Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Fast Facts
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (born February 15, 1954) is the president of Brazil. He was re-elected on a wave of electoral support and is the first democratically elected president in Brazil in over 100 years. He is the country’s fourth democratically elected president after Gomes da Silva, Lúcio de Oliveira Salazar, and Dilma Rousseff. He has been compared to Presidents Bush and Obama due to his popularity and has been dubbed the “Father of Brazil”.
As of May 2018, he is the world record holder for the largest campaign donation, surpassing $6.55 million.
ChildhoodDuring his childhood, Lula was a self-taught artist, who did illustrations and sketches of people and objects in his neighborhood.
He became a lawyer in 1974, at the age of 24, and joined the Brazilian Socialist Party when he was 25. He was active in the Workers’ Party (PT), which was founded by Lula’s grandfather, João Goulart, and his father, João Goulart Junior (João Goulart Jr.). His younger brother, Luís Inácio, was also a member of the Socialist Party and became a minister of the presidency. Lula joined the Workers’ Party because of its emphasis on the working class. Lula became national secretary of PT in 1979 and from there became a member of the party’s central committee as the party gained popularity.
Lula began using the pseudonym “Luiz Inácio Lula” as his political identity when he ran for congress in the 1980 Brazilian presidential election, having registered as a presidential candidate (later becoming a member of congress) at the age of 24. He was elected president of the Brazilian Socialist Party in a runoff election for the Brazilian Socialist Party presidential candidacy in 1985.
Political activitiesThe Brazilian Socialist Party of Lula was the first political party founded by a former president in 60 years. During his first years in office, his government implemented radical social reforms. As the socialist party gained popularity after Lula became president, the PT merged with it to become the Brazilian Social Democratic Party of Lula. Lula was in office from 1985 to 2002 and has been called the most significant president of the 20th century.
During the government of Lula, inflation peaked at over 1000 percent in 1991, unemployment reached an all-time high