943–), 19th Chief of Air Staff (December 31, 2001 – December 31, 2004).
The Bharat Ratna is India's highest civilian honour.
- K. Kamaraj, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India
- C.V. Raman, first Asian Nobel Laureate to win, Prize in the Science Field
- C. Subramaniam for Public Affairs 1998
- Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi, first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna. She is the first Indian musician to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award
- C.Rajagopalachari,first governor general of India
- Dr.S.Radhakrishnan,second President of India
- M.G.Ramachandran,film actor and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
The Padma Vibhushan is India's second highest civilian honour.
- Arcot Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar for Medicine 1963.
- Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar for Science & Engineering 1968.
- K. V. Kalyana Sundaram for Public Affairs 1968.
- Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar for Civil Service 1970.
- T. Swaminathan for Civil Service 1973.
- T. Balasaraswati for Arts 1977.
- V. Arunachalam for Literature & Education 1990.
- Raja Jesudoss Chelliah for Public Affairs 2007.
- Balu Sankaran for Medicine 2007.
- V. Krishnamurthy for Civil Service 2007
The Padma Bhushan is India's third highest civilian honour.
- Sivaji Ganesan – 1984
- Kamal Haasan – Arts
- Ilaiyaraaja – veteran musician and Tamil music director
- A. R. Rahman – Oscar-winning Musician from Chennai, and referred to as the Mozart of Madras
- Arogyaswami Paulraj – wireless technology pioneer
- Shiv Nadar – Indian industrialist and philanthropist
- Jayakanthan – Author
The Padma Shri is India's fourth highest civilian honour.
- Sivaji Ganesan (1966) – Arts
- K. Balachander (1987) – Arts
- Kamal Haasan (1990) – Arts
- Vairamuthu (2003) – Literature and Education
- B. Palaniappan (2006) – Medicine
- Sivanthi Adithan (2008) – Literature and Education
- Actor Vivek (2009) – Arts
- Mecca Rafeeque Ahmed (2011) – businessman and entrepreneur
- A. R. Rahman – won the Academy Award for Best Original Score and Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2009
Nobel Prize Winners
- C. V. Raman – Nobel Prize in Physics, 1930
- Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar – Nobel Prize in Physics, 1983
- Venkatraman Ramakrishnan – Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2009
Ramon Magsaysay Award
- M.S.Swaminathan-for Community Leadership-1971
- M.S. Subbulakshmi – for classical carnatic genre – 1974
- Jockin Arputham – for Peace and International Understanding – 2000
- Palagummi Sainath – journalist – 2007
- Kulandei Francis – 2012
Dadasaheb Phalke Award
is India's highest award in cinema given annually by the Government of India for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema. It was instituted in 1969,the birth centenary year of Dadasaheb Phalke, considered as the father of Indian cinema
Param Vir Chakra
The Param Vir Chakra is India's highest military honor.
- Major Ramaswamy Parmeshwaran (1946–1987) – awarded in 1987 (Posthumous) for IPKF operations in Sri Lanka.
Sahitya Akademi Award
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award
The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is India's highest sporting honour.
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship
Guinness World Record
- L. Athira Krishna, Guinness World Record holder
- Suresh Joachim, Canadian actor, producer, and multiple-Guinness World Record holder
- V.S. Kumar Anandan, one of his many records include Swimming the Palk Strait, from Sri Lanka to India and back in 51 hours, in the year 1971.
- Kutraleeswaran, swam across English Channel in 1994 when he was just 13 years old. That very same calendar year, he swam across 6 channels to break Mihir Sen's record of swimming across 5 channels in a calendar year. .
- Rajasekharan Parameswaran, Guinness World Records holder
- Kutraleeswaran, youngest Arjuna Award winner
- M.B.Nirmal – founder and chairman of Exnora International
- Krishnammal Jagannathan
- Naraina Pillai
- Anjali Gopalan – first Indian Tamil woman awarded with Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur `Knight in the order of the legions of Honor" The highest award from France. July 2013.
