Photo of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf after her release from prison in the 1980s. Ellen was Secretary of State for Finance between 1972 and 1978, then Minister of Finance between 1979 and 1980.
That same year, Samuel Doe carried out a coup and had incumbent President William Richard Tolbert assassinated at his home and most of the ministers on a beach. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf survives because she is a woman and because the new president cannot totally decapitate the bureaucratic apparatus.
She nevertheless manages to go into exile and then returns later, declaring that she wants to campaign against the president, which leads her to be threatened with death again.
From 1985, she was sentenced to ten years in prison for opposing the military regime of Samuel Doe, but was allowed to leave the country shortly after. Her political opposition earned her the nickname "Iron Lady".
She become the first woman elected by universal suffrage as the head of an African state in 2006. She is a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.
Source - African History

TopBack to Top