Heydar Alirza oghlu Aliyev was born on May 10, 1923 in Nakhchivan city of Azerbaijan. In 1939, after graduating from the Nakhchivan Pedagogical School, he entered the Architecture Department of the Industrial Institute of Azerbaijan (now the State Oil Academy of Azerbaijan), but the incipient war impeded the completion of his education.
Since 1941, Heydar Aliyev headed a department at the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Nakhchivan, and in 1944, was sent to work at state security bodies. He received special education in the cities of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) and Moscow. In 1957 he graduated from the History Department of the Azerbaijan State University. Having worked for twenty five years at state security bodies, Heydar Aliyev worked as a deputy chairman of the State Security Committee under the Council of Ministers of the Azerbaijan SSR since 1964, and from 1967, held the office of chairman of the committee, and rose to the rank of a major general.
Elected as first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan at the Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan in July 1969, Heydar Aliyev became the head of the republic.
Elected as a candidate to the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union's Communist Party in 1976, and a member of the Political Bureau in 1982, Heydar Aliyev was appointed the first deputy chairman of the USSR's Council of Ministers. While on this position, Heydar Aliyev headed the most significant areas of the USSR's economic, social and cultural lives.
For twenty years, Heydar Aliyev was a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the Azerbaijan SSR, and for five years, worked as a first deputy chairman of the USSR's Council of Ministers.
In October 1987, as a sign of protest against the policy pursued by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union's Communist Party and, personally, by Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev, Heydar Aliyev resigned from his post.
In connection with the tragedy committed on January 20, 1990 in Baku by the Soviet troops, Heydar Aliyev, appearing the next day at the Representative Office of Azerbaijan in Moscow with a statement, demanded that the organizers and executors of the crime committed against the people of Azerbaijan be punished. As a sign of protest against the hypocritical policy of the USSR leadership towards the critical conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, in July 1991, he left the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
After returning to Azerbaijan in July 1990, Heydar Aliyev first lived in Baku, then moved to Nakhchivan, and the same year was elected a deputy to the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan. In 1991-1993, he held the post of chairman of the Supreme Assembly of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In 1992, at the constituent congress of the New Azerbaijan Party in Nakhchivan, Heydar Aliyev was elected chairman of the Party.
In May-June 1993, when, as a result of a crisis in the government, the country was on the verge of a civil war and faced the peril of losing independence, the people of Azerbaijan demanded to bring Heydar Aliyev to power, and the then leaders of Azerbaijan were obliged to officially invite Heydar Aliyev to Baku.
On June 15, 1993, Heydar Aliyev was elected chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan, and on June 24, by a resolution of the National Assembly, he proceeded to fulfilling the authorities of the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
On October 3, 1993, as a result of the nationwide vote, Heydar Aliyev was elected president of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
At the election held on October 11, 1998, he was re-elected president of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Heydar Aliyev, giving his consent to be nominated as a candidate at the 15 October 2003 presidential election, relinquished to run at the election due to health problems.
On December 12, 2003, national leader of the Azerbaijani people, President Heydar Aliyev passed away in a Cleveland hospital in the US, where he had been undergoing medical treatment, and on December 15, was buried at the Alley of Honor in Baku.