- Harish Iyer – Mumbai based Blogger and LGBT rights activist
- Chinna Pillai – started 'Kalanjiam', microcredit movement in villages
Business & Administration
- B.S. Abdur Rahman
- Ananda Krishnan
- Kalanithi Maran
- Shiv Nadar
- Ram Shriram
- Chinnakannan Sivasankaran
- A. Vellayan
- Maha Sinnathamby
- G. Gnanalingam
- Sundar Pichai
Tamil executives and business people
- Palani G. Periasamy, Chairman PGP Group of Companies
- Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
- Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, Inc.
- Kalanidhi Maran, founder and head of Sun TV Network, owner of SpiceJet Airline and owner of Sunrisers Hyderabad IPL Team
- Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata & sons
- Subramaniam Ramadorai, adviser, Prime Minister of India
- Gopalapuram Parthasarathy, diplomat and author in India.
- Yogendra Duraiswamy, was a Sri Lankan diplomat
- Tamara Kunanayakam
- Arunachalam Mahadeva
- Anton Muttukumaru
- Manicasothy Saravanamuttu
- H. W. Thambiah
- Krishnan Srinivasan
- K. Raghunath
- Beno Zephine N L
Journalists & Broadcasters
- J. S. Tissainayagam – journalist and first winner of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism
- George Alagiah – BBC reporter and journalist.
- James Coomarasamy – BBC reporter and journalist.
- Darshini David – BBC reporter and journalist.
- Tim Kash – MTV and BBC reporter and journalist.
- Taraki Sivaram – political analyst and a senior editor for Tamilnet.com
- E. Saravanapavan – managing director of the Uthayan and Sudar Oli Tamil newspapers.
- N. Ram – was the editor-in-chief of The Hindu newspaper owned by Kasthuri and Sons.
- Cho Ramaswamy – editor of the Tamil political journal Tughlaq
- Thenkachi Ko. Swaminathan – Deputy Director of All India Radio, 'Indru oru thagaval Fame'
- Mylswamy Annadurai – Scientist with the Indian Space Research Organization and currently serves as Director, ISRO Satellite Centre
- Shiva Ayyadurai – as a high school student in 1979, he developed an electronic version of an interoffice mail system, which he called "EMAIL" and copyrighted in 1982
- Arumugam Vijiaratnam – became the first Pro-Chancellor of Nanyang Technological University in 1992 and served until 2005.
- Bala V. Balachandran – founder & Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India and Professor at Northwestern University
- V. L. Ethiraj – founder of Ethiraj College for Women
- Malcolm Adiseshiah (1910–1994) – economist, Former Deputy Director General of UNESCO & founder MIDS (Madras Institute of Development Studies).
- V C Kulandaiswamy – educator and Technologist. Formerly Vice Chancellor of Anna University, IGNOU and Tamil Virtual University.
- M. Varadarasan – winner of sahitya Academy Award and Ex-Vice Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University.
- Prof Philip Jeyaretnam – professor of law and member, Public Service Commission.
- Prof Sittampalam Shanmugaratnam – former Head, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the National University of Singapore.
- Arjun Appadurai – contemporary Social theorist, educator and founder of the School of International Relations, JNU, New Delhi.
- Dr. H.S.S. Lawrence – educator who was formerly Director of School Education, Tamil Nadu and UNESCO Expert to Government of Afghanistan.
- C.K. Prahalad – Professor of Corporate Strategy at the Ross School of Business of the University of Michigan.
- Prof B.P. Sanjay – Vice-Chancellor of First Central University in Tamil Nadu at Tiruvaroor.
- M. S. Ananth – Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in December 2001.
- Xavier Thaninayagam – known for setting up the International Association for Tamil Research(IATR) and organising the first World Tamil Conference.
- Christie Jayaratnam Eliezer – appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.
- Sanjay Subrahmanyam – Infosys Prize in the field of Humanities (History) in 2012.
- Indira Samarasekera – 12th and current president and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta
- Vilayanur S. Ramachandran – neuroscientist known primarily for his work in the fields of behavioral neurology and visual psychophysics.
- G. Nammalvar – Indian organic farming scientist
- M. S. Swaminathan – agricultural scientist and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee
- Ramanathan V. Guha, known for his work on Cyc, Schema.org, Meta Content Framework, Resource Description Framework and developed the first version of RSS
- Madhu Sudan (1966–), professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
- Hari Balakrishnan, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
- Arogyaswami Paulraj (1944–), Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. A pioneer of wireless smart antenna technology
- Srinidhi Varadarajan, director of Virginia Tech's Terascale Computing Facility.
