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Elio Di Rupo
Di Rupo cropped.jpg
Di Rupo in 2012
Prime Minister of Belgium
In office
6 December 2011 – 11 October 2014
Monarch Albert II
Preceded by Yves Leterme
Succeeded by Charles Michel
Minister-President of Wallonia
Assumed office
13 September 2019
Preceded by Willy Borsus
In office
6 October 2005 – 20 July 2007
Preceded by André Antoine
Succeeded by Rudy Demotte
In office
15 July 1999 – 4 April 2000
Preceded by Robert Collignon
Succeeded by Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe
Leader of the Socialist Party
In office
22 November 2014 – 21 October 2019
Preceded by Paul Magnette
Succeeded by Paul Magnette
In office
16 September 1999 – 6 December 2011
Preceded by Philippe Busquin
Succeeded by Thierry Giet
Mayor of Mons
In office
8 October 2000 – 3 December 2018
Preceded by Maurice Lafosse
Succeeded by Nicolas Martin
Personal details
Born (1951-07-18) 18 July 1951 (age 72)
Morlanwelz, Belgium
Political party Socialist Party
Alma mater University of Mons-Hainaut
University of Leeds

Elio Di Rupo (French: [eljo di ʁupo]; born 18 July 1951) is a Belgian politician who has served as the minister-president of Wallonia since 2019. He is affiliated with the Socialist Party. Di Rupo previously served as the prime minister of Belgium from 6 December 2011 to 11 October 2014, heading the Di Rupo Government. He was the first francophone to hold the office since Paul Vanden Boeynants in 1979, and the country's first socialist prime minister since Edmond Leburton left office in 1974. Di Rupo was also Belgium's first prime minister of non-Belgian descent, and the world's second openly gay person and first openly gay man to be head of government in modern times.

Background and early life

Di Rupo was born in Morlanwelz, Wallonia, to Italian parents. His father was born in San Valentino in Abruzzo Citeriore. While Di Rupo was born in Belgium, his brothers and sisters were all born in Italy. When he was one year old, his father died in a car crash and his mother was unable to raise all seven children. Due to the poor financial state of his family, three of his brothers were raised in a nearby orphanage.

When he was 12, he attended boarding school. Due to medical issues, Di Rupo had to re-do his first year of high school twice, but eventually excelled in science at the end of his high school years. This led him to pursue a degree in chemistry at the University of Mons, where he eventually obtained a PhD in Chemistry, after being a part-time lecturer at Leeds University as well.

Board of directors

Between 2004 and 2005, Elio Di Rupo was on the board of directors of what was then Dexia bank, currently Belfius.

Personal life

Di Rupo describes himself as an "atheist, rationalist, and Freemason." He is fluent in Italian, French and English. After becoming Prime Minister, he took Dutch lessons to address his previous limited fluency in the language and this improved enough for him to be able to address the parliament in Dutch and conduct TV interviews in the language.

Di Rupo came out as gay in 1996, and when asked by a confrontational "media pack" if he was gay, he responded, "Yes. So what?" He is the first openly gay man to lead a sovereign state, and the first openly gay person to win the position through an election.

Between Di Rupo's election and 2013, he was one of the only three openly gay or lesbian national heads of government, the other ones being Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, and Luxemburgish Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.


  • Belgium: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold II by royal decree of 21 May 2014.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Elio Di Rupo para niños

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