The Internet at the Speed of Thought

Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Refugees

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12. Aristotle Onassis

celebrity refugees aristotle onassis


Famous shipping magnate and second husband of Jacqueline Kennedy, Aristotle Onassis was born in Smyrna but fled the city because of the Greco-Turkish War of 1922.

13. Alek Wek

celebrity refugees alek wek


Born in present-day South Sudan to the Dinka ethnic group, Wek’s family had to flee both government and rebel forces during the civil war in Sudan. She came to Britain in 1991 when she was 14, and she enrolled in London’s College of Fashion.

Wek has gone on to become a famous model and fashion designer, considered one of the first black models who stayed true to her sub-Saharan beauty and an inspiration to many other black women.

14. Victor Hugo

celebrity refugees victor hugo


Best known for works like Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo was forced to flee France several times because of his strong political stances. When Napoleon III rose to power in 1851, Hugo lived in Belgium and then Jersey before settling on the island of Guernsey, where he wrote some of his most famous works. He didn’t return to France until after Napoleon III was forced from power.