Net Worth People

Who is Lula Da Silva? Meet Brazilian President-Elect & Foremost Unionist

Lula is a Brazilian politician, trade unionist, and former metalworker who is the president-elect of Brazil. A member of the Workers' Party, he was the 35th president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010.

Key Facts About Lula Da Silva

  • Lula is a politician, unionist, and former metalworker.
  • He was the 35th president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010.
  • He was as a shoeshiner and street vendor.
  • His full name is Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
  • Lula has Portuguese and Italian ancestry.
  • He met his wife Rosângela da Silva in prison.
  • He has five children.
  • He has a net worth of $5 million.
  • Lula has little formal education.
  • He is a Christian.
  • He is the president-elect of Brazil.
  • His birth name is Luiz Inácio da Silva.

Who is Lula Da Silva?

Lula is a Brazilian politician, trade unionist, and former metalworker who is the president-elect of Brazil. A member of the Workers’ Party, he was the 35th president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010. After winning the 2022 Brazilian general election, he will be sworn in on 1 January 2023 as the 39th president of Brazil, succeeding Jair Bolsonaro. His full name is Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He was born on 27 October 1945. His birth name is Luiz Inacio da Silva. Of working-class origin, he migrated as a child from Pernambuco to São Paulo with his family. He began his career as a metalworker and trade unionist. During the military dictatorship in Brazil, he led major workers’ strikes between 1978 and 1980, and helped start the Workers’ Party in 1980, during Brazil’s political opening. Lula was one of the main leaders of the Diretas Já movement which demanded democratic elections. He was elected in 1986 as a federal deputy in the state of São Paulo with the most votes nationwide. In 1989 he ran for president for the first time, losing in the second round to Fernando Collor de Mello. He ran for president twice more, in 1994 and in 1998, losing both elections in the first round to Fernando Henrique Cardoso. He won the 2002 presidential election, defeating José Serra in the second round. He was reelected in 2006, beating Geraldo Alckmin in the second round.

Lula’s first presidency was marked by Bolsa Famlia and Fome Zero, leading Brazil to leave the UN’s Hunger Map. During his two terms, he implemented radical reforms that increased GDP, reduced public debt and inflation, and helped 20 million Brazilians escape poverty. Poverty, inequality, illiteracy, unemployment, infant mortality, and child labor rates fell while minimum wage, average income, and access to school, university, and health care increased. He was involved in regional (BRICS) and global trade and environmental negotiations. While president, Lula was one of the world’s most popular politicians. His first term was marked by scandals, including Mensalo and Sanguessugas. Former Chief of Staff Dilma Rousseff succeeded him in 2010. After his first presidency, Lula remained active in politics and began giving lectures. The Supreme Court suspended his appointment as Dilma Rousseff’s chief of staff in 2016. Lula was convicted of money laundering and corruption in July 2017 and sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison. Sergio Moro, the case’s federal judge, later became Jair Bolsonaro’s justice minister. Lula was arrested in April 2018 and jailed for 580 days. Lula ran for president in 2018, but Brazil’s “Clean Slate” Law disqualified him. In November 2019, the Supreme Federal Court ruled that pending appeals constituted unlawful incarceration, and Lula was released. In March 2021, Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin nullified all of Lula’s convictions because he was tried by a court without proper jurisdiction. Justice Fachin’s ruling restored Lula’s political rights in April 2021. The Supreme Federal Court ruled in March 2021 that judge Sergio Moro was biased. By 24 June 2021, all of Sergio Moro’s cases against Lula were dismissed. Lula was allowed to run for president again in 2022 and beat Jair Bolsonaro in the runoff.

Leftists in Brazil avoid the word liberal because it’s associated with neoliberalism and the military dictatorship. Lulism is similar to social liberalism, but he advocated “21st-century socialism.” Economically moderate and center-left, he emphasized his closeness to Venezuela and criticized Juan Guaidó during the crisis. He’s “personally against” abortion but thinks it’s a public health issue. Fábio Barreto’s 2009 film Lula, Son of Brazil depicts Lula up to age 35. The film bombed commercially and critically. Critics called it election propaganda that promoted a cult of personality. Arthur Kohl’s character Joo Higino alludes to Lula in Netflix’s The Mechanism. Petra Costa’s 2019 documentary The Edge of Democracy chronicled the rise and fall of Lula and Dilma Rousseff and Brazil’s sociopolitical upheaval.

