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Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, the Biography

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Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, known as B. J. Habibie, is the third president of Indonesia who served from 1998-1999. He was born on June 25th 1936 in Pare-Pare, South Sulawesi. He is the fourth son of eight siblings. His father, Alwi Abdul Jalil Habibie, is a Gorontalo descent who worked as an agriculturalist while his mom is a Javanese noblewoman from Jogjakarta, Central Java. Habibie married Hasri Ainun Habibie on May 12th 1962 and has two sons, Ilham Akbar and Thareq Kemal


Habibie, whose hobbies are riding a horse and reading, has been known for his intelligence since he was in elementary school. When he was 14 years old, his father died because of a heart attack. He, altogether with his mom and siblings, then moved to Bandung and continued his study there. Graduated form senior high school, he took mechanical engineering in Bandung Institute of Technology. In the middle of his study, he got a scholarship to study aviation and aeroplane at the University of DELFT in The Netherlands but because of some political reasons, one of which was a New Guinea dispute involving The Netherlands and Indonesia, he had to continue his study in Aachen in Germany. He graduated with honour and found an employment with Talbot, an automotive marque. Soon after that, he received many other employments from big companies, such as Boeing and Airbus, but he declined. He accepted a position with Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm in Hamburg, where he developed theories on thermodynamics, constructions and aerodynamics named as the Habibie factor, Habibie Theorem and Habibie method. Because of his theories, he is known as Mr Crack.

Returning to Indonesia in 1974, Habibie served as a special assistant of Ibnu Sutowo, the CEO of Pertamina, the state oil company. Two years later, he was chosen as the CEO of IPTN, Indonesian Aerospace, and in 1978, he was appointed as Minister of Research and Technology, who served until 1998.

Habibie was elected as the vice president of Indonesia in March 1998. After the 1998 tragedy which led to the fall of Soeharto’s presidency, Habibie replaced him and continued at least a year of his remaining presidential years. He later appointed a team to investigate the riots and also declared that Soeharto had gained his wealth through corruption. During Habibie’s presidency, Indonesia lost Timor Timur (East Timor) as one of its provinces because they chose to be an independent country separated from Indonesia. The Timor Timur case harmed Habibie's popularity and political alliances. Running for president in 1999, Habibie withdrew his candidacy shortly before the election. Since then, he stepped out of politics and returned to Germany. 

On May 20th 2010, Habibie’s wife, Hasri Ainun Habibie, died in a hospital in Ludwig Maximilians Universitat, Klinikum, Muenchen, Germany. To express his love to his wife, Habibie wrote a book entitled Habibie and Ainun, which has been adapted to a movie under the same title. The movie was released on December 20th 2012.

Name: Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie
Date of Birth: 25 June 1936
Place of Birth: Parepare, South Sulawesi
Political party: Golkar
Wife: Hasri Ainun Besari
Sons:  Ilham Akbar Habibie (b. 1963)
           Thareq Kemal Habibie (b. 1967)
Alma mater:  Bandung Institute of Technology (Mechanical Engineering 1954)
RWTH (B.E. 1955)
RWTH (Ing. 1962)
Occupation: Engineer, Aviation Industrialist, Politician
Religion: Islam

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