- Shiva Ayyadurai
- Ravindran Kannan, currently a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research India,
- T. V. Raman
- Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google
Finance & economics
- Marti Subrahmanyam, professor at New York University (NYU) and board of directors of Infosys and ICICI
- Bala V. Balachandran, professor at the Kellogg School of Management
- Ravi Jagannathan, economist and professor at the Kellogg School of Management
- H.V.R. Iyengar, ex-Governor, Reserve Bank of India (1957–1962)
- S. Jagannathan, ex-Governor, Reserve Bank of India (1970–1975) and Executive at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- M. Narasimham, banker, ex-Governor, Reserve Bank of India (1977) and executive at the World Bank and IMF
- S. Venkitaramanan, ex-Governor, Reserve Bank of India (1990–1992)
- K. Ramachandran, Director, CFO, Barclays Wealth, India (2008–)
- T.N. Srinivasan (born 1933), economist and the Samuel C. Park, Jr. Professor of Economics at Yale University.
- Raghuram Rajan, RBI Governor and economist, Government of India
- Sendhil Mullainathan, co-founder of Ideas-42
- Jomo Kwame Sundaram
- Ramon Navaratnam
- Raj Chetty, in 2008 The Economist listed Chetty as one of the top eight young economists in the world
- Swaminathan Gurumurthy, Indian economist
- K. Sripavan, current Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, and former Deputy Solicitor General, judge and president of the Court of Appeal, and Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.
- Rajesh Sreenivasan
- Karthy Govender, Commissioner, South African Human Rights Commission and law professor at the University of Natal
- Kamala Harris, current U.S. Attorney
- K.S. Rajah, former Supreme Court Judge – Singapore
- Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. A South African of Indian origin and Tamil descent, she was the first non-white woman on the High Court of South Africa, and she has also served as a judge of the International Criminal Court and President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
- M. Patanjali Sastri, Second Chief Justice of India
- V. Bhashyam Aiyangar, lawyer and jurist
- A. Vaidyanatha Iyer(1890–1955), Tamil Indian activist. Participated in the Indian independence movement and organized the temple entry movement in the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. President of the Tamil Nadu Harijan Seva Sangh.
- Mythili Raman, Tamil American lawyer and the current acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.
- Sri Srinivasan, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887–1920), known for his contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions
- Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha, known for his book Vedic Mathematics (book)
- Ramachandran Balasubramanian, Indian Number Theorist and current Director of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, India
- Subbayya Sivasankaranarayana Pillai (1901–1950), known for his work in Number theory
- Kollagunta Gopalaiyer Ramanathan (1920–1992), known work in Number theory
- Christie Jayaratnam Eliezer (1918–2001), mathematician and Tamil rights activist from Sri Lanka and a recipient of the Order of Australia.
- C.S. Seshadri, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute and Trieste awardee
- S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan, mathematician and fellow of the Royal Society, abel prizewinner
- C.P. Ramanujam (1938–1974), worked on number theory and algebraic geometry.
- T.S.Vijayaraghavan (1902–1955), worked on Pisot-Vijayaraghavan number
- Ravindran Kannan, Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at Yale University. Joint winner of the 1991 Fulkerson Prize in discrete mathematics for work on the volumes of convex bodies.
- Kannan Soundararajan
- Conjeeveram Seshadri
- Ramaiyengar Sridharan
- Chidambaram Padmanabhan Ramanujam
- Srinivasacharya Raghavan
- Madabusi Santanam Raghunathan
- A.A. Krishnaswami Ayyangar, exponent of Vedic mathematics
- Mudumbai Seshachalu Narasimhan, mathematician and fellow of the Royal Society (1996)
- K.R.Parthasarathy, Professor Emeritus at the Indian Statistical Institute of New Delhi
- Ramaiyengar Sridharan,mathematician at Chennai Mathematical InstituteSridharan was awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology (SSB prize) in Mathematical Science
- Raman Parimala, known for her contributions to algebra
- Balamurali Ambati, world's youngest doctor at age 17
- Rangaswamy Srinivasan, ultraviolet excimer laser / LASIK. inventor at IBM Research.
