The first president of the Czech Republic Václav Havel was born on 5 October 1936 in Prague to a well-known wealthy intellectual family.
During his youth he served as a chemical laboratory assistant and studied secondary evening school along that. Because of the political reasons he was not allowed to study the humanity program at the post-secondary school so he studied at the Faculty of Economics at the Czech Technical University in Prague which he did not finish.
After finishing his military service in the late 50s due to many restrictions imposed on him he found a job in Prague in theatres and started to write his own plays.
After the invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 he was banned from the theatre and became politically active. After his experience of the work in a brewery he wrote a play Audience which was distributed in samizdat and thanks to which Havel became the leading dissident in Czechoslovakia. He was later also one of the founding members of the Charter 77 manifest and co-founded the Committee of the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted in 1979. His political activities were punished by multiple stays in prison.
After the Velvet revolution in 1989 Havel became the first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia after 41 years of Communism. In 1993, when Czechoslovakia split into two separate republics he won the elections and became the first president of the newly created Czech Republic.
He served as the president for two terms until 2 February 2003. He continued his public life with launching several initiatives such as VIZE 97 Foundation and the Forum 2000 annual conference.
He died on 18 December 2011.