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Notable people with this name or title include the following:
As a surname
- Ayyagari Sambasiva Rao (1914–2003) an Indian scientist, founder of the Electronics Corporation of India Limited
- Adinarayana Rao, Telugu film director and founder of Anjali pictures.
- Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Telugu film actor and founder of Annapurna studios. He received Padma Bhushan for his contribution to film industry.
- Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao (1920-) Indian-born American mathematician and statistician
- Chintapenta Satyanarayana Rao Indian writer, actor, director and producer
- Chittajallu Srinivasa Rao (1924–) an Indian film actor, writer and director
- Dabeeru C. Rao, Indian-American statistical geneticist
- Dasari Narayana Rao, Telugu film director and Actor.
- Dileep Rao (1973–) American actor
- Gnaneshwara Rao, Indian cricketer
- K. R. Rao, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas and co-inventor of the discrete cosine transform
- K. S. Rama Rao Telugu cinema producer
- Kodela Siva Prasad Rao, speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly
- Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao, Chief minister of Telangana
- K. T. Rama Rao, Former minister of Telangana Government and current Working President of Telangana Rashtra Samithi
- Michael Rao (1967–) president of Virginia Commonwealth University since 2009
- Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (28 May 1923 – 18 January 1996), film personality and former chief Minister of united Andhra Pradesh
- Narla Tata Rao, Engineer and recipient of Padma Shri award
- Neomi Rao, American attorney and government official
- Nirmala Rao, British academic, present VC of Asian University for Women.
- P. V. Narasimha Rao - 9th Prime Minister Of India
- Rajkummar Rao, Indian film actor.
- Ramoji Rao, Telugu businessman, owner of Ramoji group
- Samarla Venkata Ranga Rao (3 July 1918 – 18 July 1974), Telugu film actor and recipient of Rashtrapati Award and International Award
- Thummala Nageswara Rao, Telangana minister
- Vandana Rao Arjuna Awardee who represented India in 1984 and 1988 Olympics in 4 × 400 m women relay race
- Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Rao (known as Ranga; July 4, 1947 – December 26, 1988) was an Indian National Congress politician
As a title
- Sir Madhava Rao Thanjavurkar (1829–1891) - Diwan of Travancore from 1857 to 1872.
- Sir R. Raghunatha Rao (c. February 1831 – May 3, 1912) - Diwan of Indore from 1875–1888
- Sir R. Venkata Rao - Diwan of Travancore from 1821–1829.
- Thanjavur Subha Rao - Diwan of Travancore from 1830–1837.
- V. P. Madhava Rao - 17th Diwan of the Mysore kingdom
- T. Ananda Rao - 18th Diwan of the Mysore kingdom
- N. Madhava Rao 23rd Diwan of the Mysore Kingdom
- K. Krishnaswamy Rao - Diwan of Travancore from 1898–1904
- T. Rama Rao (administrator) - Diwan of Travancore from 1887–1892
- Baji Rao I - Appointed as minister by Chhatrapati Shahu
- Madhavrao I - Peshwa of Maratha Empire
- Narayanrao Peshwa - Peshwa of Maratha Empire
- Raghunathrao - Peshwa of Maratha Empire
- Madhavrao II - Peshwa of Maratha Empire
- Baji Rao II - Peshwa of Maratha Empire
- Rao Tula Ram, one of the key leaders of the Indian rebellion of 1857, in Haryana.
- Rao Gopal Dev, a leader of the Indian rebellion of 1857, in Haryana.
- Rao Birender Singh, 2nd Chief Minister of Haryana.
- Rao Inderjit Singh, Member of Parliament 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th Lok Sabha. Cabinet Minister, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Statistics and Programme Implementation, Planning and Defence.
- Rao Narbir Singh (born 1961) Cabinet Minister, Government of Haryana for Department of Public Works (B&R), Haryana and Department of Public Health Engineering (Water Supply and Sanitation), Haryana (2014)
- Rao Narendra Singh (born 1962)
3 times MLA, Former Cabinet Minister, Government of Haryana for Health, Medical Education & Elections, Haryana (2011)
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