Aung San Suu Kyi
June 19, 1945
Aung San Suu Kyi was born into a political family. Her father, Aung San, negotiated Burma’s independence from the British Empire and her mother became an ambassador after Aung San was assassinated. She was educated in English-speaking schools across the world, obtaining a degree at Oxford University.
In 1988 she returned home to care for her mother and witnessed the end of the socialist government and the beginning of a military dictatorship. Aung San Suu Kyi turned to politics, helping found the National League for Democracy (NLD). The following year she was placed under house arrest and underwent a hunger strike. While imprisoned the NLD won general elections, but were refused the right to govern by the military. In 1991, still in prison, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She was finally released in 1995 on the condition that if she left the country she would not be allowed back in. Her husband died in London in 1999 having not seen his wife for many years. In 2000 she was placed under house arrest again and spent most of her time that way until the end of 2010.
Aung San Suu Kyi is a strong believer in the non-violence philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and is a devout Buddhist. She remains a strong leader for the democracy movement in Burma and is recognized internationally for her struggle.