Islam Abduganievich Karimov was born on January 30 1938 in Samarkand into a family of civil servants. He is Uzbek by nationality and has a higher degree. He finished the Central Asian Polytechnic and the Tashkent Institute of national economy, receiving degrees as an engineer-mechanic and economist.
He began work in 1960 at Tashselmash. From 1961-66 he worked as an engineer, a leading engineer-constructor at the Chkalov Tashkent aviation production complex.
In 1966 he started work at the State planning office of the UzSSR where he worked as chief specialist and later as first deputy chairman of the State planning office.
In 1983 I. Karimov was appointed Minister of finance of the UzSSR, in 1986 – deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of the UzSSR and chairman of the State planning office.
In 1986-89 he was first secretary of the Kashkadarya provincial party committee. From June 1989 – first secretary of the Central committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan.
On March 24, 1990, he was elected President of the Uzbek SSR.
On August 31, 1991, he declared the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
On December 29, 1991 he was elected President of the Republic of Uzbekistan in multi-candidate elections.
On March 26, 1995, in accordance with a national referendum, his period in office was extended to 2000.
I. Karimov is married, with two daughters and five grandchildren. His wife T.A. Karimova is an economist and scientific worker.
For his outstanding contribution to education in Uzbekistan, creation of a state based on democratic laws, guarantee of civil peace and national accord, and for courage, I. Karimov was awarded the title Hero of Uzbekistan and the awards Mustakillik (Independence) and Amir Temur. He has received awards from foreign states and international organizations.
He is a full member of the Academy of sciences of Uzbekistan. For his contribution to economics, science, and education he was awarded honorary doctorates from 9 foreign institutions.
He is the initiator and leader of historic transformations in our country. He has directly contributed too:
- a program of independent development of the country, and the Constitution, meeting democratic demands and international criteria;
- a new program of state and social construction, reform of administration, both central and locally, the realization of principles harmonizing the interests of the state, society and the individual;
- a new respected model of economic development based on five principles: de-ideologization of the economy, supremacy of laws, step-by-step reform, state regulation during the transition period and strong social policy;
- reform of the armed forces, border forces;
I. Karimov has:
- a strong will, self-confidence and courage, defending the honor and dignity of the Uzbek people. When he headed the Central committee of the Communist Party, others tried to blacken his name, producing lawlessness and persecution;
- raised to the level of state policy respectful relations to the spiritual values of our nation, renewal and development of our sacred religion, traditions and customs, the priceless heritage of the people;
- raised the international respect for Uzbekistan;
- contributed to the formation in social awareness of the basis of national ideology and the value of traditions;
- made a great contribution to establishing, preserving and strengthening peace and national accord;
- been the author and initiator of ideas to create and execute the National program for preparing specialists;
- done much to raise the authority of the makhalla (community) in social-political life, increasing its rights and authority;
- been the initiator of construction of large enterprises, cultural buildings, communications networks, giving a strong impulse to economic development, transforming the face of many cities and villages, above all the capital Tashkent, and providing respectful places dedicated to the dignity of our great ancestors.
Under his leadership, the basis of national sovereignty and civil society has been created, as well as conditions for strengthening peace, priorities for stable development and prosperity of multi-ethnic Uzbekistan in the new century.