Fernando Henrique Cardoso

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Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Portuguese pronunciation: [feɾˈnɐ̃du ẽˈʁiki kaɾˈdozu]; born June 18, 1931) - also known by his initials FHC - was the 34th President of the Federative Republic of Brazil for two terms from January 1, 1995 to January 1, 2003. He is an accomplished sociologist, professor and politician.[1] He was awarded in 2000 with the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.[2]


Personal and professional life

Cardoso is descended from wealthy Portuguese immigrants. Some of his ancestors were politicians during the Empire of Brazil.[3] He is also of Black African descent, through a Black great-great-grandmother and a Mulatto great-grandmother.[4] Cardoso described himself as "slightly Mulatto" and allegedly said he has "one foot in the kitchen" (a nod to 19th Century Brazilian domestic slavery).[5][6]

Born in Rio de Janeiro, he has lived in São Paulo most of his life. Cardoso is a widower (he was married to Ruth Vilaça Correia Leite Cardoso until her death June 24, 2008) and has four children.[7] Educated as a sociologist, he was a Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Universidade de São Paulo.[8] He was President of the International Sociological Association (ISA), from 1982 to 1986. He is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton),[9] an honorary foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has penned several books. He was also Associate Director of Studies in the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and then visiting professor at the Collège de France and later at the Paris-Nanterre University.[10] He later lectured at United States' universities including Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.[10] He is fluent in four languages: Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.[10]

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