Lula Da Silva Early Life

Luiz was born on October 27, 1945 in Caetés, a district of Garanhuns 250 km from Recife, Pernambuco’s capital. His birth date on record is October 6, 1945. He was Aristides Inácio da Silva and Eurdice Ferreira de Melo’s seventh child. Lula’s father moved to Sao Paulo two weeks after his birth with Eurdice’s cousin Valdomira Ferreira de Góis. He was raised Roman Catholic. His mother was of Portuguese and Italian descent. Lula’s mother moved the family to Sao Paulo in 1952 to rejoin her husband. After 13 days in an open truck bed, they arrived in Guarujá and found Aristides had a second family with Valdomira. For a while, Aristides’s two families shared a home, but they eventually grew estranged from one another, and four years later, Euridice and her children relocated to a tiny room behind a bar in Sao Paulo. Lula’s alcoholic father died in 1978.

Lula has had three marriages. He married Maria de Lourdes in 1969. She died of hepatitis in 1971 while she was carrying their first child, who also died. Lula and his then-girlfriend Miriam Cordeiro had a daughter named Lurian in 1974. He didn’t become involved in his daughter’s life until she was a teenager. Lula married Marisa Letcia Rocco Casa, a widow, in 1974. He adopted Marisa’s first-born son. Lula and Marisa were married for 43 years until her stroke-related death in 2017. He married Rosangela da Silva in 2022. They first met while he was doing time for corruption-related charges in Curitiba, Paraná.

Lula Da Silva Education

Lula has little formal education. He didn’t learn to read until he was 10 and quit school in second grade to help his family. His first job was as a shoeshiner and street vendor at age 12. At 14, he worked in a warehouse. He lost his left little finger at age 19 in a factory accident. He ran to several hospitals after the accident before getting help. This prompted him to join the Workers’ Union. He started participating in union activities at that point and held a number of significant union positions.

Lula Da Silva Career

Lula joined the labor movement at Villares Metals S.A., inspired by his brother Frei Chico. He was elected president of So Bernardo do Campo and Diadema in 1975 and 1978. Both cities are in Brazil’s ABCD Region, home to Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and others, and are among the most industrialized. In the late 1970s, when Brazil was run by the military, Lula helped organize union activities, such as big strikes. Lula was jailed for a month for illegal strikes. After the military government fell, Lula was given a pension for life, just like other people who had been jailed for political activities while it was in power. On 10 February 1980, academics, intellectuals, and union leaders, including Lula, founded the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) or Workers’ Party. The name “Lula” was officially added to his name in 1982. He helped found CUT in 1983. Together with the Diretas Já! (Direct Now!) movement, PT and Lula pushed for a popular vote in the next Brazilian presidential election in 1984. Since the March 1964 coup d’état, each “elected” President has been a retired general chosen in a closed military caucus, despite the fact that the 1967 constitution stipulated that presidents be elected by both houses of Congress in joint session with representatives of all State Legislatures. Lula and the PT backed the public’s call for a change in the voting system. But the campaign failed when Congress voted against an amendment that would have held direct elections the following year. In 1985, a civilian president, Tancredo Neves, was elected using the same indirect method, with Lula’s help. Diretas Já! and years of popular struggle led to the first direct popular vote for president in 29 years in 1989.

