Why Famous: One of the most controversial and studied figures in imperial Russian history, Rasputin was a self-proclaimed holy man and mystic who gained considerable influence in the court of Tsar Nicholas II as Nicholas' wife, Tsarina Alexandra, believed Rasputin could heal their hemophiliac son Tsarevich Alexei.
Rasputin was originally a peasant from Pokrovskoye in Siberia before becoming acquainted with the royal family in 1906. At court he was a highly divisive figure, with some seeing him as a true healer and others as a charlatan. Increasing tension within the household over his supposed influence led a group of Russian nobles to assassinate him in late 1916.
Many have credited the controversy over Rasputin's influence with helping to hasten the collapse of the Romanov dynasty during World War I.
- 1914-06-29 Jina Guseva attempts to assassinate Grigori Rasputin at his home town in Siberia.