7 June 1942 Muammar Gaddafi is born in Sirte to Bedouin family, part of the Berber Qadhadhfi clan. Later enrolls at Benghazi University to study geography, but subsequently drops out to join the army.
1961-66 Studies at Libyan military academy, Benghazi: and some training in Britain. Becomes enthused by rise of Arab nationalism and is particularly influenced by the example of Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser.
1 September 1969 Leads a bloodless coup against Libya's pro-western King Idris who is abroad receiving medical treatment. Abolishes monarchy.
1970 Expels Italians, Libya's former colonialists. "Arabification" of Libya begins, removing western influences: dates and months renamed: June becomes Nasser, for example.
1973 Establishes unelected revolutionary committees to govern locally. Reporting to Gaddafi, are tasked with suppressing opposition: pro-western democrats and Hizb-ut Tahrir supporters alike are arrested, imprisoned and some executed.
Starts of cult of "Brother Leader", aka Guide of the Revolution, Supreme Guide and King of Kings.
1975 Publishes the Green Book, his political philosophy expounding his opposition to democracy, capitalism and a free media.
1974 Attempts to merge with Tunisia are rebuffed. This does not stop further attempts to merge with other Arab nations – Sudan and Egypt decline his wooing as well.
1977 Renames Libya the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – its slogan" "God! Muammar! Libya! Enough!"
Embarks on a short, disastrous war with Egypt that ends in Libya being forced to retreat.
1978 Increases Libyan involvement in the Chadian civil war, providing weapons, air support and ground units to rebels.
1970s onwards Gaddafi sponsors, provides funds for and arms a range of international terrorist groups across south-east Asia, Europe, Britain and Latin America. These include the IRA, Red Army Faction (also know as the Baader-Meinhof gang) in West Germany, the Red Brigades in Italy, ETA in Spain and Farc in Colombia.
Befriends and supports an eclectic range of assorted leaders, including Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, Jörg Haider in Austria, Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and latterly Hugo Chávez in Venezuela.
1980 Violently suppresses and army mutiny in Tobruk and begins policy of assassinating Libyan opponents abroad. Twenty five are killed between 1980-87.
April 1984 Libyan diplomat shots dead police officer Yvonne Fletcher, who helping police a demonstration by Libyan exiles outside the Libya's embassy in London. Embassy staff are expelled and diplomatic relations between the UK and Libya are severed.
April 1986 Libyan agents bombing the La Belle nightclub in Berlin, killing three Americans and injuring 229 others. The US president Ronald Reagan, who describes Gaddafi as a "mad dog" orders a air strikes on Tripoli and Benghazi from British bases, killing up to 35 people.
1987 Libyan involvement in the war with Chad reaches its final stage, and proves to be another military disaster for Gaddafi. Libya loses 7,500 troops, a tenth of its army, and $1.5bn equipment.
December 1988 Pan Am flight 103 from Heathrow to New York is brought down by an on-board bomb over Lockerbie three days before Christmas, killing 270 people. Libyan agents are blamed. Following year a French plane UTA 772 is blown up over Niger, killing 171 people, including the wife of American ambassador to Chad.
1989 Magreb pact is agreed, provisionally providing closer ties between Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, though never the sort of unity Gaddafi hopes for.
1998 Gaddafi expels 30,000 Palestinians from Libya in pique over Israel-PLO peace negotiations.
Shifts his aspirations from Arab nationalism towards Africa, saying: "I have no more time to lose talking to Arabs. I am turning back to realism. The Arab world is finished: Africa is paradise." Eleven years later he is elected chairman of African Union, despite opposition from other member state.
1999 Gaddafi hands over two Lockerbie bombing suspects for Scottish trial and specially convened court in the Netherlands. Abdelbasset al-Megrahi is convicted is convicted at the trial the following year
2003 Overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq forces strategic rethink. Gaddafi begins a policy of rapprochement with the west. Britain supports resolution to lift sanctions against Libya. Gaddafi is one of the first to issue an arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden. Accepts Libyan responsibility for Lockerbie.
2004 Tony Blair meets Gaddafi in the Libyan leader's desert tent. George Bush also restores diplomatic relations with Tripoli.
2008 Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, meets Gaddafi and apparently enraptures the Libyan leader: an album of photographs of her will be later found in his Tripoli compound after the regime's fall in 2011.
Gaddafi agrees to pay $2.7bn compensation to relatives of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing.
2009 Visits the US for first time to address the UN general assembly. It is meant to last 15 minutes but he blusters on for an hour and a half, accusing the security council of being terrorists and demands $7.7bn compensation to Africa for European colonialism. Intrigues Americans during visit by bring his bedouin tent to sleep in.
Megrahi, the only person convicted over the Lockerbie bombing, is repatriated by the Scottish authorities, apparently suffering from final stages of cancer
2010 Agrees to pay $3.5bn compensation to victims of the IRA. Makes a state visit to Italy, during which he demands provision of 200 glamorous women to listen to lectures in the hope of converting them to Islam and possible marriage with Libyan men.
February 2011 Gaddafi is by now the 4th longest reigning, non-royal national leader since 1900 and the longest-ruling leader in the Arab world. Libyans in Benghazi begin to rise up against his regime. He threatens opponents with death and advances on rebel stronghold, triggering intervention from Nato.
June 2011 The international criminal court at The Hague indicts him, his son Saif Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes against humanity.
August 2011 Tripoli falls.
From : The Guardian
From : The Guardian