Born Luiz Inácio da Silva in Caetés, Pernambuco, Brazil, Lula is the 35th president of Brazil. He is the seventh of Aristides Inácio da Silva and Eurídice Ferreira de Melo‘s eight children.
Lula lives in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, Brazil. He had little education but went on to become the first person to be democratically elected as Brazil’s president three times.
Aside from being a politician, Lula is also a trade unionist, a former metalworker and a father of five. Here are 13 more things about him:
- In 1955, he started learning to read. In 1957, he worked as a shoeshiner and a street vendor. In 1959, he worked in a warehouse.
- In 1964, he lost a finger on his left hand while working as a press operator in an automobile parts factory and had to run to several hospitals before he received medical attention. The experience prompted him to become involved in union activities.
- In 1969, he and Maria de Lurdes Ribeiro got married. In 1971, she died of hepatitis while pregnant with their first son, who also died. In the same year, he started smoking.
- In 1974, his then girlfriend Miriam Cordeiro gave birth to their daughter. In the same year, he married Marisa Letícia Rocco Casa. He and Casa have three sons together and he adopted her son from a previous marriage.
- In 1975, he was elected as president of the Steel Workers’ Union of São Bernardo do Campo and Diadema, São Paulo. He was reelected in 1978, the same year his father died an alcoholic.
- He was the national president of the Worker’s Party in Brazil from August 9, 1980 to January 17, 1988 and from July 15, 1990 to January 24, 1994. From February 1, 1987 to February 1, 1991, he was the federal deputy of São Paulo.
- From January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2010, he served as the president of Brazil.
- In 2011, he was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent chemotherapy. He successfully recovered.
- On February 2, 2017, Casa died. In July 2017, he was convicted on charges of money laundering and corruption and sentenced was to 9 years and 6 months in prison.
- In April 2018, he was arrested. He went on to spend 580 days in jail in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil where he met Rosângela da Silva. In November 2019, he was released from prison.
- In March 2021, Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin ruled that all of his convictions must be nullified because he was tried by a court that did not have proper jurisdiction over his case. In April 2021, other Supreme Court Justices confirmed the ruling and restored his political rights. On June 24, 2021, all of the cases brought against him were annulled.
- On May 18, 2022, he married da Silva in São Paulo. On October 30, 2022, he defeated Jair Bolsonaro in the presidential election of Brazil.
- He was 77 years old when he assumed office as Brazil’s 39th president on January 1, 2023.