Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Fast Facts
Posted August 5, 2013
Here's a look at the life of Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Personal: Birth date: October 27, 1945
Birth place: Garanhuns, Pernambuco, Brazil
Father: Aristedes Inacio da Silva, agriculture worker
Mother: Euridice Ferreira de Mello, seamstress
Marriages: Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva (1974-2017, her death); Maria de Lourdes Lula da Silva (1969-1971, her death)
Children: with Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva: Luis Claudio, Sandro, Fabio and Marcos (from her first marriage and adopted by da Silva); with Miriam Cordeiro: Lurian
Other Facts: He goes by the nickname Lula, which he formally added to his name in 1982.
Da Silva's father was against education and believed supporting the family was more important, so da Silva didn't learn to read until age 10 and began working full-time at 12.
He left school completely after the fifth grade to work full-time.
Has nine fingers, having lost the little finger on his left hand in a work accident.
First wife, Maria, died of hepatitis in her eighth month of pregnancy along with the child.
Unhappy with the lack of political representation of the working class in Brazil, he decided to get involved in politics.
Da Silva is a founding member of Brazil's only socialist political party, Partido dos Trabalhadores, The Workers' Party.
Regularly gives speeches about his belief that global institutions such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization favor rich nations and must be revamped to address the needs of developing nations, where most of the world's population lives.
Longtime friend of Fidel Castro; visited him in September 2003. Castro backed all of his presidential runs.
Timeline: 1966 - Becomes a metalworker and is active in the metalworkers union.
1975 - Elected president of the metalworkers union.
March 10, 1980 - Helps found the Partido dos Trabalhadores, the Workers' Party.
April 19-May 19, 1980 - As one of the leaders of a metalworkers union strike, is arrested after police confront workers. He is held for 31 days.
November 1982 - Comes in fourth in the gubernatorial race for the state of Sao Paolo.
1983 - Helps found the Central -nica dos Trabalhadores, a national trade union confederation.
1986 - Elected to the Brazilian congress.
1989, 1994 and 1998 - Is the Workers' Party candidate for president; he comes in second each time.
October 27, 2002 - Is elected president in a runoff election with 61.3% of the vote.
January 1, 2003 - Inaugurated as president of Brazil.
October 29, 2006 - Wins a second four-year term in office with 61% of the vote.
September 30, 2008 - Reacts to the downturn in global and US markets: "We can't be turned into victims of the casino erected by the American economy."
October 2009 - Is credited with helping Rio de Janeiro to win the 2016 Summer Olympics, the first Olympics to be held in South America.
January 1, 2010 - A film dramatization of da Silva's life, called "Lula, Son of Brazil," opens in Brazil.
April 2010 - Is voted number one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2010.
January 1, 2011 - Leaves office with a 90% approval rating.
October 29, 2011 - Is diagnosed with throat cancer.
February 17, 2012 - It is announced that da Silva's cancer is in complete remission.
March 4, 2016 - Da Silva is questioned by police probing potentially damning corruption claims that the former leader denies. The interrogation comes the same day authorities search the ex-president's home, the Lula Institute, his son's home and others. Police say the activity is part of a broader inquiry into corruption and money laundering tied to Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras.
March 16, 2016 - Da Silva accepts an offer to become chief of staff for his successor and prot-g-, Dilma Rousseff. The appointment gives da Silva some legal immunity in a corruption investigation and fuels political tensions in the divided country. Da Silva is sworn in as chief of staff on March 17.
March 18, 2016 - A judge from Brazil's Supreme Federal Court files an injunction blocking da Silva from becoming chief of staff to President Dilma Rousseff.
September 14, 2016 - According to state-run news agency Agencia Brasil, Brazilian prosecutors file corruption charges against da Silva and his wife, Marisa Leticia da Silva. The charges stem from the Operation Car Wash money laundering investigation. Da Silva sends out a series of tweets after the charges are announced, calling them "fiction." In a statement, da Silva's lawyers say the case is politically motivated and accuse the prosecution of making hasty conclusions.
September 20, 2016 - A Brazilian judge rules that there is enough evidence for da Silva, his wife and six others to stand trial on corruption charges.
February 3, 2017 - Da Silva's wife, Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva, passes away.
July 12, 2017 - Da Silva is found guilty of the charges of corruption and money laundering stemming from bribes and benefits he received from a state-run oil company Petrobras. Brazilian Federal Judge Sergio Moro sentences Da Silva to nine-and-a-half years in jail. He remains free during his appeal, and faces corruption, obstruction of justice and money laundering charges in four other court cases.