Mother: Euridice Ferreira de Mello, seamstress
Marriages: Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva (1974-2017, her death); Maria de Lourdes Lula da Silva (1969-1971, her death)
Children: with Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva: Luis Claudio, Sandro, Fabio and Marcos (from her first marriage and adopted by Lula da Silva); with Miriam Cordeiro: Lurian
He goes by the nickname Lula, which he formally added to his name in 1982.
Lula da Silva’s father was against education and believed supporting the family was more important, so Lula da Silva didn’t learn to read until age 10.
He left school completely after the fifth grade to work full-time.
He has nine fingers, having lost the little finger on his left hand in a work accident.
His first wife died of hepatitis in her eighth month of pregnancy along with the child.
Unhappy with the lack of political representation of the working class in Brazil, he decided to get involved in politics.
1966 – Becomes a metalworker and is active in the metalworkers union.
1975 – Elected president of the metalworkers union.
March 10, 1980 – Helps found the Workers’ Party.
April 19-May 19, 1980 – As one of the leaders of a metalworkers union strike, is arrested after police confront workers. He is held for 31 days.
November 1982 – Comes in fourth in the gubernatorial race for the state of Sao Paulo.
1986 – Elected to the Brazilian congress.
1989, 1994 and 1998 – Is the Workers’ Party candidate for president; he comes in second each time.
October 27, 2002 – Is elected president in a runoff election with 61.3% of the vote.
January 1, 2003 – Inaugurated as president of Brazil.
October 29, 2006 – Wins a second four-year term in office with 61% of the vote.
September 30, 2008 – Reacts to the downturn in global and US markets: “We can’t be turned into victims of the casino erected by the American economy.”
January 1, 2010 – A film dramatization of Lula da Silva’s life, “Lula, Son of Brazil,” opens in Brazil.
April 2010 – Is voted number one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
January 1, 2011 – Leaves office with a 90% approval rating.
October 29, 2011 – Is diagnosed with throat cancer.
February 17, 2012 – It is announced that Lula da Silva’s cancer is in complete remission.
September 20, 2016 – A Brazilian judge rules that there is enough evidence for Lula da Silva, his wife and six others to stand trial on corruption charges.
February 3, 2017 – Lula da Silva’s wife passes away.
September 5, 2017 – Corruption charges are filed against Lula da Silva, his successor Rousseff, and six Workers’ Party members. They are accused of running a criminal organization, to divert funds from state-owned oil firm Petrobras. The charges are related to Operation Car Wash. Lula da Silva, Rousseff and the Workers’ Party deny the allegations.
August 15, 2018 – Announces that he has submitted the necessary paperwork to register as the Workers’ Party candidate in the upcoming presidential election.
February 6, 2019 – In another corruption case, he is sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in prison for accepting bribes in the form of renovations to his country house.
April 23, 2019 – Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice reduces Lula da Silva’s prison sentence from 12 years and one month to eight years and 10 months, for one of his two corruption convictions.
August 7, 2019 – Brazil’s Superior Court overrules a lower court’s order transferring Lula da Silva from a cell in federal police headquarters in the city of Curitiba, where his supporters have gathered, to a prison in Sao Paulo.
September 30, 2019 – Lula da Silva releases a letter via Twitter rejecting prosecutors’ request to move him from prison to house arrest. In his quest for exoneration, he says that he will not trade his dignity for his freedom.
November 7, 2019 – Brazil’s Supreme Court rules that defendants can remain free until they have exhausted all appeals. The ruling reverses a previous decision that had helped put dozens of powerful politicians and business leaders behind bars.
September 1, 2020 – A federal court in Brazil dismisses a corruption case against Lula da Silva for lack of sufficient evidence. He was accused of lobbying in favor of construction company Odebrecht.
March 8, 2021 – A Brazilian court throws out Lula da Silva’s corruption convictions, which allows him to run in the 2022 presidential election.