How did Haile Selassie of Ethiopia Die

Explore the final chapter of Haile Selassie, Ethiopia’s last Emperor, as we delve into the intriguing circumstances and controversies surrounding his death in 1975.

Final Years of Reign

As we delve into understanding how Haile Selassie of Ethiopia died, it’s crucial to examine the final years of his reign. Haile Selassie, known for his efforts to modernize Ethiopia, faced increasing opposition in the 1970s. His rule, which began in 1930, saw significant developments but also encountered challenges, including public discontent and famine. The 1974 famine and dissatisfaction among the population led to widespread unrest. This unrest culminated in a military coup, marking the end of Selassie’s long reign and initiating a period of profound change in Ethiopia.

Queen Elizabeth II and President Algeria with Haile Selassie.

Circumstances of Death

The circumstances of Haile Selassie’s death in 1975, a year after his deposition, remain shrouded in controversy. Following the coup, he was placed under house arrest in his palace in Addis Ababa. Official sources at the time claimed that the former emperor died of natural causes. However, there have been persistent rumors and allegations suggesting foul play. Investigations and testimonies years later hinted that he might have been strangled on the orders of the then-ruling military government, but conclusive evidence has never been publicly verified, leaving the exact circumstances of his death a subject of debate and speculation.

Who Ruled Ethiopia after Haile Selassie?

After the overthrow of Haile Selassie, Ethiopia was ruled by a military junta known as the Derg, led by Mengistu Haile Mariam. The Derg abolished the monarchy and established a socialist state. Mengistu’s rule, which lasted until 1991, was marked by significant political turmoil, including the Red Terror campaign, a brutal crackdown on opposition, and ongoing conflicts.

How Old was Selassie when He Died?

Haile Selassie was 83 years old at the time of his death in 1975. Born on July 23, 1892, Selassie’s life spanned pivotal moments in both Ethiopian and global history, from the early 20th century through significant periods of change and upheaval in Africa.


The death of Haile Selassie, Ethiopia’s last emperor, marked the end of an era and left an indelible imprint on the nation’s history. His passing in 1975, under circumstances that remain a blend of official narratives and unresolved speculations, closed the chapter on a reign that had witnessed significant modernization efforts amidst formidable challenges. Selassie’s legacy, intertwined with Ethiopia’s journey through monarchical rule to a military-led regime, continues to evoke a complex mixture of reverence and critique. Reflecting on his life and the enigmatic details of his death, we are reminded of the intricate tapestry of Ethiopia’s history, a narrative that continues to shape the nation’s identity and its path forward.

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