Profession: 6th President of Iraq
Why Famous: As an Iraqi-Kurdish politician, Talabani was the first non-Arab president of Iraq, and was the founder and secretary general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
Widely known as "Mam Jalal" (Uncle Jalal), Talabani was a long-time campaigner for a sovereign Kurdish state in northern Iraq. He lived just long to see the 2017 Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum cast 92% votes in favor of independence.
- 2005-04-06 Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani becomes the Iraqi president; Shiite Arab Ibrahim al-Jaafari is named premier the next day
- 2017-09-25 92% of Iraqi Kurds vote in favour of independence in controversial referendum