Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Fast Facts: President’s First Decade
In August of 2011, a group of journalists gathered in Brazil to ask the new president about his first year, but they also wanted him to explain the reasons behind this year’s so-called “trouble year,” during which he lost his position as a Workers’ Party candidate in the country’s presidential elections. President Lula da Silva was asked about his year in the public eye and how he went from a worker’s son to a political and economic star of the world. This is what he had to say in his memoir, “Livres e contos do ano 2011,” or “Books and Dreams of the Year 2011.”
President Lula da Silva is the younger brother of Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (who passed away in 2010), and he is the son of a poor family from the town of São Luís, near São Paulo. He was born on August 11, 1954, in Rua São José, a street on the outskirts of Porto Alegre, Brazil.
His father was a small-fry construction worker, and the young Lula was often ill. His mother, Marisa Lula da Silva, took him to the hospital when he fell ill, and she brought him back with an injured ankle, so she could take care of him in his sickbed until he was better. She worked as a cleaner to help her husband, and in the weeks following her diagnosis, she took on odd jobs to support her son, working for the Brazilian Navy in the barracks.
Though the president and his family struggled, his father never left the house. Lula wanted to support his family, and his father did not stop working. He was able to take care of him and his mother, and by the time he was 10 years old, he was helping his mother around the house, and helping his mother clean the floors in the house.
From a young age, Lula was a student, finishing high school in São Paulo — where he studied for a year at the prestigious Lyceum of Pernambuco, a school known for their fine education. His education was interrupted when a boy raped him in the school bathroom. “I didn’t understand until many years later why he did it,