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A look at Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff

NAME: Michael Ignatieff

AGE: 63.

OCCUPATION: One of Canada's leading public intellectuals: an author, historian and journalist in Britain and a human rights professor at Harvard before going into politics.

FAMILY: Married to Zsuzsanna Zsohar. Two children by a previous marriage: Theo and Sophie. Son of prominent Canadian diplomat George Ignatieff. He is the grandson of Russian Count Paul Ignatieff, who was the czar's last minister of education and one of the few to escape execution by the Bolsheviks. He is also the nephew of Conservative political philosopher George Grant.

POLITICAL: Left Harvard in 2005 with the hope he would take over leadership of the Liberal party, which governed Canada for much of the last century. First elected to Parliament in 2006, re-elected 2008 in a suburban Toronto district. Front-runner in 2006 Liberal leadership contest, lost to Stephane Dion. Took interim helm of party in December 2008, officially named leader in May 2009. Criticized for spending half his life abroad.

BACKGROUND: Descended from Russia's Czarist aristocracy, Toronto-born Ignatieff earned a Ph.D. in history from Harvard, and has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, the University of California at Berkeley and the London School of Economics. He hosted award-winning TV shows on the BBC, and worked as a journalist in Rwanda and Kosovo. He has written 17 books and a critically acclaimed family history, "The Russian Album."

QUOTE: "Did I expect it to be this tough? Probably not. But this isn't showbiz. This is political life. You've got to be tough. They've thrown a lot of nonsense at me and I'm still standing. They may have tried it with other leaders but they will not succeed with me."