-Feb. 11, 1934: Born in Panama City. Grows up in low-income El Chorrillo neighborhood with adoptive parents.
-1957: Studies at military academy in Peru. Upon return, he joins Panama's military, the National Guard, becoming chief of western province of Chiriqui.
-December 1969: Allows Gen. Omar Torrijos to land in Chiriqui from Mexico after military uprising against commander of National Guard.
1970: Promoted to lieutenant colonel and takes over feared G-2, the military intelligence bureau. For a decade he collaborates closely with CIA.
July 31, 1981: Torrijos dies in plane accident, and members of secret service temporarily take over National Guard.
Aug. 12, 1983: Noriega assumes command of National Guard, which he will convert to Panama's Defense Forces.
May 17, 1984: Electoral court declares Noriega-backed Nicholas Ardito Barletta as winner of presidential election as opposition alleges fraud.
Sept. 27, 1985: Barletta forced to resign and replaced by Eric Delvalle.
June 1987: Mass protests erupt after a retired colonel reveals that members of the secret service and electoral court judges were behind fraud in the 1984 election.
February 1988: Noriega charged in Miami and Tampa with ties to drug trafficking and money laundering.
Feb. 25, 1988: Delvalle tries to remove Noriega as Defense Forces commander, but legislature removes Delvalle instead.
March 1988: Coup attempt against Noriega fails.
May 1989: Elections held and opposition accuses Noriega of interfering in vote, including stealing and destroying ballot boxes.
Aug. 31, 1989: With Noriega's backing, Francisco Rodriguez named provisional president after election annulled.
Oct. 3, 1989: Troops loyal to Noriega put down revolt by other soldiers. Rebels later shot.
Dec. 15, 1989: Noriega named head of government by National Assembly, which gives him special powers and declares Panama in state of war.
Dec. 20, 1989: As U.S. troops invade to depose him, Noriega goes into hiding, finally surrendering on Jan. 3 after standoff at Vatican's diplomatic mission. He's taken to Florida to face drug charges.
1992: After conviction, is sentenced to 40 years in prison for drug trafficking, though sentence later reduced.
April 27, 2010: Extradited by U.S. to France, where he is convicted of laundering money in France during 1980s and sentenced to seven years in prison.
Dec. 11, 2011: Sent back to Panama and immediately imprisoned.
Jan. 29, 2017: Allowed to switch to house arrest to prepare for surgery to remove benign brain tumor.
March 7, 2017: Undergoes surgery for tumor, then suffers bleeding in brain that requires second operation hours later, leaving him in critical condition.
May 29, 2017: Noriega dies at a hospital in Panama City of unspecified causes