Uzbek President. Starting his career as a Communist Party official, Islam Karimov worked his way up through the Uzbek politics system before in 1990 becoming President of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Karimov declared Uzbekistan's independence in 1991 and became the first president of the newly formed country. He continued to serve as President until 2016 when he died after suffering a stroke.
Bio by: David Peltier