(CNN)Here's a look at the life of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Birth date: 1935
Birth place: Safed, Palestine
Marriage: Amina Abbas
Children: Three sons Mazen (died in 2002), Yasser and Tareq
Education: Damascus University, B.A.; Oriental College (in Moscow), Ph.D.
His family left the British Mandate area Safed, Palestine, to live in Syria as refugees in 1948.
Abbas laid floor tiles and taught elementary school before earning a law degree.
Played an integral role in the forging of the Declaration of Principles, the historic peace accord signed in 1993 by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel.
Was the primary force behind the Palestine National Council's decision to work with Israeli peace groups.
He is also known as Abu Mazen. (Abu is a slang term to describe the head of a family or father of children.)
1959 - Founding member of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah), which became the largest political group of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
1964 - Fatah joins the PLO.
1967 - Is appointed to Fatah's Central Committee.
1968 - Joins the Palestinian National Council (PNC).
1980 - Is elected to the PLO's Executive Committee.
September 1993 - Accompanies Arafat to the White House to sign the Oslo Accords, or the Declaration of Principles.
1995 - Signs the Interim Peace Agreement with Israel.
March 19, 2003 - Accepts the position of prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.
June 3, 2003 - Meets with US President George W. Bush and the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain, in Egypt, regarding peace efforts.
September 6, 2003 - Resigns as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.
November 11, 2004 - Becomes the chairman of the PLO after Arafat's death.
January 9, 2005 - Declares victory in Palestinian presidential elections.
May 26, 2005 - Meets with Bush; the first meeting with the Palestinian Authority in the White House since peace talks broke down in 2000. Bush pledges to give the Palestinian Authority $50 million in aid.
May 31, 2005 - Undergoes a successful, minor heart procedure in a hospital in Amman, Jordan.
February 21, 2006 - Asks Hamas leader Ismail Haniya to assemble a government. Haniya is sworn in in March.
June 14, 2007 - Dissolves the government and dismisses Haniya as prime minister. Haniya rejects this and remains the de facto leader in the Gaza Strip.
June 15, 2007 - Appoints economist Salam Fayyad as the new prime minister of an emergency Palestinian Cabinet.