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Nnamdi Azikiwe

AKA Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe

Born: 16-Nov-1904
Birthplace: Zungeru, Nigeria
Died: 11-May-1996
Location of death: Enugu, Nigeria [1]
Cause of death: Illness
Remains: Buried, at his home, Onitsha, Nigeria

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Head of State

Nationality: Nigeria
Executive summary: First President of Nigeria, 1963-66

As a boy Benjamin Azikiwe achieved fluency in all three major languages spoken in his region, and as a young man he studied and taught political science in the United States. He began his newspaper career in 1934, joining the Ghana's African Morning Post as editor, where he was charged and imprisoned for sedition after publishing an article examining Africans' relationship to religion (his conviction was overturned on appeal). In 1937 he established the West African Pilot, a strongly nationalist newspaper in his native Nigeria, and over the next decade his newspaper empire grew to six Nigerian dailies.

He co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons in 1944, a group urging a unified, independent Nigeria, and he held a series of rising political offices through the 1940s and '50s. When Nigeria was granted independence from Great Britain in 1960, Azikiwe (nicknamed "Zik") was appointed Governor-General, and three years later when his country became a republic Azikiwe became its first President. He was disposed as President in a military coup on 15 January 1966. In the subsequent Nigerian-Biafran civil war, Azikiwe first supported an independent Biafra, but later returned to his long-time call for a unified Nigeria. He ran for President on the Nigeria People's Party ticket in 1979 and 1983, losing both times, and retired from politics in 1986.


[1] University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria.

Wife: Flora Ogbenyeanu Ogoegbunam (m. 1936, d. 1983, one daughter, three sons)
Son: Chukwuma
Son: Chukwuemeka
Wife: Uche Azikiwe (teacher at University of Nigeria)

    High School: Methodist Boys' High School, Lagos, Nigeria
    University: Storer College, Harpers Ferry, WV
    University:
Howard University
    University: BA Political Science, Lincoln University Pennsylvania (1931)
    University: MA Political Science, University of Pennsylvania (1933)
    Teacher: Political Science, Lincoln University Pennsylvania (1932-34)
    Administrator: Chancellor, University of Nigeria at Nsukka (1961-66)
    Administrator: Chancellor, Lagos University (1972-76)

    President of Nigeria (1963-66)
    Nigerian Official Governor-General (1960-63)
    Nigerian Official President of the Senate (1959-60)
    Nigerian Official Eastern Region Premier (1954-59)
    Nigerian Official Western House of Assembly (legislator, 1952-53)
    Nigerian Official Nigerian Legislative Council (legislator, 1947-51)
    National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons Co-Founder (1944)
    Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
    Sedition 1936 (guilty, acquitted on appeal)
    Ousted in a Coup 15-Jan-1966
    Portrait on Nigerian currency (five hundred naira)

Author of books:
Liberia in World Politics (1934)
Renascent Nation (1937)
Political Blueprint of Nigeria (1943)
Economic Reconstruction in Nigeria (1943)
Nigeria in World Politics (1959)
My Odyssey: An Autobiography (1971, memoir)
Onitsha Market Crisis: An Example of Monocracy (1976)
Meditations: A Collection of Poems (1977, poetry)


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