The Rule of Libya's Colonel Gaddafi
Ascent to Power
The only son of an illiterate Bedouin herder, Muammar Gaddafi assumed the leadership of Libya in 1969 after participating, along with several other officers, in a bloodless coup against King Idris, the nation's first independent head of state. Only 27 years old, he was promoted to the rank of colonel, the highest position in the Libyan army. He declared himself the commander in chief of the armed forces and the de facto head of the Libyan state.
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