Duvalier, Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ (Haiti)

Reference work entry


Jean-Claude Duvalier, known as Baby Doc, was Haiti’s president from 1971 until 1986. Having been nominated for the post by his father, François (Papa Doc), he voiced support for mild social and political reforms following Papa Doc’s despotic reign. However, there was little discernible change in the life of the country and, having been made president for life, Baby Doc went into exile in 1986 amid widespread social disaffection.

Early Life

Baby Doc was born on 3 July 1951 in Port-au-Prince, the only son of future president François Duvalier and Simone Ovide. François became president in 1957 but Baby Doc spent most of his childhood out of the public glare. However, he was the victim of an attempted kidnap in 1963. He began studying law in Port-au-Prince but failed to complete the course. Papa Doc died in April 1971, having arranged for his teenage son to succeed him.

Career Peak

Baby Doc inherited a country corrupt and internationally isolated. He set about improving...

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