Home > Categories > Politics and Government > Politicians > Muammar Gaddafi's Biography

Muammar Gaddafi's Biography

Browse biogs A-Z
Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi was born in 1942 to a Bedouin family in the Libyan desert region of Sirte.

Gaddafi studied at the University of Libya and the Military Academy in Benghazi in 1963. He also trained at the British Army Staff College in the UK.

He formed the Free Officers Movement, which would prove instrumental in overthrowing Libyan King Idris I, in a coup organised whilst the king was abroad. Gaddafi came to power in Libya on 1 September 1969.

Gaddafi was greatly influenced by Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser, who said shortly before he died in 1970: "I rather like Gaddafi. He reminds me of myself when I was that age."

In 1977, Gaddafi invented a system of government called the Jamahiriya , meaning 'state of the masses'. He also expounded his political philosophy in his Green Book.

Gaddafi cut an unusual and controversial figure. His relations with the west were notoriously sour (although relations seemed to significantly improve in the 21st century). Libya's bad relations with Britain were inflamed when PC Yvonne Fletcher was shot dead by a gunman inside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984, and the 1988 downing of the Pan Am Flight 103 at Lockerbie in Scotland killing 270 people, as well as Libyan support for the IRA.

A Time profile of Colonel Gaddafi covers how his adopted daughter was killed in 1986 in a U.S.-led bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi in retaliation for the Libyan government's suspected involvement in the bombing of a German disco that killed several U.S. service members.

Gaddafi's personal guard was made up of female guards, trained to kill.

In February 2011, there was major civil unrest in Libya. Peaceful street protests escalated into an uprising against Gaddafi and was met by deadly force.

On 20 October 2011, it was announced that Muammar Gaddafi had died from bullet wounds in his hometown Sirte.

Back to Top

Latest User CommentsAdd your comment
Add your comment
To ensure you are a real person and not a computer please enter the following characters shown below: