President of AzerbaijanDied when: 80 years 216 days (967 months)
Star Sign: Taurus
Heydar Alirza oghlu Aliyev (Azerbaijani: Heydər Əlirza oğlu Əliyev, IPA: [hejˈdæɾ æliɾˈzɑ oɣˈlu æˈlijef];
Russian: Гейда́р Али́евич Али́ев, IPA: [ɡʲɪjˈdar ɐˈlʲijɪvʲɪtɕ ɐˈlʲijɪf]; 10 May 1923 – 12 December 2003) was a Soviet and Azerbaijani politician who served as the third president of Azerbaijan from October 1993 to October 2003.
Originally a high-ranking official in the KGB of the Azerbaijan SSR, serving for 28 years in Soviet state security organs (1941–1969), he led Soviet Azerbaijan from 1969 to 1982 and held the post of First Deputy Premier of the Soviet Union from 1982 to 1987.
Aliyev became president of independent Azerbaijan while the country was on the brink of civil war and suffering serious losses in the First Nagorno-Karabakh War with neighboring Armenia.
Aliyev's supporters credit him with restoring stability to Azerbaijan and turning the country into a major international energy producer.His regime in Azerbaijan has been described as dictatorial, authoritarian, and repressive.
He was also said to have run a heavy-handed police state where elections were rigged and dissent was repressed.A cult of personality developed around Aliyev, which has continued after his death in 2003.
Shortly before his death, his son Ilham Aliyev was elected president in a controversial election and continues to lead Azerbaijan to this day.