Lists of Albanians

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History of Albania

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


Fan Noli is venerated in Albania as a champion of literature, history, theology, diplomacy, journalism, music and national unity.
Kristo Negovani was a religious leader and writer for the Albanian cause.
Ernest Simoni is a cardinal and presbyter.


  • Dhimitër Frangu (1443 – 1525), friar and scholar of a noble family, was treasurer and councilor of Giorgio Castriota. In 1480 he wrote the first biography, in Latin, on the life of Scandebeg, from which all later writers drew.
  • Father Marin Barleti (1450 – 1513), Catholic ecclesiastic and writer, author of the life of Scanderbeg.
  • Mons. Giovanni Castriota Granai (1467 – 1516), bishop and leader.
  • Gjon Buzuku (1499 – 1577), bishop Catholic, author of the oldest known document in Albanian: a translation of the Roman Missal, "Meshari" (1555).
  • Pjetër Budi (1565 – 1622), Catholic priest and writer. He published three books in Albanian and I leave several poems in his native language.
  • Papa Luca Matranga (1567 – 1619), priest and scholar, author of the first literary expression arbëresh of the Albanians in diaspora.
  • Frang Bardhi (1606 – 1644), Catholic bishop, lexicographer, folklorist and ethnographer, author of the first dictionary of the Albanian language known so far.
  • Pjetër Bogdani (1630 – 1689), Catholic bishop and writer, author of the first Albanian work in prose.
  • Papa Nikollë Filja (1691 – 1769), was a priest and writer.
  • Mons. Giuseppe Crispi (1781 – 1859), was one of the major figures of the Arbëresh community of Sicily of that era, he wrote a number of works on the Albanian language.
  • Papa Francesco Antonio Santori (1819 – 1894), was a writer, poet and playwright.
  • Nikoll Kaçorri (1862 – 1917), Catholic religious, politician and patriot, deputy prime minister with Ismail Qemali, in the first Albanian government (1912–1913).
  • Gjergj Fishta (1871 – 1940), Franciscan friar, poet, politician and translator.
  • Mons. Theofan Stilian Noli (1882 – 1965), he was a bishop and intellectual, writer, scholar, diplomat, politician, historian, orator, founder of the Orthodox Church of Albania.
  • Papa Marco La Piana (1883 – 1958), was a priest and scholar, gave his contribute through his studies on Albanian language.
  • Anton Harapi (1888 – 1946), Franciscan friar, teacher, writer and politician.
  • Zef Valentini (1900 – 1979), Italian Jesuit, albanologist, byzantinist and historian, naturalized Albanian.
  • Cyril of Bulgaria (1901 – 1971), the first Patriarch of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, born of an Albanian family.
  • Father Gjon Shllaku (1907 – 1946), Franciscan friar, teacher and publicist.
  • Father Zef Pllumi (1924 – 2007), Franciscan priest and writer, author of the memoirs of Christian religious persecution in Albania.
  • Mons. Ercole Lupinacci (1933 – 2016), was a Bishop of Italo-Albanian Catholic Eparchies of Piana degli Albanesi and Lungro.
  • Mons. Sotir Ferrara (1937 – 2017), was the Bishop of the Eparchy of Piana degli Albanesi, a diocese of the Italo-Albanian Catholic Church in Sicily, Italy.
  • Papa Eleuterio Francesco Fortino (1938 – 2010), was a priest of the Italo-Albanian Catholic Church, Archimandrite in the Eparchy of Lungro in Calabria, served as the Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and albanolog.
  • Arch. Rrok Kola Mirdita (1939 – 2015), Catholic archbishop.
  • Mons. Angelo Massafra (1949), metropolitan archbishop of Scutari-Pult and president of the Albanian Episcopal Conference.
  • Mons. Donato Oliverio (1956), is the Bishop of the Eparchy of Lungro.
  • Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani


  • Papa Kristo Negovani (1875 – 1905), was a religious leader and writer for the Albanian cause.
  • Father Daniel Dajani (1906 – 1946), Jesuit religious and martyr, blessed of the Catholic Church. He was killed by the regime during the communist dictatorship in Albania.
  • Father Anton Luli (1910 – 1998), Jesuit, martyr of Christ and blessed, killed during the communist dictatorship in Albania.


