Jean-Bertrand Aristide Fast Facts

Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide addresses a press conference at the presidential palace in Port-Au-Prince February 24, 2004.

(CNN)Here's a look at the life of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president of Haiti.


Birth date: July 15, 1953
    Birth place: Port Salut, Haiti
      Birth name: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
        Father: Joseph Aristide, farmer
        Mother: Marie (Pierre-Louis) Aristide
          Marriage: Mildred (Trouillot) Aristide (January 20, 1996-present)
          Children: Michaelle and Christine
          Education: Grand Seminaire Notre Dame, Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Universite d'Etat d'Haiti, B.A.; University of Montreal, Canada, M.A.; University of South Africa, Pretoria, Ph.D.
          Religion: Roman Catholic

          Other Facts

          Elected president of Haiti twice. Both administrations were overthrown.
          Former Roman Catholic priest, a member of the Society of St. Francis de Sales.
          His wife, Mildred Aristide, is a Haitian-American lawyer from New York.
          Studied in Israel.


          1974 - Enters the priesthood with the Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians) in the Dominican Republic.
          1983 - Is ordained and assigned to St. Jean-Bosco, a poor parish in a Port-au-Prince, Haiti, neighborhood.
          1986 - Is held hostage by Salesian followers for two weeks for condoning and supporting the opposition to the new post-Jean-Claude Duvalier regime.
          September 11, 1988 - The St. Jean-Bosco parish church is attacked during morning mass, with 13 dead and more than 70 injured.
          December 15, 1988 - Aristide is expelled from the Society of St. Francis de Sales for his "incitement to hate and violence."
          December 16, 1990 - Is elected president of Haiti with more than 67% of the vote.
          February 7, 1991 - Takes the oath of office as the 40th president of Haiti.
          October 1, 1991 - Flees Haiti for Venezuela, after a coup led by Brigadier General Raoul Cedras overthrows the government.
          October 15, 1994 - Is reinstated as president of Haiti, after a US-brokered agreement. Cedras and his staff resign and are exiled.
          October 17, 1994 - Under pressure from the Vatican, submits a letter formally requesting to leave the priesthood.
          February 7, 1996 - First smooth transition from one president to another in Haiti's history as Rene Preval is sworn in as the 41st president of Haiti.
          November 1996 - Forms and leads the Fanmi Lavalas political party.
          November 26, 2000 - Aristide is reelected as president with 91.69% of the vote.
          February 7, 2001 - Is sworn in as the 42nd president of Haiti.
          December 17, 2001 - The presidential palace is stormed during an attempted coup believed to be led by Guy Philippe. Seven people are killed.
          January 13, 2004 - Announces new legislative elections after his administration comes under fire for rigging previous elections.
          February 25, 2004 - Philippe and rebel forces surround Port-au-Prince and announce plans to arrest Aristide.
          February 29, 2004 - Resigns as president and leaves Haiti with his wife on board a US military plane to the Central African Republic.
          2007 - Receives Ph.D. in African languages from the University of South Africa.
          November 26, 2009 - Haiti's electoral council bans Aristide's party from participating in the next legislative elections.
          January 12, 2010 - A 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes 14 miles west of Haiti, destroying most of the capital of Port-au-Prince.
          January 15, 2010 - From Pretoria, South Africa, the exiled Aristide announces his wish to return home to help Haitian earthquake survivors.
          March 18, 2011 - Aristide returns to Haiti after seven years in exile.
            May 8, 2013 - Appears in court in Port-au-Prince in connection with the investigation of journalist Jean Leopold Dominique's murder.
            June 21, 2021 - Le Nouvelliste reports that Aristide has tested positive for Covid-19 and will seek treatment in Cuba.