Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev was born on May 10, 1923, in the Azerbaijani city of Nakhchivan.
After graduating from the Nakhchivan Pedagogical College in 1939, he studied at the Faculty of Architecture of the Azerbaijan Industrial Institute (now the Azerbaijan State University of Oil and Industry). The outbreak of the war did not allow him to complete his education. Since 1941, Heydar Aliyev worked as the head of a department in the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1944 he was sent to work in state security agencies.
Heydar Aliyev, who worked from this period in the security system, from 1964 served as deputy chairman, and from 1967 – chairman of the State Security Committee under the Council of Ministers of the Azerbaijan SSR, he was awarded the rank of major general. During these years, he received a 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 became the leader of the republic.
In December 1982, Heydar Aliyev was elected a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, appointed First Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers and became one of the leaders of the USSR. For twenty years, Heydar Aliyev was a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and for five years held the post of Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
In October 1987, Heydar Aliyev resigned from his post as a sign of protest against the policy pursued by the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and personally by General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.
In connection with the bloody tragedy committed on January 20, 1990, in Baku by the Soviet troops, Heydar Aliyev, making a statement at the Azerbaijani Representation in Moscow the next day, demanded to punish the organisers and perpetrators of the crime committed against the Azerbaijani people.
He left the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in July 1991 in protest against the duplicitous policy of the USSR leadership in connection with the acute conflict situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Returning to Azerbaijan in July 1990, Heydar Aliyev lived first in Baku and then in Nakhchivan, in the same year he was elected a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan. In 1991-1993 he held the post of Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Heydar Aliyev was elected chairman of the party at the founding congress of the “Yeni Azerbaijan” Party held in Nakhchivan in 1992.
When in May-June 1993, as a result of the extreme aggravation of the governmental crisis in the country there was a threat of civil war and loss of independence, the Azerbaijani people demanded to bring Heydar Aliyev to power. The then leaders of Azerbaijan had to officially invite Heydar Aliyev to Baku. On 15 June 1993, Heydar Aliyev was elected Chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan, and on 24 July, by a resolution of the Milli Majlis, he began to exercise the powers of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On October 3, 1993, Heydar Aliyev was elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan by popular vote.
On October 11, 1998, he was re-elected President of Azerbaijan with 76.1 per cent of the vote in a highly active election.
Heydar Aliyev, who had agreed to run for the presidential election scheduled for October 15, 2003, refused to participate in the election due to health problems. On December 12, the national leader of Azerbaijan, President Heydar Aliyev died in the Cleveland Clinic of the United States of America.
Heydar Aliyev was awarded the Order of Lenin four times, the Order of Red Star, numerous medals, twice received the title of Hero of Socialist Labour, was awarded numerous orders and medals of various foreign countries. On March 27, 1997, in Kyiv, the head of the Azerbaijani state was awarded the highest award of Ukraine, the order of “Yaroslav the Wise”.
On April 13, 1999, President Heydar Aliyev was awarded the highest award of Türkiye, the “Ataturk Prize for Peace”. On 20 January 2001, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev was awarded the title of “Honorary Professor” at Moscow State University.