- V.S. Ramachandran, neuroscientist; Director Professor at UC San Diego.
- S.S. Ratnam, pioneer in Singapore in-vitro fertilisation. (Sri Lankan Tamil ancestry)
- Ganapathi Thanikaimoni, Palynologist, French Institute of Pondicherry, awarded the Fyson Prize in Natural Science.
- Govindappa Venkataswamy, founder of Aravind Eye Hospital
- Ravi Iyengar, professor and founder of the Iyengar Laboratory, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
- Gunamudian David Boaz, was an Indian Tamil psychologist
- Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, 1930 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics.
- Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, 1983 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics.
- Dr K. Kasturirangan, former Chairman of ISRO and present director of National institute of advanced studies (NIAS).
- Raja Ramanna, former Chairman of Department of Atomic Energy and presided over India's first nuclear test in 1974.
- Dr. P.K. Iyengar, former Chairman of Department of Atomic Energy.
- M.R.Srinivasan, former Chairman of the Department of Atomic Energy.
- R. Chidambaram, scientific adviser to the Prime Minister of India and ex-Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission.
- S.R. Ranganathan, devised the five laws of library science.
- A. Sivathanu Pillai, defence scientist and the CEO of the Indo-Russian Brahmos company
- G. N. Ramachandran (1922–2001), made major contributions to Biology and Physics.
- R. V. Perumal, former Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.
- Ramanuja Vijayaraghavan (born 1931), physicist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
- Udaya Kumar, designer of the Indian rupee sign.
- Veerasingham Dhuruvasangary, was a scientist and inventor
- Vallampadugai Srinivasa Raghavan Arunachalam
- Poondi Kumaraswamy, only one to have received both the Homi Bhabha Fellowship 1967–69 and the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship 1975–77, two of the country's top research awards.hydrologist
- P.S.Krishnaprasad, professor of electrical engineerihg at the University of Maryland.
- S. Somasegar, he was presented the Asian American Engineer of the Year Award.
- S.Vanajah, only woman among four finalists who outlasted 11,000 other Malaysians who applied for the astronaut selection process in 2003
- B.C. Shekhar, modernised Malaysia's natural rubber industry
- Raman Sundrum, developed a class of models called the Randall-Sundrum models
- Siva Sivananthan, awarded the "Champion of Change" (Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Innovators category) by the White House.
- Muthu Thandavar, one of the Tamil Trinity
- Marimutthu Pillai, one of the Tamil Trinity
- Arunachala Kavi, one of the Tamil Trinity
- Kollangudi Karuppayee
- Ranjani & Gayatri
- Papanasam Sivan
- Sikkil Gurucharan
- Lalgudi Jayaraman
- Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan
- Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar
- T.M. Krishna
- Madurai Mani Iyer
- Veena Dhanammal
- E. Gayathri
- D.K. Pattammal
- Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer
- Muthuswami Dikshitar
- N. Ramani
- L. Athira Krishna
- Aruna Sairam
- T. Brinda
- T. Muktha
- T. Viswanathan
- R. Vedavalli
- Sirkazhi Govindarajan
- Maharajapuram Santhanam
- Sanjay Subrahmanyan
- T.M. Krishna
- T.M. Soundararajan
- Sudha Raghunathan
- Nithyashree Mahadevan
- Nisha Rajagopalan
- Aruna Sayeeram
- Alathur Brothers, Alathur Brothers Srinivasa Iyer (1912–1964) and Sivasubramania Iyer (1916–1980)
- Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar
- Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar
- Patnam Subramania Iyer
- G.N. Balasubramaniam
- S. Sowmya
- M.L. Vasanthakumari
- Charumathi Ramachandran
- Vasundhara Devi
- Abraham Pandithar, musicologist and siddha medicine practitioner from Madras Presidency, British India.
