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standard-title Famous Lefkadians

Famous Lefkadians

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Lefkada is often called the island of poets. Although it is such a small island, there are so many poets whose verses travel all around the world bearing the history of our island and our country. Some of them deserve to be characterized as national poets, the ones who created great ideas that were read and used by their worthy successors.

There are famous and precious names such as Aristotelis Valaoritis, Angelos Sikelianos, Lafcadio Hearn, Dimitrios Golemis, Anastasios Skiadaresis, Dimitrios Stampoglis, Kleareti Dipla Malamou, Kostas Valamonte, Nanos Valaoritis, Konstantinos Mamaloukas, Noni Stamatelou, Dimitrios Soldatos and many more.

Lefkada is a small place with a big contribution to all aspects of social life; politics, journalism, education, art, culture and science, that has offered many remarkable persons to the world, from the ancient times until today.


Agni Baltsa

agnes-baltsaAgni Baltsa (born 19 November 1944) is a leading Greek mezzo-soprano singer.

Baltsa was born in Lefkada. She began playing piano at the age of six, before moving to Athens in 1958 to concentrate on singing. She graduated from the Greek National Conservatoire in 1965 and then travelled to Munich to continue studying under a Maria Callas scholarship.

Baltsa made her first appearance in an opera in 1968 as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro at Frankfurt Opera, before going on to appear as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the Vienna State Opera in 1970. Under the guidance of Herbert von Karajan, she soon became a regular at the prestigious Salzburg Festival. She became Kammersängerin of the Vienna State Opera in 1980.

Her most well known performance is that of Carmen by Georges Bizet, which she has sung a number of times with great tenors such as José Carreras, Neil Shicoff, and others. She has also sung works by Mozart (notably Così fan tutte), Rossini (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, Semiramide, L’italiana in Algeri), Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana), Saint-Saëns (Samson et Dalila), Verdi (Aida, La forza del destino, Il trovatore, Don Carlos), Bellini (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), and Donizetti (Il Campanello, Maria Stuarda).

She also starred in the Austrian film Duett in 1992, playing an opera singer.

Alexandros Panagoulis

(2 July 1939-1 May 1976) was a Greek politician and poet. He took an active role in the fight against the Regime of the Colonels (1967–1974) in Greece. He became famous for his attempt to assassinate the dictator Georgios Papadopoulos on 13 August 1968, but also for the torture that he was subjected to during his detention. After the restoration of democracy he was elected to the Greek parliament as a member of the Centre Union (E. K.).

Anastasios Skiadaresis

(1877-1942) was a poet

Angelos Sikelianos

(28 March 1884 – 19 June 1951) was a Greek lyric poet and playwright. His themes include Greek history, religious symbolism as well as universal harmony in poems such as The Moonstruck, Prologue to Life, Mother of God, and Delphic Utterance. His plays include Sibylla, Daedalus in Crete, Christ in Rome, The Death of Digenis, The Dithyramb of the Rose and Asklepius. Although occasionally his grandiloquence blunts the poetic effect of his work, some of Sikelianos finer lyrics are among the best in Western literature

Apostolos Kaklamanis

(born September 7, 1936) is a lawyer and politician

Apostolos Santas

(22 February 1922-30 April 2011), commonly known as Lakis, was a Greek veteran of the Resistance against the Axis Occupation of Greece during World War II, most notable for his participation, along with Manolis Glezos, in the taking down of the German flag from the Acropolis on 30 May 1941.

Aristotelis Valaoritis

(1824-1879) was a Greek poet, representative of the Heptanesian School, and politician. He was also the great-grandfather of Nanos Valaoritis, one of the most distinguished writers of Greece

Aristoxenos Skiadas

(1932-1994) was a philologist, writer and translator

Despoina Themeli Katifori

(1931-1988) was a historian

Dimitrios Golemis

(November 15, 1874 – January 9, 1941) was a Greek athlete. He competed at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens. Golemis competed in the 800 metres. He finished second in his preliminary heat to advance to the final. There, he came in last of the three finalists who started the race, as Albin Lermusiaux of France withdrew from the final after defeating Golemis in the heats. Golemis’ third-place finish earned him a bronze medal (assigned retroactively by the International Olympic Committee, as no award was given for third place at the time).

