November 20, 2003 David Dacko, the first President of the Central African Republic, died.
Dacko was born March 24, 1930 in the village of Bouchia, in what was then French Equatorial Africa. Educated for a career in teaching, he became schoolmaster of a large primary school in 1951 and Principal of Kouanga College in 1955. From 1957 to 1959, Dacko served in various capacities within the government and after independence was achieved in 1960 he became the first President of the CAR.
On December 31, 1965, his government was overthrown and he was briefly imprisoned. In September, 1979, the French government overthrew the CAR government and restored Dacko to the presidency which he held until September, 1981 when he was overthrown again. Dacko ran for President again in 1999 and finished third.