Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi looks on before the UN's International Court of Justice on December 11, 2019.

Here is a look at the life of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner.


Birth date: June 19, 1945

Birth place: Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar)

Birth name: Aung San Suu Kyi

Father: Aung San, commander of the Burma Independence Army. Helped negotiate Burma’s independence from Britain. Assassinated on July 19, 1947.

Mother: Ma Khin Kyi, diplomat and later an ambassador to India.

Marriage: Michael Aris (January 1, 1972-March 27, 1999, his death)

Children: Kim (Burmese name: Htein Lin) and Alexander (Burmese name: Myint San Aung)

Education: St. Hughes College, Oxford University, B.A. in philosophy, politics and economics, 1967

Religion: Buddhist

Other Facts

Referred to as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; “Daw” is an honorific title.

Grew up in Myanmar and India but moved to England in the 1960s.


1964 - Moves to England to study at Oxford University.

1969-1971 - Works at the United Nations in New York as assistant secretary for the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.

1985-1986 - Is a visiting scholar at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan.

1987 - Is a fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies in Simla, India.

April 1988 - Returns to Myanmar when her mother suffers a severe stroke.

August 26, 1988 - In her first public address, outside the Shwedagon Pagoda, calls for a multiparty democratic government.

September 24, 1988 - Co-founds the National League for Democracy (NLD), a party dedicated to nonviolence and civil disobedience, and is appointed general secretary.

July 20, 1989 - Is placed under house arrest for charges of trying to divide the military, charges she denies.

May 27, 1990 - Her party, the NLD, wins more than 80% of the legislative seats, but the State Law and Order Restoration Council does not recognize the election results.

July 10, 1991 - Wins the Sakharov human rights prize from the European Parliament.

October 14, 1991 - Wins the Nobel Peace Prize “for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.”

July 10, 1995 - Is released from house arrest, but her political activity is restricted.

September 23, 2000 - Is again placed under house arrest.

December 6, 2000 - US President Bill Clinton awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Suu Kyi in absentia.

May 6, 2002 - Is released from house arrest.

May 30, 2003 - While traveling in Myanmar, her motorcade is attacked by a pro-government mob and she is held by the military. Later, she is placed under house arrest.

November 29, 2004 - Learns her house arrest has been extended for another year.

May 2006 - House arrest is extended for another year.

June 9, 2006 - US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Sean McCormack tells reporters that Suu Kyi has been hospitalized for an undisclosed ailment.

May 25, 2007 - The government extends her house arrest for another year.

May 6, 2008 - US President George W. Bush signs legislation awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to Suu Kyi.

May 27, 2008 - The government extends her house arrest for another year.

May 14, 2009 - Suu Kyi is arrested and charged with violating the terms of her house arrest. This is in response to an incident earlier in the month, when American John Yettaw swam uninvited to Suu Kyi’s lakeside house. If convicted she faces up to five years in prison.

May 18, 2009 - Suu Kyi’s trial on charges of government subversion begins.

August 11, 2009 - Suu Kyi is found guilty of violating the terms of her house arrest and sentenced to three years in prison with hard labor. The sentence is reduced to 18 additional months of home confinement.

May 7, 2010 - The NLD refuses to register for the election, thereby disqualifying itself as a political party, and officially dissolves.

November 13, 2010 - Suu Kyi is released from house arrest. She has spent 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest.

November 15, 2010 - Speaking to reporters at the headquarters of the NLD, Suu Kyi pledges to keep working toward restoring democracy and improving human rights in Myanmar.

January 28, 2011 - Suu Kyi’s recorded message, in which she stresses the need for Myanmar to reestablish ties with the rest of the world, is played at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

November 18, 2011 - Nyan Win, the spokesman for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, says that Suu Kyi will participate in the next elections. The NLD announced earlier in the day that it planned to re-register as a political party and participate in all future parliamentary elections.

December 13, 2011 - The NLD is granted permission to register for future elections in Myanmar.

January 18, 2012 - Suu Kyi registers to run for a parliamentary seat.

April 1, 2012 - Wins a seat in parliament in Myanmar’s first multiparty elections since 1990.

May 2, 2012 - Along with 33 other newly elected members of her party, Suu Kyi takes the oath of office for parliament, resolving an impasse over the oath’s wording that had been preventing her from taking her seat in the legislature.

May 29, 2012 - Makes history by stepping on foreign soil for the first time in more than two decades when she arrives in Bangkok, Thailand.