Malala, Obama, Rosé, Ronaldo and other famous folk born in the Year of the Ox

  • Activists like George Takei and Megan Rapinoe were born in this ox-cellent year, as well as the founders of Google
  • Members of Blackpink and BTS, as well as tennis star Naomi Osaka, are all oxen
Karly Cox |

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People born in the Year of the Ox are said to be strong, reliable, patient and trustworthy. They believe in themselves, but can also be stubborn, and dislike being challenged. They are often serious and strict, but are thought to have talent as leaders and inspire confidence in others.

Here are some of the most world’s famous Oxen – how many of them have these traits?

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Born in 1997, educational and human rights activist, and the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai became famous in 2012 aged 15 when Taliban gunmen tried to kill her. She wrote a blog for the BBC shining a light on life under Taliban rule, when girls were at times banned from going to school.

It's Malala's year! Photo: Reuters

Other political disrupters born in the Year of the Ox include American civil rights activists Rosa Parks (1913) and Malcolm X (1925); as well as actor George Takei (1937), who fights for racial equality and LGBTQ rights; and footballer Megan Rapinoe (1985) who is an outspoken advocate for equal pay for women.


Seeing how Adolf Hitler (1889) and Saddam Hussein (1937) were both Oxes, you’d be forgiven for thinking people born in this zodiac year shouldn’t be allowed to run for government. Napoleon (1769) and Margaret Thatcher (1925) are two more Ox leaders whose leadership styles divide people. But Barack Obama (1961) is also a bull! It’s fair to say, while all those leaders had very different approaches to leadership and politics, they all had strong beliefs that they fought for, and all made history.

Former US president Barack Obama is another famous ox.

Thinkers and scientists

Where would we be without Google? We have two Bulls to thank for that: Larry Page and Sergey Brin (1973), computer scientists who launched the famous search engine in 1998.

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Also in this focused gang is Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova (1937), the first and youngest woman to fly in space with a solo space mission. Reaching way back, we have George Stephenson (1781), known as the “father of railways”, who revolutionised rail transport, one of the most important inventions of its, and even all, time.

Google's co-founders, CEO Larry Page, left, and Chairman Sergey Brin, rest on bean bags at Google's headquarters in 2000. Photo: AP


Hans Christian Andersen (1805), the author of so many familiar fairy tales (The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes) that teach readers the value of resilience, individuality and hope – traits that a natural leader like an Ox might want to pass on.

Other bovine authors include Rudyard Kipling (1865), of The Jungle Book fame, and the 1973-born Twilight creator Stephenie Meyer.

If you're a huge Twilight fan, you can thank the Year of the Ox and Stephenie Meyer. Photo: AP

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The year of Hong Kong’s handover from British to Beijing rule coincided with the birth of some very talented sports people: Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, tennis great Naomi Osaka, footballer Marcus Rashford, and Formula One driver Max Verstappen are all 1997 Ox babies. Football legend Cristiano Ronaldo and NBA player Chris Paul – both were born in 1985 – are also bovine stars.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands poses for a photo at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne. It's fitting he's a Red Bull driver, considering he was born in the Year of the Ox! Photo: AP


Two of Hong Kong’s “Four Heavenly Kings”, Andy Lau Tak-wah (1961) and Jacky Cheung Hok-yau (also 1961) are bulls. So, too, are jazz great Louis Armstrong (1901), and Disney score maestro Alan Menken (1949) – he wrote songs for Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Enchanted and Tangled among others.

They’re joined by ’97 babies Lisa and Rosé from Blackpink (right), Camila Cabello, and BTS’ youngest member Jungkook.

It's your year, Jungkook! Photo: @BigHitEnt/ Twitter

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