RAW DATA: Timeline of Muammar al-Qaddafi's Rule

Libyan Leader Muammar al-Qaddafi

• Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi, 69, is the longest-serving leader in Africa and the Arab world.

Qaddafi seized power in a bloodless coup in Sep. 1, 1969 at the age of 27.

• Qaddafi has held more than 14 different titles, often self-appointed – during his eccentric reign over Libya (ex.: King of Kings, Guide of the First of September Great Revolution, Dean of Arab Rules, Mad Dog of the Middle East).

• Qaddafi has served for 41 years, coming up on his 42nd anniversary on September 1st.

• Under his reign the ancient law of cutting off the hands of thieves was reinstituted.

• According to the CIA, Qaddafi suffers from "a borderline personality disorder" and is subject to episodes of "bizarre behavior".


• 1942: Muammar al-Qaddafi born near Sirte, Libya.

• 1969: Seizes power from King Idris in bloodless coup.

• 1970s: Qaddafi places family members and friends throughout key Libyan government posts and business sectors/

• 1977: Declares "people's revolution", creating the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah

• 1980s: Libya becomes haven for Arab terrorists under the direction of Qaddafi/

• 1986: Qaddafi targets US soldiers in Berlin disco attack, three killed; US bombs Tripoli and Benghazi, killing dozens/

• 1988: Qaddafi orchestrates killing of 270 people in bombing of Pan Am jet over Lockerbie.

• 2003: Libya takes responsibility for Lockerbie, renounces weapons of mass destruction.

• 2011: As the Arab Spring bloomed, small protests breakout in Benghazi – escalating to a state of open rebellion against Qaddafi in less than a month.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, CIA, U.S. Department of State.