Lula ran for Sao Paulo state government in 1982 and lost. Lula won the most national votes for Congress in 1986. The Workers’ Party helped write the post-military government Constitution, ensuring workers’ rights, but failed to include agrarian reform. Under Lula’s leadership, the PT opposed the 1988 Constitution in the Constituent Assembly, but later signed it. Lula ran as the PT candidate in the first democratic presidential elections since 1960. Lula and Leonel Brizola were expected to tie for first. Lula was the more left-leaning candidate, advocating land reform and a debt default. Fernando Collor de Mello, former governor of Alagoas, gained support with a business-friendly agenda. Collor’s anti-corruption stance won him the 1989 election over Lula. Under impeachment for embezzlement, Collor resigned in 1992. Lula declined to run for reelection as a congressman in 1990 to expand the Workers’ Party. Fernando Henrique Cardoso defeated Lula in 1994 and 1998 after the Brazilian real monetary stabilization plan ended decades of rampant inflation. Before becoming president, Lula was a “strident union organizer known for his bushy beard and Che Guevara T-shirts,” according to The Washington Post. In 2002, Lula gave up his casual style and platform plank of auditing Brazil’s foreign debt. Economists, businessmen, and banks feared a partial Brazilian default along with the existing Argentine default would have a massive ripple effect on the world economy. Lula led the first round of the 2002 election, held on 6 October, by nearly two-to-one over PSDB candidate José Serra. In the runoff, he beat Serra with 61.3%. Lula almost won reelection in a single round on October 1, 2006. On October 29, 2006, he faced a runoff against PSDB’s Geraldo Alckmin and won by a large margin, though with a smaller share of the vote than in 2002. In an interview published August 26, 2007, he said he had no intention of seeking a constitutional change to run for a third term. He also said he wanted to “reach the end of term in a strong position to influence the succession.” Based on Lei da Ficha Limpa, Brazil’s top electoral court told former president Lula da Silva in early September 2018 that he could not run for president in the 2018 general election. Fernando Haddad ran for president on the Workers Party ticket and lost to Jair Bolsonaro in a run-off.

Lula was president from 2003 to 2010 and resigned on January 1, 2011. In his farewell speech, he said he had to prove he could handle the presidency despite his humble beginnings. Few of Lula’s proposed reforms were implemented. Some wings of the Worker’s Party disagreed with the party’s increasing moderation in the late 1980s and left to form the Workers’ Cause Party, the United Socialist Workers’ Party, and the Socialism and Liberty Party during Lula’s presidency. Some are disappointed by alliances with former presidents José Sarney and Fernando Collor. Lula’s administration faced “numerous” corruption scandals, including Mensalo and Escândalo dos Sanguessugas. The Brazilian attorney general charged 40 Mensalo politicians and officials, including Lula. He said he knew nothing about the scandals on Brazilian TV. Roberto Jefferson, José Dirceu, Luiz Gushiken, and Humberto Costa have confirmed this, but Arlindo Chinaglia, a party member, claims Lula was warned. Lula lost many aides amid political turmoil, but he remains popular with the public. His administration was criticized for relying on local political barons like José Sarney, Jader Barbalho, Renan Calheiros, and Fernando Collor. His ambiguous treatment of the PT left was another frequent criticism. In 2004, he pushed for the creation of a “Federal Council of Journalists” (CFJ) and a “National Cinema Agency” (Ancinav), the latter to overhaul funding for electronic communications. Both proposals failed over fears of state control over free speech.

The Brazil’s Supreme Court denied Lula’s habeas corpus petition 6–5 on April 5, 2018. Even though Lula hadn’t used all of his appeals, the court said he had to start serving the sentence from his conviction on July 12, 2017. Lula and his party vowed to continue campaigning from prison after the court ordered him to surrender by April 6, 2017. Brazil’s military chief, General Eduardo Villas Boas, had also demanded that Lula be imprisoned. Lula turned himself in the next day, April 7, 2018. Brazil’s cities erupted in protest after Lula’s imprisonment. Free Lula Movement formed after Lula’s imprisonment. Federal judge Rogério Favreto ordered Lula’s release on July 8, 2018. Sérgio Moro said Rogério Favreto didn’t have the power to release Lula, and Favreto’s ruling was overturned the next day. The Intercept published on June 9, 2019, leaked Telegram messages between the judge in Lula’s case, Sérgio Moro, and the lead prosecutor in Operation Car Wash, Deltan Dallagnol, in which they allegedly planned to convict Lula to stop him from running for president in 2018. Rogério Moro’s impartiality in Lula’s trial was questioned. After disclosures, the Supreme Court resumed legal proceedings. Rogério Moro denied any wrongdoing or judicial misconduct during Operation Car Wash and his investigation of the former president, claiming the press misrepresented the leaked conversations and that conversations between prosecutors and judges are normal. Rogério Moro became Justice and Public Security Minister after Jair Bolsonaro’s election, and it’s unclear if an agreement existed before.

