Personal: Birth date: March 21, 1942
Birth place: Bayt al-Ahmar, Kingdom of Yemen
Marriages: Married (names unavailable publicly)
Children: Has children, including sons Ahmed and Khaled
Education: Did not finish elementary school
Military service: Joined the army at a young age, rose to the rank of colonel.
Religion: Zaydi Shiite Muslim
Timeline: 1958 - Joins the army of the Kingdom of Yemen.
1963 - Is commissioned as a second lieutenant in the army of the newly established Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen).
1974 - Takes part in a coup that installs a 10-member military command council.
July 17, 1978 - Is named president of the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) after the assassination of President Ahmed Hussein al-Ghashmi.
1983 - Is elected to a five year term as president by the Constituent People's Assembly.
July 1988 - Is elected to a five year term as president by the new Consultative Council.
May 22, 1990 - The Republic of Yemen is formed from the unification of the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen).
1990 - Is named president of the newly united Yemen.
1999 - Wins Yemen's first direct presidential election with 96% of the vote.
February 2001 - Parliament votes to extend the president's term of office from five to seven years.
November 27, 2001 - Saleh meets with U.S. President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and CIA Director George Tenet in Washington, D.C., to discuss an aid package to Yemen worth $400 million.
July 17, 2005 - Announces that he will not seek re-election in 2006.
June 2006 - Announces that due to popular support, he will run for another term as president.
September 23, 2006 - Wins re-election to a seven-year term with 77% of the vote.
February 2, 2011 - In a speech before parliament, Saleh announces he won't run for re-election or try to install his eldest son, Ahmed, as his successor in 2013.
February 11, 2011 - Protests begin in Yemen, inspired by the revolution in Egypt that ousted Hosni Mubarak. The demonstrations continue through February, March and April.
March 10, 2011 - President Saleh announces plans to draft a new constitution establishing a parliamentary system.
March 11, 2011 - Thousands of people demonstrate in Sanaa's Tahrir Square, demanding the departure of President Saleh.
March 20, 2011 - Dismisses his cabinet.
March 23, 2011 - Offers to step down as president by the end of year, a proposal rejected by opposition groups.
April 23, 2011 - Accepts a deal to leave office, arranged by the Gulf Cooperation Council, that if he resigns within 30 days, he and members of his regime will be given total immunity.
May 22, 2011 - President Saleh refuses for a second time to sign the deal to step down, saying his conditions have not been met. The Gulf Cooperation Council suspends its efforts to mediate a deal between Saleh and opposition forces.
June 3, 2011 - Opposition forces launch missiles at the presidential palace, injuring Saleh and killing several others.
June 4, 2011 - President Saleh travels to Saudi Arabia to undergo medical treatment for his injuries. Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansur Hadi is left to run Yemen.
June 6, 2011 - U.S. officials reveal that Saleh is being treated for burns over 40% of his body and a collapsed lung.
August 6, 2011 - Is released from the hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
September 23, 2011 - President Saleh returns to Yemen, after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.
November 23, 2011 - Signs an agreement in Saudi Arabia transferring his executive powers to vice president Abdu Rabu Mansur Hadi, Saleh retains the title of president for three months but hands over executive powers to Yemen's vice president.
January 21, 2012 - Yemen's parliament approves a controversial law that ensures Saleh complete immunity from prosecution. In return, Saleh will step down from power next month.
January 28, 2012 - Arrives in the United States for medical treatment.
February 24, 2012 - A spokesman for Yemen's embassy in Washington says Saleh has returned from the United States to his residence in Sanaa.
February 27, 2012 - Attends the handover ceremony, cementing a power transfer deal to Hadi. The ceremony formally ends Saleh's 33-year reign as leader.
February 29, 2012 - A spokesman for former President Saleh's political party denies rumors that Saleh is planning to leave the country and settle in Ethiopia. Tens of thousands of people have marched near Saleh's home calling for his prosecution and demanding he leave the country over concerns that his presence will undermine the new president.