Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was born on October 27, 1945, in the village of Caetés, then part of the municipality of Garanhuns (PE). At the age of seven, he migrated with his mother and seven brothers to the coast of São Paulo and, four years later, to the capital, São Paulo. There, at the age of 12, he started working in a dye shop.
But it was as a metallurgist that Lula joined the union movement and, in the 1970s, projected himself as a popular leader. In the 1960s, he worked in several industries in the São Paulo region of ABC. Through brother José Ferreira da Silva, Frei Chico, Lula approached the union movement.
In 1975, he was elected president of the ABC metalworkers’ union, being reelected in 78. In March of the following year, he led the strike that mobilized 170,000 workers in the region.
In 1980, a new strike of the category caused the intervention of the federal government in the union, which resulted in the arrest of Lula and other union leaders. Lula was imprisoned for 31 days.
On February 10, 1980, Lula and other unionists, intellectuals, politicians and rural and religious leaders founded the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT). In 1982, he ran for the São Paulo government, but lost the election.
In 1983, he was one of the founders of the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT). In 1984, one of the main public figures in the campaign for the return of direct voting in the country, in the campaign nationally known as Diretas Já.
In 1986, he was the most voted federal deputy in Brazil for the Constituent Assembly, receiving more than 650 thousand votes.
In 1989, Lula ran for president of the Republic, in the first direct election after more than 20 years of military rule. He was defeated by a small margin in the second round by Fernando Collor de Mello (PRN) from Alagoas.
After the defeat, he dedicated himself to the organization of the PT and social movements throughout Brazil. During the 1990s, it organized the so-called Citizenship Caravans.
In the Parallel Government and later in the Citizenship Institute, he coordinated the carrying out of extensive discussions on public policies in the country. This work continued until 2001 and resulted in projects that later became government programs, such as Fome Zero.
In 1994 and 1998, he ran again for the presidency, being defeated, both times, in the first round by Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB).
It was only on the fourth attempt, in 2002, that Lula was chosen president, for the first time in alliance with a center-right party, the deputy José Alencar’s PL. He won the election with the vote of almost 53 million voters. With this brand, he became the most voted Brazilian of all time.
With information from the Press and Spokesperson of the Presidency of the Republic