On This Day

Mobutu Sese Seko

President of Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko

Full Name: Joseph-Desiré Mobutu
Profession: President of Zaire

Nationality:
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Congolese

Why Famous: President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (which Mobutu renamed Zaire in 1971) from 1965 to 1997. Installed and supported in office primarily by Belgium and the United States, he formed an authoritarian regime, amassed vast personal wealth, and attempted to purge the country of all colonial cultural influence while enjoying considerable support by the United States due to his anti-communist stance.

Notorious for corruption, nepotism, and the embezzlement of between US$4 bn and $15 bn during his reign, as well as extravagances such as Concorde-flown shopping trips to Paris. He presided over the country for over three decades, a period of widespread human rights violations. He has been described as the "archetypal African dictator."

Born: October 14, 1930
Birthplace: Lisala, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Horse
Star Sign: Libra

Died: September 7, 1997 (aged 66)
Cause of Death: Prostate cancer

Married Life

  • 1980-05-01 Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko (49) weds Bobi Ladawa

Events in the Life of Mobutu Sese Seko

  • 1965-11-24 Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu becomes President of Zaire