TASHKENT, Sept. 3 : (Xinhua) — Uzbek President Islam Karimov died on Friday at the age of 78 after being hospitalized following a stroke on Aug. 27, the Uzbek government confirmed.
The following is a profile of the late Uzbek leader:Karimov was born on Jan. 30, 1938 in the ancient Uzbek city of Samarkand, and went on to study mechanical engineering and economics at the Central Asian Polytechnic and the Tashkent Institute of National Economy.
Working as an engineer at an aircraft-making group for a few years after graduation, Karimov started his political career in 1966 by becoming an official in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, rising up the ranks of the party as well as the then state authority.
He became the first secretary of the Uzbek Communist Party Central Committee in June 1989 and was elected as the president of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic in less than a year, on March 24, 1990.
As president, Karimov declared Uzbekistan’s independence on Aug. 31, 1991 and won the country’s first presidential election in December of the same year as the then leader of the Uzbek People’s Democratic Party.
The Uzbek political party was formerly known as the Communist Party of Uzbekistan, which cut its ties with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as the result of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
His rule continued for over 25 years till today, and he is currently serving his third presidential term.Karimov was married twice and has two daughters from his second marriage, Gulnara Karimova and Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, both working as diplomats of Uzbekistan.