- K.V. Mahadevan (1918–2001), composer, Winner National Film Award for Best Music Direction (1968 & 1980)
- T.K. Ramamoorthy (1922–2013), composer
- Gangai Amaran (1947–), composer, singer, director
- Chandrabose (composer) (?-2010), composer
- Sankar Ganesh (?-), composer
- Deva (music director) (1950–), composer, singer
- S. A. Rajkumar (1964–), composer
- Sirpy (1962–), composer
- A. R. Rahman (1967–), composer, singer, winner Academy Award for Best Original Song, National Film Award for Best Music Direction (1993, 1997, 2002 & 2003)
- Yuvan Shankar Raja (1979–), composer, singer, winner Cyprus International Film Festival Award in 2006 for Raam.
- Harris Jayaraj (1975–), composer
- D. Imman (1983–), composer, singer
- Srikanth Deva, composer, singer
- Bobo Shashi, composer, singer
- Karthik Raja (1973–), composer
- Bharathwaj (1960–), composer, singer
- G. V. Prakash Kumar (1987–), composer, singer, actor
- Vijay Antony (1975–), composer, singer, actor
- Anirudh Ravichander (1990–), composer, singer
- James Vasanthan (?-), composer
- Santhosh Narayanan (1983–), composer
- Mohamaad Ghibran (b.1980), composer
- M.I.A. (Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam), British musician
- Clarence Jey (Clarence Jeyaretnam), Sri Lankan American record producer
- Yogi B (Yogeswaran Veerasingam), Malaysian hiphop artist, founder of Poetic Ammo
- Kamahl (Kandiah Kamalesvaran), Australian cabaret/easy listening singer
- Tharini Mudaliar, Australian singer and violinist
- Jacintha Abisheganaden, Singaporean singer
- Rudra, Singaporean Death metal band
- Shruti Haasan, western singer, daughter of Tamil actor Kamal Haasan
- Blaaze, rap artist and playback singer
- Lord Kossity
- Siva Kaneswaran, band member of The Wanted
- Arjun Coomaraswamy, UK RnB Singer
- Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Sri Lankan hiphop artist
- Hiphop Tamizha, Tamil rap duo
- T. Balasaraswati
- Chitra Visweswaran
- Padma Subramanyam
- Rukmini Devi Arundale
- Anita Ratnam
Actors and Actresses
- See: Film Music
- Sendhil Ramamurthy, actor in NBC drama Heroes half Tamil
- Ashok Amritraj, filmmaker, producer
- Sunkrish Bala, actor in ABC show Notes from the Underbelly
- Mindy Kaling, actor in NBC sitcom half Tamil The Office
- Aziz Ansari, actor
- Chandran Rutnam, award-winning director for the movie A Common Man at the Madrid International Film Festival as the Best Director
Sports & Games
- Mariyappan Thangavelu Gold Medal in Paralympics, High Jump
- Santhi Soundarajan, first World Peace Sports Festival Ambassador from India and first Tamil woman to win a medal at Asian Games
- Mani Jegathesan
- Sathish Sivalingam
- A. Maria Irudayam, World Carrom Champion and Arjuna Award winner for Carrom (1996)
- R. Arokiaraj, Carrom Champion
- B. Radhakrishnan, Carrom Champion
- A. Palanisamy, first Arjuna Award winner for volleyball (1961)
- G.E. Sridharan, Arjuna Award winner
- Kumaran, played for Indian team and currently playing for IOB,Chennai
- Sivabalan, played for India and currently playing for IOB, Chennai
- Viswanathan Anand, World Chess champion and the first Indian to earn the title of Grandmaster.
- Manuel Aaron, first Indian to earn the title of International Master
- Murugan Thiruchelvam, chess player from United Kingdom
- Krishnan Sasikiran, Grandmaster and Arjuna Award winner for Chess (2002)
- S. Vijayalakshmi, six time Women's national champion of India, the First Women Grandmaster from India and Arjuna Award winner for Chess (2000)
- Aarthie Ramaswamy, Women Grandmaster and under-18 girls' World Chess champion
- Baskaran Adhiban, Chess GrandMaster from Tamil Nadu
- S.P. Sethuraman, Chess GrandMaster from Tamil Nadu
- Buchi Babu Naidu (1868–1908), Father of South Indian Cricket
- Cota Ramaswami (1896-presumed dead), represented India in both International Cricket and Tennis.
- M.Baliah Naidu (1895–1948), represented India in International Cricket
- M.J. Gopalan (1909–2003), represented India in both International Hockey and Cricket.
