Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev was born on 10 May 1923 in the city of Nakhchivan of Azerbaijan. In 1939, after graduating from the Nakhchivan Pedagogical School, he studied at the architectural department of the Azerbaijan Industrial Institute (now the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy). The incipient war impeded to complete his education.
Since 1941, Heydar Aliyev was the head of the department at the People Commissariat of Internal Affairs and People's Commissariat of Soviet of Nakhchivan ASSR and in 1944 he was sent to work at the state security bodies. Working since that time in the security bodies, Heydar Aliyev since 1964 held the post of deputy chairman, and since 1967 - chairman of the Committee of State Security under the Cabinet of Soviet Ministers of Azerbaijan Republic, and he was conferred the rank of lieutenant general. In these years, he received special higher education in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), and in 1957, he graduated from the history department of Azerbaijan State University.
Being elected at the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan in July 1969 as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev headed the Republic. In December 1982, Heydar Aliyev had been elected as Alternate member of Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he was appointed at the post of the first deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the USSR and became one of the leaders of the USSR. During twenty years, Heydar Aliyev was the Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and for five years he was the Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
In October 1987, Heydar Aliyev, as a sign of protest against the policy pursued by Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and personally by the Secretary General Michael Gorbachev, he resigned from his post.
In bound with the tragedy, committed on 20 January, 1990 in Baku by the soviet troops, Heydar Aliyev appearing on the next day at the Azerbaijan Representation in Moscow with a statement, demanded to punish the organizers and executors of the crime, committed against the people of Azerbaijan. As a sign of protest against the hypocritical policy of leadership of the USSR, in connection with the critical conflict occurred in Nagorno-Karabakh, in July, 1991, he left the ranks of Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
By his return in July, 1990 to Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev lived at first in Baku, then in Nakhchivan, and in the same year he was elected as the Deputy to the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan. In 1991-1993, he held the post of Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet (Milli Mejlis) of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In 1992, at the constituent congress of the New Azerbaijan Party in Nakhchivan, Heydar Aliyev, was elected as the Chairman of the Party.
In May-June, 1993, when, as the result of extreme tension of the governmental crisis, the country was at the verge of civil war and loss of independence, the people of Azerbaijan demanded to bring to power Heydar Aliyev. The then leaders of Azerbaijan were obliged to officially invite Heydar Aliyev to Baku. On 15 June, 1993, Heydar Aliyev was elected as the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan, and on 24 July - on resolution of the Milli Mejlis (National Assembly), he managed to perform the powers of the President of Azerbaijan Republic.
On October 3, 1993, as the result of nationwide voting, Heydar Aliyev was elected as the President of Azerbaijan Republic. On October 11, 1998, having garnered at the elections, held in conditions of full activity of the population, 76,1 percent of the votes, he was re-elected as the President of Azerbaijan Republic. Heydar Aliyev, giving his consent to be nominated as a candidate at the 15 October, 2003 presidential elections, relinquished to run at the elections in connection with his health problems.
Heydar Aliyev was conferred a number of international awards, the title of honorary doctor of numerous countries, and other high honors. He was conferred for four times with the Lenin Order, the Order of Krasnaya Zvezda and many medals, and twice Hero of Socialist Labor, was awarded by Orders and medals of many foreign states.
Historical destiny of Azerbaijan, covering the period of over the last thirty years, was inseparably linked with the name of Heydar Aliyev. Revival of the people during these years in all spheres of its socio-political, economic and cultural life is connected just with his name.
During the said period of his leadership, Heydar Aliyev helped his native land Azerbaijan, the progress that he persistently strived for, the rich culture, great historical past which he was always proud of, and the coming generations whom he was concerned about, to overcome as a state hard and terrible ordeals of time.
Being an outstanding politician and statesman, indisputable leader of the nation, he was a live legend, and therefore, the Heydar Aliyev phenomenon always attracted attention. The admiration the rapid political activity of this nationwide leader admired the Azerbaijanis of world and was widely illuminated both in the Republican and world press.
In June, 1993, when the people of Azerbaijan believed that the national statehood was menaced by a breakdown, when there began the hardest days, it insistently demanded change of the existing power, and since that time relied its destiny on Heydar Aliyev. Heydar Aliyev, seeing misfortune of his nation, accepted the invitation and returned to great politics in Azerbaijan. The people welcomed the return of Heydar Aliyev with a hope and joy, and this day went down in history of the independent Azerbaijan as the Day of National Salvation.