Jean Bertrand Aristide is a former Haitian Catholic priest who doubles up as a politician and has a net worth of $800 million. Born in 1953 in Port-Salut, Sud Department, Jean-Bertrand Aristide went to study at the college Notre Dame and the State University of Haiti.
He traveled around the world for several years before he moved back to Haiti to become ordained as a Salesian priest. Jean Bertrand Aristide became a public opponent of Haiti’s dictatorship, mainly Jean-Claude Duvalier. Due to that situation, he was exiled to Montreal for three years.
During the mid-80s, he returned to Haiti as civil unrest with the regime increased and became one of the most important figures in the “ti legliz” movement that was responsible for sweeping Haiti. Later, he developed an orphanage in one of the poorest and most remote parts of Port-au-Prince. He ran the orphanage as an example of what democracy could look like.
Sadly, opponents tried to kill him four times, including one-time when 100 armed men stormed his Sunday mass and burned his church, killing 13. As a result, he was ordered to leave Haiti. Nonetheless, thousands of citizens blocked him from accessing the airport, and soon after, he was stripped of his Salesian priesthood.
Jean Bertrand Aristide won Haiti’s first presidential election in 1990. Nonetheless, he was overthrown eight months later and was exiled to Venezuela and then to the United States. American President Bill Clinton deployed troops to Haiti in 1994 and reinstated Aristide to his elected position.
He won once more in 2000, and four years later, was again defeated in a coup d’etat and exiled to Jamaica and South Africa. He and his family remained in South Africa until 2011. Aristide worked at the University of South Africa and learned the language before returning to Haiti in early 2011. Aristide and his wife, Mildred Trouillot, have been married since 1996 and they have two children.