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Joko Widodo Biography
Joko Widodo is the current President of Indonesia, in office since October 2014. This
biography of Joko Widodo provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements,
works & timeline.
Also Known As
Famous as
President of Indonesia
Born on
21 June 1961 AD
1.77 m
Zodiac Sign
Born on
Iriana Joko Widodo
Gibran Rakabuming R
Kaesang Pangarep
Kahiyang Ayu
1985 - Gadjah Mada University
Joko Widodo is the current President of Indonesia serving in this position since October
2014. Therewas some controversy involved during the presidential election in mid-2014 though
eventually he was declared the winner of the election by the General Elections Commission.
Thus he assumed office as the 7th President of Indonesia after having held several other
positions in the Indonesian administration. Born into a poor family in the city of Surakarta,
Widodo faced his share of struggles as a member of the underprivileged section of the society.
Because of the family’s dire financial situations he had to start working as a young boy to
support his family and to pay for his own education. Hard working and intelligent, he studied
hard and graduated with a degree in forestry engineering from the prestigious Gadjah Mada
University in Yogyakarta.. Eventually he entered politics and was elected to the position of
governor of Jakarta. He proved to be very popular among both the urban and rural sections of the
society, and rose through the ranks, eventually getting elected as the President. He commands
great respect from nitizen he is perceived as a clean principled politician who understands the
problems of the people.
Childhood & Early Life
He was born on 21 June 1961 Surakarta, Indonesia, to Noto Mihardjo and Sudjiatmi
Notomihardjo. He has three younger sisters. His family lived in illegaly built shacks and was
oten evicted from their dwelling by the government. He received his primary education from the
State Primary School 111, Tirtoyoso, which was school especially meant for the poorer sections
of the society. He also started working in his father’s furniture workshop when he was 12 in
order to earn money to buy school supplies. In spite of all his difficulties he performed well at
school. After completing his high school he enrolled at the Forestry Faculty of Gadjah Mada
University where he studied the structure of wood, its utilization, and its technology. He
graduated in 1985.
He found a job with BUMN PT Kertas Kraft Aceh and was placed in Pinus merkusii
forest plantation at Gayo Highlands. But he was not happy with this job and wanted to start his
own business. He founded his own business under the name of CV Rakabu in 1988. Even
though it was initially successful it had to be closed down due to fraud. Not the one to accept
defeat so soon, he reestablished his business and by 2002 became a very successful furniture
exporter. He also served as the chairman of a local branch of the country’s influential furniture
manufacturers’ association. In 2005, he decided to enter politics and ran for the office of mayor
in Surakarta as a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle. Initially people
viewed him with skepticism as he was primarily a businessman with no political connections. He
won the elections and soon proved his detractors wrong by initiating many progressive reforms
in the city. As the mayor he earned much respect for his progressive reforms and his honesty
which distinguished him from other politicians. He developed a rapport with the people as he had
risen to this post from an underprivileged background, and thus could connect with people from
all sections of the society. He often visited poor neighborhoods to interact with the people and
refused to accept a salary for his public service. This greatly enhanced his reputation as a
genuine person who cared about the public. He easily won the re-election in 2010 with over 90
percent of the vote and was made the mayor for a second term. In 2012 he decided to run for the
position of Jakarta's governor.
Widodo was contesting the election against the incumbent, Fauzi Bowo, and easily
ousted him in the second round of that election. As the governor of Jakarta, he implemented
many policies to encourage small industries and focused on improving Jakartans’ access to
health care and education. He again proved to be a very efficient leader who empathized with the
poor. He regularly visited the poor areas and talked to the people about the problems they faced
regarding food prices, access to medical facilities, housing facilities, and infrastructural
amenities. He wore simple clothes and followed a simple lifestyle which helped him in
connecting with the common man. He implemented a universal health care program in Jakarta,
based on a Healthy Jakarta Card (Kartu Jakarta Sehat or KJS) which became very popular. He
also launched the "Smart Jakarta Card" in order to help poor students by giving them an
allowance that can be withdrawn from ATMs in order to buy school supplies.
The leader of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, Megawati Sukarnoputri chose
Joko Widodo to be the presidential candidate of her party in 2014. His mayorship in Surakarta
and his governorship in Jakarta had made him highly respected and popular all over Indonesia.
He won the election with more than 53 percent of the popular vote, defeating his opponent
Prabowo Subianto. He assumed office on 20 October 2014 as the 7th President of Indonesia.
Widodo is the first Indonesian president who is not from the military or the political elite. As the
president, he is focusing on curbing the corruption in Indonesian administration and is taking
steps to attract more foreign direct investment to the country. He has also implemented land
reforms, improved public services, and initiated healthcare and educational programs.
Major Works
After becoming the governor of Jakarta, he introduced a universal health care program, based on
‘Healthy Jakarta Card’. The scheme proved to be very popular.
Awards & Achievements
Was honored with the Bintang Jalasena Utama, 1st Class ("Navy Meritorious Service
Star") in 2011 by the Government of Indonesia. He was honored with the 1st Class "Star of the
Republic of Indonesia" (BRI), Bintang Republik Indonesia Adipurna in 2014. He was once
ranked as the third best mayor in the world by the international City Mayors Foundation.
Personal Life & Legacy
He is married to Iriana and has three children: two sons Gibran Rakabuming Raka and
Kaesang Pangarep, and one daughter Kahiyang Ayu.