He also competed in the 1,500 metres. He finished in the bottom half of the eight runners who took part in the single race of the event, though his exact position is unclear.

Dimitrios Paxinos

(born 1949) is a lawyer and has been President of the Law Society of Athens from 2002 to 2011

Dimitrios Petritsopoulos

(1763-1833) was a physician and historian

Dimitrios Stampoglis

(1881-1953) was a poet.

Dimitris E. Soldatos

(born 1969) is a poet

Dimitris Verykios

(born 1960) is an actor

Elli Stai

(born 1954) is a journalist

Elya Verykiou

(born 1972) is a poetess and translator

Filippos Grapsas

is a poet

Georgios Kontogiorgis

(born 1947) is a political scientist and has been President of the Panteion University

Georgios Ktenas

(1936-2004) was a politician

Gerasimos Grigoris

(1907-1985) was a writer and a sketch artist

Giannis Soldatos

(born 1952) is a writer, director and publisher

Hristos Soldatos

(died in 2014) was a historian and philologist

Ilias Georgakis

(born 1960) is a journalist and poet

Ilias Logothetis

(born 1939) is an actor

Ioannis (Nanos) Valaoritis

(born July 5, 1921) s a Greek writer who has been widely published as a poet, novelist and playwright since 1939; his correspondence with George Seferis (Allilographia 1945-1968, Ypsilon, Athens 2004) has been a bestseller. Raised within a cosmopolitan family with roots in the Greek War of Independence but twice driven into exile by events, Valaoritis has lived in Greece, the United Kingdom, France and the United States, and as a writer and academic he has played a significant role in introducing the literary idioms of each country to the rest. The quality, the international appeal, and the influence of his work have led Valaoritis to be described as the most important poet of the Hellenic diaspora since Constantine Cavafy.

Ioannis Zampelios

(1717-1856) was a lawyer, writer and poet

Justine Fragkouli


(born 1959) is a journalist and writer.

Kleareti Dipla Malamou

(1898-1977) was a poetess

Konstantinos Mahairas

(1862-1967) was a historian

Kostas Mamaloukas

(1954-2006) was a physicist and poet

Kostas Valamonte

(1911-1998) was a musician, painter and poet

Lafcadio Hearn


(27 June 1850 – 26 September 1904), known also by the Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo (小泉 八雲?), was an international writer, known best for his books about Japan, especially his collections of Japanese legends and ghost stories, such as Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. In the United States, Hearn is also known for his writings about the city of New Orleans based on his ten-year stay in that city.

Manolis Messinis

(born 1961) is a poet and writer

Nikolaos Flogaitis

(1799-1867) was a member of the Society of Friends (“Filiki Eteria”, a secret organization with the purpose to overthrow the Ottoman Rule and establish an independent Greek State)

Nikos Katiforis

(1903-1967) was a lawyer and writer

Nikos Svoronos

(1911-1989) was a historian

Noni Stamatelou

(born 1960) is a poetess

Panos Rontogiannis

(1911-1996) was a historian and philologist, founder of the Public Library of Lefkada and the Collection of Post-Byzantine Icons

Pantazis Kontomihis

(1924-1996) was a writer, philologist and folklorist

Spyridon Gazis

(1838-1920) was a painter

Spyridon Ventouras

(1761-1835) was a painter of the Eptanesian School

Spyridon Zampelios

(1815-1881) was a historian

Spyros Filippas Panagos

(1906-1973) was a poet and journalist

Theodoros Stamos

(December 31, 1922 – February 2, 1997) was a Greek-American artist. He was one of the youngest painters of the original group of abstract expressionist painters (the so-called “Irascibles”), which included Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooningand, Mark Rothko

Tzavalas Karousos


(1904-1969) was an actor

Vasilis Fragkoulis

(1904-1974) was a naval officer and professor of naval engineering.

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