Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on January 1, 2023, for a third term as Brazil’s President. Lula rose to national prominence as a metalworker and union activist during the military dictatorship (1964-1985). He was elected president of the Metallurgists’ Union in São Bernardo do Campo, and in 1979 led a strike that paralyzed 180,000 different metal-working operations nationwide. In 1980, Lula helped found the Worker’s Party (PT). In 1986, with the transition to democracy, he was elected as a federal deputy for the State of São Paulo with the PT. Lula subsequently ran unsuccessfully for president in 1989, 1994, and 1998, before winning in 2002 and becoming Brazil’s first president to come from the working class. He was re-elected in 2006. Lula’s presidency was marked by a time of great economic prosperity for Brazil in the midst of a commodity boom. He championed several social assistance programs, such as the famous Bolsa Família, which was credited with lifting millions from extreme poverty.