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  • Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi, was a Libyan revolutionary and politician, and the de facto ruler of Libya for 42 years. Taking power in a 1969 coup d'etat, he ruled as Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977 and then as the "Brotherly Leader" of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011, when he was ousted in the Libyan civil war. After beginning as an Arab nationalist and Arab socialist, he later governed the country according to his own ideology, the Third International Theory. He eventually embraced Pan-Africanism, and served as Chairperson of the African Union from 2009 to 2010. The son of an impoverished Bedouin goat herder, Gaddafi became involved in politics while at school in Sabha, subsequently enrolling in the Royal Military Academy, Benghazi. Founding a revolutionary cell within the military, in 1969 they seized power from King Idris in a bloodless coup. Becoming Chairman of the governing Revolutionary Command Council, he dissolved the monarchy and proclaimed the Republic. Wikipedia