- C.R. Rangachari (1916–1993), pace bowler, Indian Cricket Team.
- C.D. Gopinath (1930–), batsman, Indian Cricket Team.
- Ravichandran Ashwin, all rounder, Indian Cricket Team.
- S. Venkataraghavan (1945–), ex-Captain of Indian Cricket Team and Test & ODI umpire.
- K. Srikkanth (1959–), ex-Captain and current Chief Selector of Indian Cricket Team.
- T.A. Sekhar (1956–), pace bowler, Indian Cricket Team.
- Thiru Kumaran (1975–), pace bowler, Indian Cricket Team.
- T.E. Srinivasan, batsman, Indian Cricket Team.
- L. Sivaramakrishnan (1965–), spin bowler, Indian Cricket Team.
- V.B. Chandrasekhar, batsman, Indian Cricket Team.
- Bharat Arun (1962–), pace bowler, Indian Cricket Team.
- Murali Kartik (1976–), spin bowler, Indian Cricket Team, Kolkata Knight Riders, Pune Warriors.
- Sadagoppan Ramesh (1975–), batsman, Indian Cricket Team.
- Subramaniam Badrinath (born 1980), batsman, Indian Cricket Team, Chennai Super Kings.
- Murali Vijay (1984–), batsman, Indian Cricket Team, Chennai Super Kings.
- Lakshmipathy Balaji (1981–), pace bowler, Indian Cricket Team, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders.
- Dinesh Karthik (1985–), wicketkeeper, Indian Cricket Team, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians.
- Muttiah Muralitharan (1972–), highest Wicket taker in test and ODI cricket from Sri Lanka
- Angelo Mathews, Sri Lankan all rounder and captain
- Russel Arnold, Sri Lankan cricketer and journalist
- Roy Dias, former Sri Lankan test cricketer/vice captain – a Tamil of Negombo Chetty
- Sridharan Jeganathan, former NCC and Sri Lankan test cricketer/off spin bowler (died on May 14, 1996). First Sri Lankan test cricketer to die
- Vinodhan John, pace bowler, first Sri Lankan Tamil Test cricketer 1982
- Pradeep Jayaprakashdaran, Sri Lankan One Day International(ODI)cricket player
- S. Illangaratnam, late Sri Lankan cricketer, stalwart of Moratuwa and Bloomfield cricket clubs prior to the Test era
- Mahadevan Sathasivam, one of the best cricket batsmen produced by Ceylon
- Kandiah Thirugnansampandapillai Francis, International Test and ODI umpire from Sri Lanka
- Nasser Hussain (March 28, 1968, Madras, India-), former Essex and England cricketer, test captain
- Sanjayan Thuraisingam (1969–), pace bowler, Canadian Cricket Team
- Alvin Kallicharan, former West Indies Guyana cricket captain
- Mahendra Nagamootoo, former West Indies and Guyana cricketer, nephew of Alvin Kallicharan
- Veerasammy Permaul, West Indies and Guyana cricketer
- Peter Velappan (1935–), General Secretary of Asian Football Confederation and member of FIFA Strategic Studies Committee & Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup.
- Peter Thangaraj (1938–2008), Olympion and the Goalkeeper of Indian football team that won the Gold Medal at the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games.
- Syed Sabir Pasha represented Indian football team in the early 1990s. He also played for and coached Indian Bank-chennai
- Vasudevan Baskaran, captain of the Indian hockey team that won Olympic Gold in 1980 Moscow Olympics and Arjuna Award winner (1979–1980).
- Dhanraj Pillay (1968–), ex-Indian hockey team Captain, Arjuna Award winner (1995) and also winner of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (1999–2000).
- Adam Sinclair, member of the Indian hockey team at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
- Raja, member of the Indian hockey team team.
- Narain Karthikeyan, Coimbatore, India's first Formula 1 driver
- Karun Chandhok, Formula 1 driver
- S. Karivardhan, car constructor and National Champion
- Naren Kumar, 4 time National Rally Champion
- J. Anand, 3 time National F3 Grand Prix winner
- Ajith Kumar, Mechanic, F2 racer, Moto gp racer
- Nicol David, former world number 1.