Lula was released from prison on November 8, 2019, after 580 days. This happened because the Brazilian Supreme Court ended the rule that criminals had to stay in jail even if their first appeal failed. The Porto Alegre court increased Lula’s sentence to 17 years on November 27, 2019. The Supreme Federal Court annulled Lula’s convictions on March 8, 2021, ruling that the court in Curitiba lacked jurisdiction, and ordered a retrial in Brasilia. On April, 15, 2021, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling 8–3. Lula, his former chief of staff Gilberto Carvalho, and five others were indicted in Operation Zelotes’ bribery probe. Prosecutors say they helped pass Provisional Measure 471 in 2009 to benefit CAOA and MMC. Judge Frederico Botelho de Barros Viana of the 10th Federal Court of Brasilia acquitted all the accused on June 21, 2021, saying the prosecution couldn’t prove a criminal conspiracy. In May 2021, Lula said he would run for a third term in the October 2022 general election against President Jair Bolsonaro. Opinion polls in July 2021 suggested he would easily beat Jair Bolsonaro. In January 2022, he led Jair Bolsonaro by 17%. Lula announced in April 2022 that Geraldo Alckmin, who ran against him in 2006, would be his running mate. Lula won the first round on October 2, 2022, with 48.43% of the vote, qualifying him for the second round with Bolsonaro. On October, 30,2022, three days after his 77th birthday, Lula was re-elected. He was Brazil’s first president to serve three non-consecutive terms since Getlio Vargas. He’s the first to unseat a sitting president. On January 1, 2023, he’ll take office. Lula’s main commitments are the reconstruction of the country in the face of the economic crisis, democracy, sovereignty, and peace, economic development and stability, fighting poverty, education, implementing a National System of Culture, and expanding housing programs.

Lula Da Silva Ethnicity

Lula has Portuguese and Italian ancestry.

Lula Da Silva Parents

Aristides Inácio da Silva and Eurdice Ferreira de Melo were Lula’s parents.

Lula Da Silva Siblings

Lula’s brothers include Frei Chico, Frei Chico, Genival Inácio da Silva, Genival Inácio da Silva, Odair da Silva, Jackson da Silva, Jaime da Silva, José Rubens da Silva, Germano da Silva, Antônio Roberto da Silva, José Inácio da Silva and João Inácio da Silva Neto, while his sisters include Lindinalva Silva, Maria da Silva Chamone, Guilhermina da Silva, Marinete Leite Cerqueira, Marina da Silva, Maria Ferreira Moreno, and Ruth da Silva.

Lula Da Silva Religion

Lula was raised Roman Catholic. He is still a Christian.

Lula Da Silva Wife

Lula has had three marriages. He married Maria de Lourdes in 1969; she passed away from hepatitis in 1971. His then-girlfriend, Miriam Cordeiro, bore him a daughter in 1974. Lula got married to Marisa Letcia Rocco Casa, a widow, in 1974. Marisa died of a stroke in February 2017. Rosângela da Silva, whom he had met in prison, became his wife in 2022.

Lula Da Silva Children

Lula has five children – Fábio Luís da Silva, Sandro Luís da Silva, Luís Cláudio da Silva, Lurian Cordeiro, and Marcos Cláudio da Silva.

Lula Da Silva Social Media

On both Twitter and Instagram, Lula could be seen posting under the account @LulaOfficial. Additionally, he uses the name “Lula” when posting on YouTube and LinkedIn.

Lula Da Silva Net Worth

Lula has has maintained a net worth of only $5 million, according to reports that include his personal property and bank accounts.