Samuel Kanyon Doe
Former President of Liberia
Date of Birth: 06/05/1951
Place of Birth: Tuzon
Education: Primary School, Turzon; R.B. Richardson Baptist Junior High School, Zwedru, dropped out in 1967
Career: Acting first Sergeant, Liberian Army, 1973; Corporal, 1975; Master Sergeant, 1979; Military ruler, Liberia, 1980-90
Commentary: A semi-literate ex-army sergeant, Samuel Doe's 1980 coup ended a century of Americo-Liberian power. Ousting President WIlliam Tolbert, he was initially popular but economic turmoil put an end to this and his regime was detested at home, though it remained supported by Washington. After the outbreak of the first Liberian Civil War in 1989, Doe was tortured and murdered in 1990, ten years after he seized power, by Prince Yormie Johnson, leader of a rebel faction.
A staunch football supporter, Doe spent thousands of scarce dollars on training and is one of the heroes of George Weah, the Congress for Democratic Change's 2005 presidential candidate and a former international football star, who visited Doe's grave just before the 2005 polls.