Former president Goodluck Jonathan's biography: 2024 update

Former president Goodluck Jonathan's biography: 2024 update

Goodluck Jonathan is best known as the former president of the Republic of Nigeria. He was the head of the country from 2010 to 2015. Before then, he served as the vice president under the administration of Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.

Goodluck Jonathan at the UN Assembly
Goodluck Jonathan speaks at the 68th United Nations General Assembly and waves as he departs after the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague. Photo: Andrew Burton, Bart Maat-Pool (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images


Goodluck Jonathan is a politician who served as the president and vice president of Nigeria. On 31 March 2015, he conceded the election to his successor, Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari was succeeded by Bola Ahmed Tinubu on 29 May 2023.

Profile summary

Full nameGoodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan
Date of birth20 November 1957
Age66 years (as of March 2024)
Place of birthOgbia, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Current residence Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Nationality Nigerian
EthnicityAfrican (Ijaw)
Zodiac signScorpio
Hair colourGrey
Eye colourBlack
Marital statusMarried
SpouseDame Patience Jonathan
FatherLawrence Ebele Jonathan
MotherEunice Ayi Ebele Jonathan
Siblings2 (deceased)
Alma materUniversity of Port Harcourt
ProfessionPolitician, trained zoologist, and former education inspector and lecturer
Facebook@Goodluck Jonathan

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Who is Goodluck Jonathan?

Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan is a Nigerian politician. He served as Nigeria's 14th president from 6 May 2010 to 29 May 2015. He was also the country's vice president from 29 May 2007 to 6 May 2010.

What is Goodluck Jonathan’s age?

Goodluck Jonathan's age is 66 years as of March 2024. He was born on 20 November 1957, and his Zodiac sign is Scorpio.

Goodluck Jonathan's tribe

Nigeria's former president is from the Ijaw/ Ijo tribe of Nigeria. He was born and raised in Ogbia, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. He is currently based in his Otuoke home in Bayelsa State. His nationality is Nigerian.

Top-5 facts about Goodluck Jonathan
Top-5 facts about Goodluck Jonathan. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images (modified by author)
Source: Original

Who is the father of Goodluck Jonathan?

Goodluck Jonathan's father is Lawrence Ebele Jonathan, and his mother is Eunice Ayi Ebele Jonathan. Lawrence was a canoe maker, while Eunice was a farmer.

Goodluck Jonathan had a sister named Nancy Jonathan-Olei. She passed away on 4 January 2015 at 52 after battling with a heart-related ailment for a long time.

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His younger brother, Meni Jonathan, died on 20 November 2012. He described the loss of his sibling as too painful to bear.

Educational background

The former president attended a Christian primary and secondary school. He proceeded to the University of Port Harcourt for higher education.

He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Zoology and a Master's degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries Biology. In 1995, he graduated with a PhD in Zoology.


The politician taught at Rivers State College of Education from 1983 to 1993. He later worked as an education inspector, lecturer, and environmental protection officer before joining politics in 1998.

He joined the People's Democratic Party (PDP), which marked the start of his political journey. In 1998, General Sani Abacha, the then military head of state of Nigeria, died in office.

Diepreye Alamieyeseigha ran for governor of Bayelsa State under PDP in the election following General Sani Abacha's demise and chose Goodluck Jonathan as his running mate.

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Alaimeyeseigha won and became the first civilian governor of Bayelsa State. Goodluck became the state's deputy governor. The duo was reelected in 2003.

In December 2005, Alaimeyeseigha was impeached by the Bayelsa State Assembly after being charged with money laundering. On 9 December 2015, Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as the new governor.

Goodluck Jonathan walks on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Goodluck Jonathan walks on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange before ringing the closing bell in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Who ruled Nigeria before Goodluck Jonathan?

Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was the president before Goodluck Jonathan. Goodluck served as the country's vice president from 29 May 2007 to 6 May 2010. He remained low-key during this period.

On 9 February 2010, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua named him the acting president of the country because he had to travel to Saudi Arabia for medical care. On 10 February 2010, the acting president announced a minor cabinet reshuffle.

When did Goodluck Jonathan become president?

