Here's a look at the life of Fidel Castro.
Personal: Birth date: August 13, 1926
Birth place: Biran, Cuba
Birth name: Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz
Father: Angel Castro, a wealthy Spanish landowner.
Mother: Lina Ruz, a cook and maid to Angel Castro's first wife.
Marriage: Mirta Diaz-Balart on 10/12/1948, divorced in 1955.
Children: with Natalia Revuelta: Alina Fernandez Revuelta, 1956; with unknown mistress: Jorge Angel Castro, 1950s; with mistress Dalia Soto del Valle: Antonio, Alejandro, Angel, Alexis, Alex; with Mirta: Fidelito, 1949.
Education: Colegio Dolores in Santiago de Cuba, 1942; Colegio Belen in Havana, 1945; University of Havana, doctorate in 1950.
Other Facts: Led the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship of Cuba in 1959, and has ruled Cuba ever since.
Made Cuba the first Communist country in the Western Hemisphere.
Brought social reforms to Cuba, but has been criticized for oppressing human rights and freedom of speech.
During his reign, thousands of Cubans have sought exile in the United States.
His sister, Juanita, lives in the U.S., and has spoken out against his policies.
Timeline: 1947 - Castro participates in an unsuccessful rebellion in the Dominican Republic against Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo.
1952 - Castro runs for parliament. The government is overthrown March 10th, 1952, by Fulgencio Batista, and the elections are suspended.
July 26, 1953 - Castro and approximately 150 others attack the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Batista regime.
October 16, 1953 - Castro is sentenced to 15 years in prison.
May 15, 1955 - Fidel and Raul Castro are released as part of a general amnesty for political prisoners. They go into exile, and spend 1955-1956 in the United States and Mexico. While in Mexico, they meet Argentine physician Che Guevara. The three organize a group of Cuban exiles into a new guerilla group.
December 2, 1956 - Eighty-one exiles land in Cuba, on a yacht named Granma. Most are killed immediately. The survivors, including Guevara and the Castros, flee to the Sierra Maestra Mountains. During 1957-1958 they wage a guerilla campaign from this base, which includes skirmishes with government troops and burning sugar crops.
January 1, 1959 - Fulgencio Batista is overthrown by Castro's forces.
January 2, 1959 - Manuel Urrutia is named the new president. Jose Miro Cardona is appointed prime minister.
February 16, 1959 - Castro takes over as prime minister.
April 15-26, 1959 - Castro visits the United States.
May 8, 1960 - Cuba and the Soviet Union establish formal diplomatic relations.