- Vijay Amritraj, international champion and actor
- Anand Amritraj, international player
- Ashok Amritraj, international player
- Prakash Amritraj, international player
- Ramanathan Krishnan, international player
- Ramesh Krishnan, international player
- Nirupama Vaidyanathan, international player
- Vyjayanthimala, Bharatanatyam dancer, she introduced semi-classical dance in Bollywood
- Rukmini Devi Arundale, Bharatanatyam dancer and founder of Kalakshetra
- Balasaraswati, Bharatanatyam dancer
- Alarmel Valli, Bharatanatyam dancer
- Chitra Visweswaran, Bharatanatyam dancer
- Padma Subramanyam, Bharatanatyam dancer
- Pithukuli Murugadas, musician
- K.B. Sundarambal, actress/singer
- Sirkazhi Govindarajan, vocalist and Carnatic music exponent
- Vethathiri Maharishi, founder of the World Community Service Center
- Dr. Sirkazhi G. Sivachidambaram, vocalist and Carnatic music exponent
Religion and Spirituality
- Bodhidharma (5th/6th century), Buddhist monk and 28th patriarch of Buddhism. He was traditionally credited as the leading patriarch and transmitter of Zen to China.he spread shaolin kung fu in china
- Ayya Vaikundar (1809–1851), founder and preceptor of the Ayyavazhi sect
- Ramalinga Swamigal (1823–1873), popularly known as Vallalar
- Ramanuja (1017–1137), philosopher and saint of Vaishnavism
- Appayya Dikshidar (1520–1593), philosopher, followed Advaita School of Indian Philosophy
- Anandabharati Aiyangar (1786–1846), poet
- Ramana Maharshi (1879–1950)
- Yogaswami (1872–1964)
- Bangaru Adigalar (1941–)
- Sivananda Saraswati (1887–1963), proponent of Yoga and Vedanta
- Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy (1924–2014), Cardinal Priest of S Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri, Vatican City
- Dayananda Saraswati (1930–2015), Founder of the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam
- Yogiraj Shri Vethathiri Maharishi, founder of The World Community Service Center, an organisation striving for World peace from 1911
- Bala Prajapathi Adikalar, present Pattathu Ayya of Swamithope pathi and leader of Ayyavazhi religion
- Bishop Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah (1874–1945), the first Anglican Indian bishop, consecrated as the first bishop of the diocese of Dornakal in December 1912
- Thirumuruga Kirupananda Variyar
- D.G.S. Dhinakaran, Christian Evangelist and founder of Jesus Calls Ministries
- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
- Perumal Rasu, philosopher and painter
- Laxmisena, of the Mel Sithamur Jain Math, primary religious head of the Tamil Jain community
- Sadhu Kuppuswami, instrumental in the establishment of the Sangam organisation in Fiji
- Swami Vipulananda, Hindu social reformer, literary critic, author, poet, teacher and ascetic from the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka
- Thiruvalluvar, poet and author of the Tirukkuṛaḷ
- Tirumular, poet and author of Tirumantiram
- Kambar, author of Ramavataram
- Avvaiyar, author of Ātticcūṭi
- Eelattu Poothanthevanar, classical Sri Lankan poet of Sangam period
- Nakkeerar author of Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai
- Thirumular, author of Thirumandhiram
- Arunagirinathar, author of Thiruppugazh
- Sekkizhar, author of Periapuranam
- Manikkavasagar, author of Thiruvasagam and one of the Nayanmars
- Siva prakasar, author of Nanneri
- Nammalvar, author of Tiruvaymoli and one of the Alwars
- Thirumazhisai Alvar, author of Tiruchanda-virutham & one of the Alwars
- Andal, Author of Tiruppaavai and one of the Alwars.
- V. Akilesapillai,scholar, poet and author of Thirukonasala Vaipavam from Sri Lanka.
