Profession: South African President
Why Famous: De Klerk grew up in a political family, his father was a leading senator and de Klerk entered parliament himself in 1972 as part of the conservative National Party.
De Klerk held a series of ministerial posts before becoming leader of the National Party after President P.W. Botha fell ill in early 1989.
After being elected President later that year de Klerk indicated, in a famous speech to parliament, that he favored dismantling Apartheid. He released political prisoners, such as Nelson Mandela and removed the ban on the ANC.
In 1992 he won a white referendum to continue his reforms and negotiated with Mandela and the ANC, resulting in South Africa's first free elections in 1994. For this he, somewhat controversially, and Mandela were awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.
De Klerk went on to serve as Second Deputy President in Mandela's government before retiring from politics in 1997.
- 1969-04-11 Future South African president F. W. de Klerk marries Marike Willemse
- 1989-02-02 F. W. de Klerk replaces P. W. Botha as South Africa's National Party leader
- 1989-08-15 F. W. de Klerk becomes President of South Africa
- 1989-10-15 South African President F. W. de Klerk frees ANC Founder Walter Sisulu and four other political prisoners
- 1989-11-16 South African President F. W. de Klerk announces scrapping of Separate Amenities Act
- 1990-02-02 South African President F. W. de Klerk promises to free Nelson Mandela & legalizes ANC & 60 other political organisations
- 1990-02-10 South African President F. W. de Klerk announces Nelson Mandela will be freed on Feburary 11th
- 1990-06-07 South African President F. W. de Klerk lifts 4 year state of emergency
- 1990-07-16 The ANC send a report on police violence to President F. W. de Klerk and demanded an end to "the shocking inhumanity" of police action in rural areas of South Africa
- 1990-08-16 South African President F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela hold emergency talks in Pretoria about increasing violence in Soweto
- 1990-09-24 South African President F. W. de Klerk meets US President George H. W. Bush in Washington, D.C.
- 1990-12-13 South African President F. W. de Klerk meets with Nelson Mandela to talk of end of apartheid
- 1991-02-01 South African President F. W. de Klerk says he will repeal all apartheid laws
- 1992-03-17 South African President F. W. de Klerk wins a white only referendum
- 1992-07-27 Nelson Mandela says a general strike will go ahead to protest for the removal of South African President F. W. de Klerk from power and for free elections
- 1993-10-15 Nelson Mandela and South African President F. W. de Klerk awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
- 1994-01-03 Restoration of South African citizenship, announced on 15 December 1993 by the South African parliament led by President F. W. de Klerk, becomes effective four months before the first South Africa non-racial polls of 27 April, 1994
- 1995-07-09 Former South African President F. W. de Klerk is implicated of knowing and condoning a 'dirty tricks' campaign that was waged against the ANC between 1990 and the 1994 election in a bid to destabilise the organisation