On This Day

Muammar Gaddafi

Libyan Revolutionary and Authoritarian Leader Muammar Gaddafi

Profession: Libyan Revolutionary and Authoritarian Leader


Biography: Authoritarian leader of Libya for 42 years who began as a revolutionary hero before establishing a regime where his supporters and family dominated Libyan politics and society till they and Gaddafi were overthrown in 2011 during the Arab Spring.

Gaddafi came to power through the army and a bloodless coup in 1969 securing Libya revenue from its oil resources. However through his own personal doctrine outlined in the "Green Book" Gaddafi established ever increasing control over the country, backed up by harsh security measures.

Gaddafi's support of terrorist activities led to US air strikes on Tripoli in 1986 and sanctions after he refused to give up suspects in the bombing of Pan-Am flight 103 filled with US service people over Scotland.

Gaddafi's pariah status eased in later years, before in 2011 a rebellion began in the wake of revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Gaddafi's actual death remains mysterious and he was captured and killed after fleeing his final strong hold of Sirte.

Born: June 7, 1942
Birthplace: Qasr Abu Hadi, Libya

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

Died: October 20, 2011 (aged 69)
Cause of Death: Beaten to death in captivity by a Misratan militia after suffering head injuries from a grenade blast

Historical Events

  • 1969-09-01 Colonel Muammar Gaddafi deposes King Idris in the Libyan revolution
  • 1970-01-15 Muammar Gaddafi is proclaimed premier of Libya
  • 1970-01-16 4 months after leading a coup against monarchy, Muammar Gaddafi takes over rule of Libya
  • 1985-12-27 Terrorists kill 20 and wound 110 attacking El Al at Rome and Vienna airports. President Reagan blames Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
  • 1986-04-16 To dispel rumors he's dead, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi appears on TV
  • 2011-02-15 Libyan protests begin opposing Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi's rule
  • 2011-08-23 Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi is overthrown after the National Transitional Council forces take control of Bab al-Azizia compound during the 2011 Libyan Civil War.
  • 2011-10-20 The former leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, and his son Moatassem Gaddafi are killed shortly after the battle of Sirte (2011) while in the custody of NTC fighters.

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