- Illango Adigal, poet and author of Silappathikaram
- Tirutakakatevar, author of Jivaka Chintamani
- Mandalapuruder, author of Vira Mandalaver is Sudamani Nigandhu
- Svarupananda Desikar
- Ramachandra Guha, social and political writer
- Bharathidasan (1891–1964), poet & rationalist
- Pattukkottai Kalyanasundaram, Wrote Revolutionary tamil poems in common men language
- Pudhumaipithan (1906–1948), fiction writer
- Samuel Vedanayagam Pillai, first Tamil novelist
- Akilan, novelist
- Ramalingam Pillai
- Thi.Janakiraman, novelist
- Mahavidwan Vasudeva Mudaliar, scholar
- Kalki Krishnamurthy (1899–1954), novelist and journalist
- Jayakanthan (1934–), writer and novelist
- G.P. Rajarathnam (1909–1979), Tamil-born Kannada poet and writer
- T.P. Kailasam (1884–1946), playwright and writer in Kannada literature from Karnataka
- Masti Venkatesha Iyengar (1891–1986), Kannada writer and recipient of Jnanpith Award
- Kannadasan (1927–1981), popularly called as Kavi Arasu poet, film lyricist & winner, National Film Award for Best Lyrics (1969)
- Vairamuthu (1953–), poet, film lyricist and winner, National Film Award for Best Lyrics (1986), (1993), (1995), (2000) and (2003)
- Leena Manimekalai
- Indira Soundarajan, novelist and short story writer
- Ashoka Mitran (born 1931), novelist & short story writer
- R.K. Narayan (1906–2001), English novelist and essayist
- Makaral Karthikeya Mudaliar, scholar
- Pa. Subramania Mudaliar, scholar
- Varadarasanar, novelist
- Sandilyan, novelist
- Pa. Vijay, film lyricist and winner, National Film Award for Best Lyrics (2005)
- Vaali, film lyricist
- Sujatha Rangarajan (1935–), novelist, haiku poet, film screenplay writer
- T.K. Doraiswamy (Nakulan), (1921–2007), poet, novelist, translator, professor of English Singapore writer (also, President of Singapore Law Society).
- Gopal Baratham (1935–2002), Singaporean writer and neurosurgeon
- Edwin Thumboo (1933–), Singaporean writer
- Shyam Selvadurai, Sri Lankan-Canadian novelist
- R. Raghava Iyengar
- K.S. Maniam
- Rani Manicka, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 2003 for South East Asia and South Pacific region
- Ronnie Govender, won the 1997 Commonwealth Writers' Prize
- Kessie Govender, playwright, actor and theatre director, who founded the Stable Theatre
- Arumuka Navalar (1822–1879), pioneer of Tamil prose & champion of Hinduism from Jaffna, Sri Lanka
- Siva prakasar, Saiva Siddantha, scholar, wrote 32 books in Tamil (Nanneri, Thiruchendur ula)
- Maraimalai Adigal, scholar and activist
- U.V. Swaminatha Iyer (1855–1942)
- Paventhar Bharathidasan, poet also known as "Puratchi Kavignar"
- Kalyanasundara Mudaliar, writer
- Varadarasanar, novelist
- Erode Tamilanban, poet
- Solomon Pappaiah, scholar and debate judge
- Pudhumaipithan, revolutionary writer from Tirunelveli Saiva Pillai community
- Jayakanthan, writer
- Kavimani Desigavinayagam Pillai, poet
- Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai, writer
- Perumal Rasu, writer, poet, painter
- Ramanuja Kavirayar, poet
- Gagan Narang, Olympic medalist (shooting)
- K.K. Raghava
- S. Chandrasekaran, nominated for the APBF Signature Art Prize 2008 as one of the top ten
- Tamil people
- Tamil diaspora
- List of Sri Lankan Tamils
- Tamil Canadian
- Tamil American
- Tamil Malaysians
- British Tamil
- Tamil Australian
- Tamil Indonesians
- Tamil South Africans
- Tamil Germans
- Tamils in France
- Tamil Mauritian
- Rajasekharan Parameswaran, Rajasekharan Parameswaran. "Guinness World Records". guinness world records. GWR.
- Bose, Sushmita (December 12, 2008). "Living in Times of Terror, Reaching out in Cyberspace". Khaleej Times. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- "The Solid Seven: India's most influential Gays & Lesbians". Pink-Pages. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Raheja, Dinesh (May 6, 2002). "Bollywood's Dancing Queen". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "Glossary | Terms | Eastern Terms | Bhattaraka". Herenow4u.net. January 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-15.