Here is an overview of the life of Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil.
Date of birth: March 21, 1955
Place of birth: Campinas, Brazil
Birth name: Jair Messias Bolsonaro
Father: Percy Geraldo Bolsonaro, dentist
Mother: Olinda Bonturi Bolsonaro
Marriage: Michelle Bolsonaro; Mother Cristina Valle (divorced); Rogeria Bolsonaro (divorced)
Children: with Michelle Bolsonaro: Laura; with Ana Cristina Valle: Jair Renan; with Rogéria Bolsonaro: Flavio, Carlos and Eduardo
Education: Agulhas Negras Military Academy, 1977
Warfare: Army, Captain
Religions: Roman Catholic
A conservative provocateur, Bolsonaro has a tendency to make provocative statements. His rhetorical targets include women and the LGBTQ community. In 2003, he told a congresswoman that she did not deserve to be raped. In an interview with Playboy magazine in 2011, Bolsonaro said he was incapable of loving a gay son. He has expressed nostalgia for Brazil’s past as a military dictatorship.
Bolsonaro served seven terms as a member of the House of Representatives. While in Congress, his priorities included protecting citizens’ right to own firearms, promoting Christian values, and fighting crime. In 2017, he said, “A cop who doesn’t kill isn’t a cop.”
Bolsonaro changed his party affiliation many times and eventually ran for president as a member of the Social Liberal Party.
When Bolsonaro took power, Brazil was suffering through a chronic economic crisis and growing insecurity. His rise was preceded by a corruption scandal that rocked political and financial institutions. In his inaugural speech, Bolsonaro vowed to turn Brazil into a “strong and prosperous country.”
1986 – Bolsonaro writes an opinion piece for the magazine Veja that criticizes the pay system of the Brazilian army. He is subsequently convicted of disobedience.
1989-1991 – Steward for Rio de Janeiro.
1991-2018 – Member of Parliament representing Rio de Janeiro in the Chamber of Deputies.
July 22, 2018 – Bolsonaro announces that he is running for president.
August 15, 2018 – Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announces that he has submitted the necessary documents to register as a Labor Party candidate to run against Bolsonaro. Lula da Silva leaves prison where he is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption.
September 1, 2018 – Brazil’s top electoral court bars Lula da Silva from running for re-election while she is in prison. In the end, a former mayor of São Paulo named Fernando Haddad steps in as the candidate of the Labor Party.
September 6, 2018 – Bolsonaro was stabbed in the stomach during an election rally. He spends more than three weeks in the hospital recovering.
October 7, 2018 – Voters voted in the first round of the election. Although Bolsonaro receives more votes than Haddad, he does not exceed the 50% threshold. A race is scheduled for later this month.
October 28, 2018 – Bolsonaro wins the playoff. The final tally shows Bolsonaro with 55.13% and Haddad with 44.87%.
January 1, 2019 – Bolsonaro has taken the oath of office. On the same day, he issues a series of executive orders. One order could potentially strip many LGBTQ civil rights by eliminating LGBTQ cases from the list of cases handled by the Department of Women, Family and Human Rights. Another order authorizes the Department of Agriculture to designate indigenous lands, paving the way for agricultural development in previously off-limits areas.
January 15, 2019 – Signs an executive order that temporarily repeals a regulation that restricts firearms purchases only to individuals with a valid reason to own a gun. The regulation gave police discretion to approve or deny gun sales.
January 28, 2019 – Officials say Bolsonaro underwent a successful operation to remove a colon pouch he left after being stabbed four months ago.
February 28, 2019 – Bolsonaro meets the leader of the opposition in Venezuela and the self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaidó, in Brazil. At a joint press conference, Bolsonaro pledges Brazil’s support to ensure that “democracy will be restored in Venezuela.”
May 3, 2019 – Bolsonaro’s spokesman announces that the president has canceled a trip to New York, where he was to be honored with the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce’s Man of the Year award. The tour was canceled following a political backlash. The event’s original host, the American Museum of Natural History, canceled and some corporate sponsors dropped out. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called Bolsonaro a “dangerous man.”
May 7, 2019 – Bolsonaro signs executive order to ease gun control restrictions. The executive order makes it easier to import guns and increases the amount of ammunition an individual can purchase annually.
July 11, 2019 – At a press conference, Bolsonaro said that he wants his son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, to serve as ambassador to the United States. He says that Eduardo is friendly with the children of US President Donald Trump.
August 23, 2019 – Bolsonaro announces plan to send troops to fight wildfires raging through Amazon rainforest.
August 26, 2019 – At the G7 meeting in France, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a $20 million emergency fund to help Brazil with the fires. Bolsonaro replies that he cannot accept Macron’s “plan behind the idea of an “alliance” of the G7 countries to “save” the Amazon, as if we were a colony or a no-man’s land. The controversy comes after a Facebook user posted a meme featuring the likeness of Macron’s wife appearing on Bolsonaro’s page, with the president joking: “Don’t humiliate the guy…haha.”
September 8, 2019 – Bolsonaro is undergoing a hernia operation to treat complications from previous surgeries performed while he was recovering from a stab wound.
December 24, 2019 – Tells Band TV that he was hospitalized last night after falling in the presidential palace on December 23. He says he had a short memory loss but that he has recovered.
April 19, 2020 – Bolsonaro joins a rally in the country’s capital, where protesters called for an end to coronavirus quarantine measures and some called for military intervention to shut down parliament and the Supreme Court. He later defended his participation and said he was not calling for military action against other branches of the country’s government.
June 23, 2020 – Bolsonaro is ordered by a federal judge in Brazil to wear a face mask in public or face a fine. The decision applies to all government employees in the federal region, where the capital city of Brasilia is located.
July 7, 2020 – Bolsonaro announces that he has tested positive for Covid-19, after downplaying the virus for months.
March 16, 2021 – A Brazilian court orders Bolsonaro to pay damages to a journalist after he made comments that questioned her credibility.
April 27, 2021 – Brazil’s Senate launches an investigation on Tuesday into the federal government’s response to Covid-19.
July 14, 2021 – Bolsonaro is admitted to the hospital to investigate the cause of persistent hiccups that lead to abdominal pain, according to Brazil’s special office for social relations.
December 3, 2021 – Brazil’s Supreme Court orders an investigation into Bolsonaro’s false claim that people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 may be at greater risk of contracting AIDS. The investigation was launched in response to a request from the country’s congressional committee that has been investigating Bolsonaro’s government’s response to the pandemic.
January 3, 2022 – Bolsonaro is hospitalized with an intestinal blockage, the latest medical problem linked to his 2018 stabbing.
June 29, 2022 – A Brazilian court rules that Bolsonaro must pay “moral damages” of 35,000 reais (about $6,700) to a Brazilian journalist after making sexually suggestive comments about her in 2020.
October 2, 2022 – In the presidential election, Bolsonaro ends up with 43.2% against Da Silva’s 48.4%. Each candidate needed to exceed 50% to be elected in the first round of voting, so the two will face off in a second round on October 30.