Haile Selassie I was Ethiopia's 225th and last emperor, serving from 1930 until his overthrow by the Marxist Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1974. The longtime ruler traced his line back to Menelik I, who was credited with being the child of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
He was born in a mud hut in Ejersa Gora on July 23, 1892. Originally named Lij Tafari Makonnen, he was the only surviving and legitimate son of Ras Makonnen, the governor of Harar.
Emperor Haile Selassie, the last emperor in the 3,000-year-old Ethiopian monarchy, who ruled for half a century before he was deposed by military coup. He was 83 years old.
His death was played down by the military rulers who succeeded him in Addis Ababa, who announced it in a normally scheduled radio newscast there at 7 A.M. They said that he had been found dead in his bed by a servant, and that the cause of death was probably related to the effects of a prostate operation Haile Selassie underwent two months ago.
The broadcast said that the once-revered "Lion of Judah's" only surviving daughter, Princess Tenagne-Work, visited the former Emperor Tuesday at his request, after he had determined that his health was rapidly deteriorating.