Personal: Birth date: October 7, 1952
Birth place: Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia
Birth name: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
Father: Vladimir Putin, a factory foreman
Mother: Maria Putin
Marriage: Lyudmila (Shkrebneva) Putin (July 28, 1983-present, separated)
Children: Yekaterina, 1986; Maria, 1985
Education: Leningrad State University, law, 1975; Red Banner Institute of Intelligence, 1984; Mining Institute of St. Petersburg, 1997
Religion: Orthodox Christian
Other Facts: Enjoys working out and has a black belt in judo.
Grew up in a communal apartment shared by three families.
Served in the KGB as an intelligence officer before becoming involved in politics.
Timeline: 1975 - Joins the Committee for State Security (KGB). Is on the staff of the First Chief Directorate for Foreign Intelligence for the KGB, and is assigned to shadow foreign visitors to Leningrad.
1984 - Is selected to attend the Red Banner Institute of Intelligence, where he learns German and English.
1985 - Is assigned to counterintelligence duties in Dresden, [East] Germany. Reportedly monitors loyalty of Soviet diplomats.
1990 - Becomes assistant rector (Dean) for international affairs at Leningrad State University. Reportedly monitors loyalty of students and shadows foreigners.
June, 1991 - Becomes adviser to Anatoily Sobchak when Sobchak becomes chairman of the Leningrad City Council.
1991-1994 - Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the City Council.
1992 - Leaves the KGB.
1992-1994 - Deputy Mayor of St. Petersburg.
1994-1996 - First Deputy Chairman of the City Council of St. Petersburg.
1997-1998 - Head of the Presidential Administration and Control Department of the Presidency under President Boris Yeltsin.
July 1998-August 1999 - Chief of the Federal Security Service.
March 1999-August 1999 - Secretary of the Russian Security Council, headed by Boris Yeltsin.
August 9-December 31, 1999 - Acting Prime Minister of Russia.
December 31, 1999 - Is appointed acting president after Boris Yeltsin's resignation.
March 26, 2000 - Is elected president of the Russian Federation.
May 7, 2000 - Officially becomes Russia's second president after being sworn in at St. Andrew's Hall in the Kremlin.
May 24, 2002 - Signs the Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions with President George W. Bush, which requires each country to reduce and limit its strategic nuclear warheads to 1700-2200 by December 31, 2012.
March 15, 2004 - Is re-elected in a landslide victory, running as an independent.
May 7, 2004 - Putin is sworn in for his second term.
April 27, 2005 - Becomes the first Russian leader to ever visit Israel.
October 5, 2005 - Meets with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and announces increased cooperation between Russia and Britain to fight terrorism.
September 5, 2006 - Becomes the first Russian leader to visit sub-Saharan Africa, when he meets with South African President Thabo Mbeki.
December 19, 2007 - Named Time Person of the Year.
March 2, 2008 - Dmitry Medvedev is elected president of Russia. He takes office in May.
May 7, 2008 - Just two hours after being sworn in, new Russian president Medvedev names Putin as his prime minister.
September 24, 2011 - President Dmitry Medvedev calls on the ruling United Russia party to endorse Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for president in 2012. Putin in turn suggests that Medvedev should take over the role of prime minister if the party wins parliamentary elections in December.
March 4, 2012 - Russia's presidential elections are held amid complaints of fraud. Putin wins the presidential election, with just under 65% of the vote. This will be his third term as president (not consecutive).
May 7, 2012 - Putin is sworn in under tight security amid protests of fraud. His new prime minister is the former president Dmitry Medvedev.
December 28, 2012 - Putin signs into law a bill that effectively bans U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children. The law also bans U.S.-funded civic groups from operating in Russia.
June 6, 2013 - During an interview aired on state-run television, Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin announce that their marriage is over.
September 11, 2013 - Putin publishes an op-ed in the New York Times, criticizing President Barack Obama and the concept of American exceptionalism. He says, "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."