World History

Fidel Castro | Biography, Cause of Death, Brother, & Facts

Fidel Castro led the Cuban Revolution and overthrew Cuban President Batista in 1959. He then took control of Cuba and established a communist Marxist government. He was the absolute ruler of Cuba from 1959 until he fell ill in 2008.

Fidel Castro Overview:

Occupation Prime Minister of Cuba
Height 1.91 m
Born August 13, 1926 in Biran, Cuba
Died November 25, 2016 in Havana, Cuba
Best known for Leading the Cuban Revolution and ruling as dictator for over 45 years

Biography of Fidel Castro:

Where did Fidel grow up?

Fidel was born on August 13, 1926 on his father’s farm in Cuba. He was born out of wedlock, and his father, Angel Castro, did not officially claim him as his son. His childhood was spent under the name Fidel Luz. His father then married his mother and Fidel changed his surname to Castro.

Fidel attended a Jesuit boarding school. He was clever, but he was not a good student. But he was a good athlete, especially in baseball.

In 1945, Fidel began his law studies at the University of Havana. Here he got involved in politics and protested against the current government. He thought the government was corrupt and that the United States was too involved.

Cuban Revolution

In 1952, Castro ran for the Cuban parliamentary elections. But this year, General Fulgencio Batista overthrew the current government and called off the elections. Castro began organizing a revolution. Fidel and his brother Raul tried to take over the government, but were caught and imprisoned. He was released two years later.

But Castro didn’t give up. He went to Mexico to plan the next revolution. There he met Che Guevara, who would become a major leader of the revolution. Castro and Guevara returned to Cuba with a small army on December 2, 1956.

They were again quickly defeated by Batista’s forces. But this time, Castro, Guevara and Raul fled to the mountains. They launched a guerrilla war against Batista. Over time, they gained many followers and eventually overthrew the Batista government on January 1, 1959.

Leadership of Cuba

In July 1959, Castro became the leader of Cuba. He will rule for almost 50 years.


Castro became a supporter of Marxism and used this philosophy to form a new Cuban government. The government took over much of the industry. They also took control of many American-owned businesses and farms. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press were also severely restricted. Resistance to his rule commonly resulted in imprisonment and even execution. Many fled the country.

Bay of Pigs

The United States has repeatedly tried to remove Castro from power. This included the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion ordered by President John F. Kennedy. In this invasion, about 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles attacked Cuba. The invasion was a disaster and most of the invaders were either captured or killed.

Cuban Missile Crisis

After the Bay of Pigs, Castro allied his government with the Soviet Union. He allowed the Soviet Union to deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba that could strike the United States. The missiles were removed after a tense conflict between the US and the Soviet Union that nearly ignited World War III.


In 2006, Castro’s health deteriorated. On February 24, 2008, he handed over the presidency of Cuba to his brother Raul. He died on November 25, 2016 at the age of 90.

Interesting Facts about Fidel Castro

He is known for his long beard. He most often appears in public in a green military uniform.

Hundreds of thousands of Cubans fled under Castro. Many of them live in Florida.

Castro’s Cuba relied heavily on Soviet aid. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the country struggled to survive on its own.

He was spotted smoking cigars for years, but quit for health reasons in 1985.

He is famous for his long speeches. He once gave a speech for over seven hours.