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His Excellency

José Sarney
31st President of Brazil
In office
15 March 1985 – 15 March 1990
Acting: 15 March 1985 – 21 April 1985
Vice President None
Preceded by João Figueiredo
Succeeded by Fernando Collor
20th Vice President of Brazil
In office
15 March 1985 – 21 April 1985
President Tancredo Neves
Preceded by Aureliano Chaves
Succeeded by Itamar Franco
President of the Senate of Brazil
In office
1 February 2009 – 1 February 2013
President Lula da Silva
Dilma Rousseff
Preceded by Garibaldi Alves Filho
Succeeded by Renan Calheiros
In office
1 February 2003 – 1 February 2005
President Lula da Silva
Preceded by Ramez Tebet
Succeeded by Renan Calheiros
In office
1 February 1995 – 1 February 1997
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Preceded by Humberto Lucena
Succeeded by Antônio Carlos Magalhães
Senator from Amapá
Assumed office
1 February 1991
In office
31 January 1971 – 15 March 1985
Governor of the State of Maranhão
In office
31 January 1966 – 14 May 1970
Vice Governor Antônio Jorge Dino
Preceded by Newton de Barros Belo
Succeeded by Antônio Jorge Dino
Personal details
José Sarney de Araújo Costa

April 24, 1930 (1930-04-24) (age 91)
Pinheiro, Maranhão, Brazil
Political party UDN (c. 1957–1965)
ARENA (1965–1979)
PDS (1979–1985)
PFL (1985)
PMDB (1985–present)
Spouse(s) Marly Sarney
Children Roseana Sarney
Fernando Sarney
José Sarney Filho
Alma mater Federal University of Maranhão
Profession Lawyer

José Sarney de Araújo Costa (born April 24, 1930 as José Ribamar Ferreira de Araújo Costa) is a Brazilian politician, lawyer, and writer who served as 31st President of Brazil from March 15, 1985 to March 15, 1990. At age 91, he is the oldest living former Brazilian president, and, as of the death of João Figueiredo in 1999, the only living former president not elected by direct vote.

Plenário do Senado (18217092023)
Sarney in June 2015

Sarney ascended in the politics of his home state of Maranhão as part of the "Bossa Nova Generation" of UDN politicians in the 1950s, young idealists seeking to reorganize public administration and rid the government of corruption and old practices. Sarney was instrumental in the creation of the Liberal Front Party.

He agreed to run for Vice-President on the ticket of Tancredo Neves of PMDB. Neves won the presidential election, but fell ill and died before taking office, and Sarney became President. He started out his term with great popularity, but public opinion shifted with the Brazilian debt crisis and the failure of Plano Cruzado to abate chronic inflation.

Sarney owns the most important newspapers and TV stations in Maranhão, and remains influential there. He is also an accomplished writer, and a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

Married to Marly (née Macieira), his children are Congressman José Sarney Filho, Governor Roseana Sarney, and the businessman Fernando Sarney.

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