Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is a Brazilian politician and former union leader who served as the 35th president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010. He was a founding member of the Workers' Party and ran unsuccessfully for president three times before achieving victory in the 2002 election. He was re-elected in 2006.
During his time in office, Lula introduced sweeping social programs including Bolsa Família and Fome Zero, aimed at combating poverty and lifting the station of the country's working class. As president, Lula played a prominent role in international matters including activities related to the nuclear program of Iran and climate change, being described as "a man with audacious ambitions to alter the balance of power among nations".
Succeeded by his former Chief of Staff, Dilma Rousseff, Lula left an enduring mark on Brazilian politics in the form of Lulism. He has been called one of the most popular politicians in Brazilian history and while in office was one of the most popular in the world. In 2011, Lula, who was a smoker for 40 years, was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent chemotherapy, leading to a successful recovery.