The 10 Most famous Serbs

The country located at the heart of the Balkans, the Republik of Serbia, has to offer a lot. Take the time to explore Serbia which consists of very friendly people with a triple A hospitality. You will love to eat all the great food and to drink the tasty local beer, Rakia (liquor made of fruits e.g. prunns) and the wine. The tourism industry is well organized and offers many excursions and trips throughout the beautiful landscape of Serbia.

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From scientists whose brilliant discoveries changed the course of history and famous athletes to talented actors, directors and artists who wrote their names with golden letters on the top pages of world culture and art. We give to you the 10 Serbs whose names are known across the planet!

1. Nikola Tesla, the genius who tamed lightning

The man largely responsible for the functioning of everyday life of millions of people across the globe, comes from Serbia. Nikola Tesla was born in Smiljan in 1856. This renowned genius of the 20th century is responsible for many discoveries and inventions. Some of the most famous ones are the first hydroelectric power plantalternating current,the induction motor, the system for the production and distribution of electricity and over 700 other patents.

Nikola Tesla, master of lightning

Even though many thought that he was crazy and despite the fact that he was ridiculed his entire life, all of Tesla’s used projects have turned out true and his estimates correct. The Belgrade airport was named after this talented scientists and in the Serbian capital there is also a unique “Nikola Tesla” museum that you simply have to visit if you find yourself in Belgrade!

2. Novak Đoković, the world’s best tennis player

A young athlete who made it to the very top of tennis just won’t stop breaking world records and impressing millions of people worldwide. Novak Đoković was born on May 22, 1987 in Belgrade. He picked up a racket for the first time at the age of four, and he knew what he wanted straight away – to become the best tennis player in the world and to win the prestigious Wimbledon.

Novak Djokovic Miami Masters

Novak Đoković also holds two Guinness records. The first record is for the most wins at the Australian Open, 6 of them in total – 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. And as far as the other record is concerned, it is for the longest Grand Slam final in the history of tennis. Apart from most certainly being one of the most famous Serbs, Nole has been proclaimed the best athlete of the year for a number of times.

3. Marina Abramović, a performance artist not of this time

Art that shocks and a face you don’t forget. This is perhaps the easiest way to describe the famous Marina Abramović. The unique and unusual artist was born on November 30, 1946 in a Partisan family. She became famous for her unusual performances and shocking spectacles many people deem perverse, controversial, vulgar, alien, but towards which nobody stays indifferent.

Marina Abramović, a performance artist

She won the Venetian Golden Lion, and New Yorkers will remember her for her great retrospective and performance recreation entitled “The Artist Is Present”, whose title was also used for a documentary film about Abramović, directed by Matthew Akers. Her main goal was to cause a reaction from the audience and that is exactly what she did a long time ago, thus earning a place in the very top of world art.

4. Karl Malden, the first Serbian Oscar winner

If you were to ask anyone in Hollywood whether they knew someone named Mladen Sekulović, you would get only a “no” for an answer. But if you were to ask people about Karl Malden, you would get a smile, a nod and a “yes”! And how could you not? This famous actor of Serbian-Czech descent played important roles in more than 65 films and that’s why he’s rightfully considered a film Great.

karl malden

Malden became hugely popular after his role in the film called “A Streetcar Named Desire”, as well as because of his role in the popular TV series “The Streets of San Francisco”. Still, in Serbia Malden as known as the first Serb who managed to win the prestigious award of the American film academy – the Oscar.

5. Mihajlo Idvorski Pupin, one of the founders of the NASA agency

Together with Nikola Tesla and Milutin MilankovićPupin is considered one of the greatest and most brilliant Serbian minds. We’re talking about a world-famous scientists who perfected the telephonewon the Pulitzer and came to the USA with only 5 cents in his pocket. Pretty extraordinary, right?

Mihajlo Pupin

Apart from all of that, the award for contributing to the national interests of the US is named after him, and so is a crater on the Moon. We also mustn’t forget that Pupin was one of the founders of an organization which had later become the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

6. Vlade Divac, one of the first Europeans to play a major role in the NBA

A young man from Serbia whose name now has its own chapter in the annals of world basketball is one of the first European players to shine in the NBA leagueVlade Divac was born on February 3, 1968 in Prijepolje and is today one of the biggest ambassadors of Serbia in the world.

Vlade Divac

Divac is also a man ranked in the 50 Greatest Euroleague contributors and the jersey number he had in the Sacramento Kings is retired. Also, he is one of seven players in NBA history to record 13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocked shots, which is why he’s nominated for the FIBA Hall of Fame.

7. Emir Kusturica, an artist, builder and anti-globalist

The world knows him as a fantastic director, musician and screenwriter, whose career is adorn with a number of cinematographic, music and architectural awards. Emir Kusturica was born on November 24, 1954 in Sarajevo. He has won the Palme d’Or at Cannes twice for his movies “When Father Was Away on Business” and “Underground”. His anti-globalist attitudes cause polemics even today.

Kusturica is also known as the creator of the Drvengrad ethno village which was built for the purposes of filming “Life is a Miracle”. The famous film and music festival Kustendorf is hosted in this unique and magic village located in Mokra Gora. This manifestation brings together an increasing number of Serbian and foreign filmmakers and contemporary art film greats.

8. Volter Bogdanić, a three-time Pulitzer prize winner

Did you know the only journalist in the USA to win the Pulitzer prize three times is called Volt Bogdanić and that he comes from a Serbian colony in Chicago? Bogdanić embarked in journalism in 1973 and got the first of these prestigious awards working as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Volter Bogdanic


He received his second Pulitzer for the research he had done on accidents in the US railway, and the third for a research paper on toxic Chinese products on the US market. The popular journalist, whose grandfather was a famous merchant from Belgrade and the owner of the “Palas” hotel, said that his Serbian origin is more important to him than all of the prizes he won.

9. Dušan Čarls Simić, a Pulitzer prize winner and a US Poet Laureate

When he left his hometown Belgrade, he was only 16. Today, he is one of the most authentic avant garde poets, a Pulitzer prize winner and the owner of the US Poet Laureate title. Dušan Simić was born on May 9, 1938 and he’s the proud owner of many acclaims, prizes and medals.

Carls Dusan Simic


He gained world fame with the famous lyrics “About Odysseus who’s making a Greek baklava”“Ophelia chewing a gum” and the poetry collection called “The World Doesn’t End”. By translating the works of Serbian writers such as Milorad Pavić, Vasko Popa and Ivan Lalić, he significantly contributed to the popularization of Serbian literature in the US.

10. Mila Jovović, one of Hollywood’s most beautiful faces

A combination of Serbian and Ukraine genes created a timeless beauty, a talented actress, a charming photo-model, a musician and a designer. Mila Jovović was born on December 17, 1975 and she started her carreer at 11 years of age. In October 1987 she made it on the cover of an Italian magazine Lei and from that point on she never left the spotlight.

Mila Jovovic

She is the heroine of numerous films such as the Fifth element“Return to the Blue Lagoon”, “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc”. She published her first music album, “The Divine Comedy”, in 1994, and her face found its place on countless world famous magazines.

The list of talented, invaluable and important Serbs who, with their hard work, became world-famous doesn’t end here.We just presented some of them, and we leave it to you to add more to the list!

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