Goodluck Jonathan became Nigeria's substantive president following the demise of Umaru Musa Yar'Adua on 5 May 2010. He was sworn in as the substantive president of the Republic of Nigeria on 6 May 2010.

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Who took over from Dr Goodluck Jonathan as Nigeria's vice president?

Namadi Sambo took over as the country's vice president after Goodluck became the president. Sambo was sworn in on 18 May 2010.

Was Goodluck Jonathan elected as president?

Yes, he was. Before the 2011 general elections, Goodluck Jonathan did extensive campaigns across the country with Vice President Namadi Sambo.

He was elected as Nigeria's 14th president on 29 May 2011 and was sworn in as President of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

He was the country's president until 29 May 2015. During his tenure, he dealt with multiple issues. He was particularly focused on ending corruption, revising foreign policy, and rebasing the country's gross domestic product.

Life post-presidency

The former president did extensive campaigns in preparation for the March 2015 elections, but he lost to his challenger, Muhammadu Buhari.

He made history as the first incumbent Nigerian president to concede an election defeat. Buhari was sworn in as his successor on 29 May 2015. Buhari was succeeded by Chief Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu on 29 May 2023.

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Since leaving the presidency, the former president is actively involved in Nigerian politics and other causes. Below are some of the things he has been doing.

  • He was appointed as the honorary special advisor to the Bayelsa Education Trust Fund board in 2019.
  • He was appointed the chair of the International Summit Council for Peace in June 2019.
  • He was appointed special envoy of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in July 2020. His role was to spearhead mediation talks during the 2020 Malian protests.

In which party is Goodluck Jonathan now?

In May 2022, reports surfaced that the former president had joined the All Progressives Congress (APC). He decided to run for the presidency in 2023.

APC's Goodluck Jonathan did not win the election. The current president, Chief Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu, assumed office on 29 May 2023. Goodluck Jonathan is still a member of APC.

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What is Goodluck Jonathan's net worth?

The former president is allegedly worth $12 million. Most of his wealth comes from his long-running political career.

Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Patience arrive for dinner at the Elysee presidential palace
The former Nigerian president and his wife Patience arrive for dinner at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris as part of the Elysee summit for peace and safety in Africa. Photo: Chesnot/WireImage
Source: Getty Images

How many wives does Goodluck Jonathan have?

The former Nigerian president has one wife. Her name is Patience Jonathan. The two kicked off their relationship at the university and got married in 1993.

Does Patience Jonathan have a child?

Yes, Dame Patience is a mother of two. She and the former president are blessed with a son named Ariwera and a daughter named Aruabai.

Goodluck Jonathan's accident

In early April 2022, the former president's convoy was involved in a crash along the airport road in Abuja. He was not in the convoy, so he was not injured. He lost two of his aides in the crash.

Is Goodluck Jonathan alive?

Nigeria's former president is alive and well. Although he rarely makes media appearances post-presidency, he is still involved in Nigerian politics and other community development efforts.

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Where is Goodluck Jonathan now?

The former president is actively involved in various community activities and programmes. He is still an impactful African leader.

On 1 April 2023, he was honoured during The African Heritage Concert and Awards held in Kigali, Rwanda. The award recognised Africans who have written their names in the history of time through remarkable achievements across the world.

Other honourees included Botswana's Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, Tanzania's late John Magufuli, and Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor of Liberia.

Earlier in 2024, the Commonwealth appointed Goodluck Jonathan as the head of its Election Observation Mission to Pakistan’s general elections scheduled for 8 February 2024.

He led a group of multidisciplinary experts from across the Commonwealth to observe the elections in Pakistan. The team offered an independent and comprehensive assessment of the electoral process.


  • His parents lost multiple children in childhood, so they named him Goodluck in the hopes that he would survive. He did and went on to become a great leader.
  • His middle name, Ebele, means God's wish.
  • Olusegun Obasanjo called on him to step down from office in 2013.

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Goodluck Jonathan is the former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He started his career as an educator before transitioning into politics. recently published the biogarphy ofVanderpump Rules' Peter Madrigal. Peter Madrigal is a reality television star, entrepreneur, producer, and director from the United States of America.

He is well known for his appearance on the reality television show Vanderpump Rules. He is the manager of SUR restaurant in Los Angeles, California, United States of America.


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