François “Papa Doc” Duvalier

Political Leader / President of Haiti
Date Of Birth:
14 April 1907
Date Of Death:
22 April 1971
Place Of Birth:
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Best Known As:
President of Haiti, 1957-71
François Duvalier was the notorious ruler of Haiti throughout the 1960s. François Duvalier was a physician (which was the source of his nickname, "Papa Doc") who worked in the Haitian government beginning in the mid-1940s. With the army's support, he was elected to the presidency in 1957. In 1964 he declared himself president for life and indeed, stayed president until his death in 1971, when his son, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, succeeded him. Papa Doc was an expert in voodoo who ruled Haiti with brute force and terror, with a ruthless security force, the Tontons Macoutes, acting as real-life bogeymen who routinely executed his opponents. "Baby Doc" Duvalier was finally sent into exile in France in 1986 after an upraising in Haiti.