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Born: 1942 (21 March?), Beit Al-Ahmar village (Sanhan district of Sana'a province).
Status: Married, with seven children. Eldest son, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Salih, is a member of parliament for Sana’a.
1960 Officers’ training school.
1962 As a sergeant, participated in 26 September revolution; promoted to adjutant military officer.
1963 Promoted to second lieutenant; injured in a battle in eastern Sana'a province.
1964 Joined the school for armoured troops.
1970 Regarded as a hero of the Saba’in war, when Sana'a came under siege.
Among his military positions, he served as commanding officer of an armoured detachment and on the general staff of an armoured battalion, in charge of provisions.
Commanding officer of an armoured battalion in Bab al-Mandab sector.
1975-1978 Commanding officer of Ta’izz military battalion and Camp Regiment Officer of Khalid bin al-Walid.
1978 Member of the Provisional Presidential Council and Vice-General Commander and Chief of Staff of the Armoured Forces at the time of ex-president al-Ghashmi's murder on June 24.
1978 Elected President of the Republic and General Commander of the Armed Forces by the Founding People’s Assembly on July 17.
1979 Promoted to colonel in recognition of his services.
1982 Elected General Secretary of General People’s Congress, August 30.
1983 Re-elected President and General Commander of the Armed Forces by the assembly on May 23.
1989 Awarded Honorary Master’s Degree in Military Science by the College of Leadership and Military General Staff.
1990 Promoted to Lieutenant General by the Shura Council on May 21, in recognition of his services.
1990 Became chairman of the five-man Presidential Council when north and south Yemen were unified on May 22.
1993 Elected chairman of the Presidential Council by parliament on October 16, following Yemen's first multi-party parliamentary elections.
1994 Led northern side in the brief war against southern secessionists which ended July 7.
1994 Elected President of the Republic by the parliament on October 1, following constitutional amendments.
1997 Promoted to Field Marshal by parliament on December 24, in recognition of his services.
1999 Elected president with 96.3% of the total votes in Yemen's first direct presidential election on 23 September. See al-bab's report.
2006 Re-elected with a 77% majority.
Information drawn mainly from "Twenty Years of Giving", published in 1998 by the presidential office