Anna Akhmatova - born in 1889 in Odessa; considered by some to be the greatest Russian poetess.
Isaac Babel - born in 1894 in Odessa; his short stories about life in Odessa are some of his most famous works.
Oksana Baiul - known as the "Swan of Odessa"; won the gold medal for figure skating in the 1994 Olympic Games.
Ilf and Petrov - born in 1897 and in 1903 in Odessa; Soviet co-authors humorists most famous for their works "12 Chairs" and "The Golden Calf".
Vladimir Jabotinsky - born in 1880 in Odessa; founder of the Zionist Revisionist movement.
Wassily Kandinsky - moved to Odessa when he was 5 years old; a famous abstractionist painter, one of the first to use this style of painting.
Valentin Kataev - born in 1897 in Odessa; brother of Evgeniy Petrov (from Ilf and Petrov); Soviet playwright and novelist.
David Oistrakh - born in 1908 in Odessa; a graduate of the Odessa Conservatory, world-renowned violin virtuoso.
Yuri Olesha - grew up in Odessa; famous Russian-Soviet novelist; some of his famous works include "Envy", "Three fat men".
Irina Ratushinskaya - born in 1954 in Odessa; a Russian political dissident in the 1980s, wrote essays about her time in the labor camps.