Haile Selassie I is Ethiopia’s 225th and last emperor, serving from 1930 until his overthrow by the Marxist dictator 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.
Emperor Haile Selassie I was born on July 23, 1892, as Lij Taffari Makonnen at Enjersa Goro, just outside the city of Harrar Ethiopia. His parents were Ras Makonnen Wolde Michael, the governor of Harrar, and his wife, Woizero Yeshimebet Ali AbaJiffar. At the age of thirteen, Lij Taffari Makonnen was appointed a Dejazmatch by his father (“Commander or General of the Gate”) a military title meaning commander of the central body of a traditional Ethiopian armed force. Ras Makonnen also summoned all his officers and informed them that it was his wish that his son Dejazmatch Taffari succeed him as governor of Harrar although ultimate decisions as to the succession of the Harrar governorate belonged to his cousin Emperor Menelik II.
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