Mahathir bin Mohamad became the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia in July 1981, and he served in this position until 2003.
He entered the Malaysian parliament as a member of the dominant United Malays National Organization (UMNO) party. During the 1970s, he held several ministerial posts, including Minister of Education and then Minister of Trade and Industry.
In 1973, Mr. Mohamad was appointed as a Senator and in 1975, he was elected as one of the three Vice Presidents of UMNO.
In 1976, he served as Deputy Prime Minister and won the Deputy President seat in 1978. Then, in 1981, he was appointed President of the party.
Under the leadership of Mr. Mohamad, the ruling party Barisan Nasional (National Front) won landslide victories in the 1982, 1986, 1990, 1995 and 1999 General Elections.
Mr. Mohamad is a medical doctor by profession and he is married to a doctor with whom he has seven children and ten grandchildren.