Joko Widodo Biography

Joko Widodo, the current President of Indonesia, has been serving in this position since October 2014. Despite facing controversy during the presidential election, he was declared the winner by the General Elections Commission. Born into a poor family in Surakarta, Widodo overcame his underprivileged background through hard work and determination. After working as a young boy to support his family and pay for his education, he graduated with a degree in forestry engineering from Gadjah Mada University. Widodo entered politics and quickly gained popularity, eventually becoming the governor of Jakarta before being elected as the 7th President of Indonesia. Known for his clean and principled approach, he is highly respected by the citizens for his understanding of the common people’s problems.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Jokowi
  • Age: 62 Years, 62 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Iriana Joko Widodo
    • Children: Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Kaesang Pangarep, Kahiyang Ayu
  • Quotes By Joko Widodo
  • Presidents
  • Height: 5’10” (178 cm), 5’10” Males
  • More Facts
  • Education: 1985 – Gadjah Mada University

Childhood & Early Life

Joko Widodo was born on 21 June 1961 in Surakarta, Indonesia, to Noto Mihardjo and Sudjiatmi Notomihardjo. He grew up with three younger sisters in illegally built shacks and his family was often evicted by the government. Despite these difficulties, he performed well in school. He received his primary education from State Primary School 111, Tirtoyoso, which was meant for the poorer sections of society. At the age of 12, he started working in his father’s furniture workshop to earn money for school supplies. After completing high school, he enrolled at the Forestry Faculty of Gadjah Mada University and graduated in 1985.

Career

After graduating, Joko Widodo found a job with BUMN PT Kertas Kraft Aceh but was not satisfied and wanted to start his own business. In 1988, he founded his own business called CV Rakabu. Although it initially faced fraud and had to be closed down, he re-established the business and by 2002 became a successful furniture exporter. He also served as the chairman of a local branch of the country’s furniture manufacturers’ association.

In 2005, Joko Widodo entered politics and ran for the office of mayor in Surakarta as a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle. Despite skepticism due to his lack of political connections, he won the elections and initiated progressive reforms in the city. He gained respect for his honesty and dedication to public service. He won re-election in 2010 and served a second term as mayor.

In 2012, Joko Widodo ran for the position of Jakarta’s governor and easily defeated the incumbent in the second round of the election. As governor, he implemented policies to encourage small industries and improve access to healthcare and education. He connected with the common man by regularly visiting poor areas and addressing their concerns. He implemented a universal healthcare program and launched the “Smart Jakarta Card” to help poor students.

Presidential Career

In 2014, Joko Widodo was chosen as the presidential candidate of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle. He won the election with over 53 percent of the popular vote, becoming the 7th President of Indonesia. He is the first Indonesian president who is not from the military or political elite. As president, he focuses on curbing corruption, attracting foreign direct investment, implementing land reforms, improving public services, and initiating healthcare and educational programs.

Personal Life & Legacy

Joko Widodo is married to Iriana and they have three children: two sons, Gibran Rakabuming Raka and Kaesang Pangarep, and one daughter, Kahiyang Ayu. He has been honored with awards such as the Bintang Jalasena Utama, 1st Class (“Navy Meritorious Service Star”) in 2011 and the 1st Class “Star of the Republic of Indonesia” (BRI), Bintang Republik Indonesia Adipurna in 2014. He was also ranked as the third best mayor in the world by the international City Mayors Foundation.

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