Here’s a look at the life of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president of Haiti.
Birth date: July 15, 1953
Birth place: Port Salut, Haiti
Birth name: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Father: Joseph Aristide, farmer
Mother: Marie (Pierre-Louis) Aristide
Marriage: Mildred (Trouillot) Aristide (January 20, 1996-present)
Children: Michaelle and Christine
Education: Grand Seminaire Notre Dame, Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Universite d’Etat d’Haiti, B.A.; University of Montreal, Canada, M.A.; University of South Africa, Pretoria, Ph.D.
Religion: Roman Catholic
Elected president of Haiti twice. Both administrations were overthrown.
Former Roman Catholic priest, a member of the Society of St. Francis de Sales.
His wife, Mildred Aristide, is a Haitian-American lawyer from New York.
Studied in Israel.
1974 – Enters the priesthood with the Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians) in the Dominican Republic.
1983 – Is ordained and assigned to St. Jean-Bosco, a poor parish in a Port-au-Prince, Haiti, neighborhood.
1986 – Is held hostage by Salesian followers for two weeks for condoning and supporting the opposition to the new post-Jean-Claude Duvalier regime.
September 11, 1988 – The St. Jean-Bosco parish church is attacked during morning mass, with 13 dead and more than 70 injured.
December 15, 1988 – Aristide is expelled from the Society of St. Francis de Sales for his “incitement to hate and violence.”
December 16, 1990 – Is elected president of Haiti with more than 67% of the vote.
February 7, 1991 – Takes the oath of office as the 40th president of Haiti.
October 1, 1991 – Flees Haiti for Venezuela, after a coup led by Brigadier General Raoul Cedras overthrows the government.
October 15, 1994 – Is reinstated as president of Haiti, after a US-brokered agreement. Cedras and his staff resign and are exiled.
October 17, 1994 – Under pressure from the Vatican, submits a letter formally requesting to leave the priesthood.
February 7, 1996 – First smooth transition from one president to another in Haiti’s history as Rene Preval is sworn in as the 41st president of Haiti.
1996 – Founds the Aristide Foundation for Democracy.
November 1996 – Forms and leads the Fanmi Lavalas political party.
November 26, 2000 – Aristide is reelected as president with 91.69% of the vote.
February 7, 2001 – Is sworn in as the 42nd president of Haiti.
December 17, 2001 – The presidential palace is stormed during an attempted coup believed to be led by Guy Philippe. Seven people are killed.
January 13, 2004 – Announces new legislative elections after his administration comes under fire for rigging previous elections.
February 25, 2004 – Philippe and rebel forces surround Port-au-Prince and announce plans to arrest Aristide.
February 29, 2004 – Resigns as president and leaves Haiti with his wife on board a US military plane to the Central African Republic.
2007 – Receives Ph.D. in African languages from the University of South Africa.
November 26, 2009 – Haiti’s electoral council bans Aristide’s party from participating in the next legislative elections.
January 12, 2010 – A 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes 14 miles west of Haiti, destroying most of the capital of Port-au-Prince.
January 15, 2010 – From Pretoria, South Africa, the exiled Aristide announces his wish to return home to help Haitian earthquake survivors.
March 18, 2011 – Aristide returns to Haiti after seven years in exile.
May 8, 2013 – Appears in court in Port-au-Prince in connection with the investigation of journalist Jean Leopold Dominique’s murder.
June 21, 2021 – Le Nouvelliste reports that Aristide has tested positive for Covid-19 and will seek treatment in Cuba.