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Omar Bongo
Birth: Dec. 30, 1935
Death: Jun. 8, 2009
Cataluna, Spain

President of Gabon. Born Albert Bernard Bongo, he was one of 12 children of a peasant farming family in the Bateke region of southeast Gabon; his father died when he was seven years old. After school in Brazzaville in the Congo, his path upward began in the colonial military she he joined the French Air Force where he was said to be the first black man to serve in the force in Chad. He was appointed director in the president's office in 1962, at age 27. Then in 1964 renegade soldiers arrested him in Libreville and also kidnapped the president, Leon Mba. The junta attempted to install a civilian, Jean Hilaire Obame, as president but he only lasted two days when French paratroopers rescued President Mba and Bongo, restoring them to power and quickly ending the only coup attempt in Gabon's history. He was rewarded for his loyalty with the vice-presidency in 1967 and less than nine months later, upon the sudden death of Mba he became Africa's fourth-youngest president ever. He changed his name to El Hadj Omar Bongo when he converted to Islam in 1973 and later added his father's traditional African name to his title and assumed the name Omar Bongo Ondimba. He finally introduced multi-party elections in 1993 after which Gabon held a presidential election; he won, although the vote was marred by allegations of rigging. He was reelected in 1998 and 2005. He is credited with Gabon's avoidance of spill-over internal troubles from conflicts in the nearby states of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. His pivotal role in attempts to solve crises in the Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo earned him the reputation of a peacemaker. Cause of death; heart attack. (bio by: Fred Beisser) 
Mausoleum of Franceville
Haut-Ogooué, Gabon
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Fred Beisser
Record added: Jun 08, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38089751
Omar Bongo
Added by: Fred Beisser
Omar Bongo
Added by: Fred Beisser
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