Saints and blessed[edit]

  • Blessed Father Giorgio Guzzetta (1682 – 1756), Servant of God and Apostle of the Albanians of Sicily, did his utmost to defend the eastern rite of the Albanians of Italy.
  • Frano Gjini (1886 – 1948), blessed, Catholic bishop and martyr.
  • Saint Gjon Pantalia (1887 – 1947), martyr Jesuit, blessed of the Catholic Church, killed during the communist dictatorship in Albania.
  • Saint Papa Josif Papamihali (1912 – 1948), priest of Byzantine rite, formed in the Albanian communities of Italy, martyr of the Albanian Greek-Catholic Church, arrested, sentenced to forced labor and killed during the communist dictatorship in Albania.
  • Holy Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997), was a Roman Catholic religious and missionary.


Blessed P. Giorgio Guzzetta, Apostle of the Albanians of Sicily.
Girolamo de Rada was the foremost figure of the Albanian Renaissance movement in 19th century in Italy.
Giuseppe Schirò was an among the most important figures of the Albanian cultural and literary movement of the 19th century in Italy.
Romantic writer Dora d'Istria was a vocal advocate of Albanian rights in Western Europe.
Ismail Kadare is the best-known novelist of the past century in Albanian literature.




Giulio Variboba was a priest poet that gave an important contribution to the literature in the Albanian language.
Gabriele Dara is regarded as one of the early writers of the Albanian National Awakening.
Naim Frashëri is regarded as the national poet of Albania
Gjergj Fishta was the author of the epic poem Lahuta e Malcís.
Lasgush Poradeci was one of the most distinguished poets of 20th century Albania.




Shtjefën Gjeçovi is considered the father of Albanian folklore studies.


Noted scholar and translator Kostandin Kristoforidhi.

Academic sciences[edit]


Scholar and philosopher Hasan Tahsini served as the first rector of Istanbul University.
Ferid Murad is a physician and pharmacologist, and a co-winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Albanian-American astronaut William G. Gregory.





Scholars and linguists[edit]

Prominent scholar of the early National Revival period, Naum Veqilharxhi is known for having written the first textbook in the Albanian language. He also created a unique alphabet that is today known as the Vithkuqi script.


Ismail Qemali was the founder of modern-day Albania and served as the country's first prime minister.
  • 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

Politicians and diplomats[edit]

Visual Arts[edit]

Multimedia artists[edit]


Carl Ritter von Ghega was an Albanian-Austrian engineer and architect who designed the Semmering railway, the world's first mountain railway.


Portrait of a young Kolë Idromeno.
Impressionist painter Vangjush Mio.

Cartoonists and illustrators[edit]



Kel Marubi was the most notable photographer during the post-Independence years.

Performing arts[edit]

Actors and actresses[edit]

Aleksandër Moisiu was a famous actor of European stage.
Actor Jim Belushi was born in Chicago to Albanian parents.

Comedians and satirists[edit]

Film and television directors[edit]

Dancers and choreographers[edit]

Renowned dancer and choreographer Angelin Preljocaj is a recipient of the Prix Benois de la Danse award.

Models and beauty pageant participants[edit]

Supermodel Emina Cunmulaj
Fashion model Afërdita Dreshaj is married to former Czech ice hockey player Jakub Kindl.

Television personalities[edit]







Rita Ora during a live performance in Glasgow.
Dua Lipa at the Roskilde music festival.

Tenors and sopranos[edit]

Tefta Tashko was the most famous operatic singer of the pre-war period.
Inva Mula during a performance.


Tie Domi is a former professional ice hockey player known for his time as the enforcer of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Australian rules footballer Adem Yze.

Football players[edit]

Fatmire Bajramaj is a former World Cup winning midfielder who placed third in the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or competition, an annual award given to the world's best player.
Footballer Xherdan Shaqiri was one of the four players of Albanian descent who represented Switzerland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Martial artists[edit]

Olympic gold medalist Majlinda Kelmendi topped the IJF Women's Prestige World Ranking List in 2014.

Other sports[edit]

Ottoman era Albanians[edit]

Ali Pasha of Ioannina was an Ottoman Albanian ruler who served as pasha of a large part of western Rumelia, the Ottoman Empire's European territories, which was referred to as the Pashalik of Yanina.
Enver Pasha was an Ottoman military officer and a leader of the 1908 Young Turk Revolution. He became the main leader of the Ottoman Empire in both the Balkan Wars (1912–13) and in World War I (1914–18).


Albanian-Danish chef René Redzepi founded the two-Michelin star restaurant Noma in 2003.
Martin Shkreli gained notoriety for raising the price of life-saving drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent.

See also[edit]

Native communities[edit]


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