Durão Barroso was born in Lisbon in March 23 1956. He is graduated in Law by the University of Lisbon and has an MSc in Economic and Social Sciences by the University of Genebra. His academic career continued as an Assistant Professor in the Law School of the University of Lisbon and the Political Sciences Department in Georgetown University (Washington DC), where he made research for a PhD. Back in Lisbon, Durão Barroso was the director of the Department for International Relations in the Lusiad University.
Durão Barroso political activity started in his college days, before the Carnation Revolution of April 25 1974. He was one of the leaders of PCTP-MRPP (Portuguese acronym for Communist Party of the Portuguese Workers ? Revolutionary Movement of the Portuguese Proletariat), a party with left-wing philosophy. In December 1980, Durão Barroso joined PSD (Social-Democratic Party), where he remains to the present day.
His political career in PSD took him to the following offices:
In the opposition, Durão Barroso was elected deputy for Lisbon in the Portuguese National Parliament in 1995 and was the president of the Commission for Foreign Affairs. In 1999 he was elected president of PSD, his own political party and became the leader of the opposition. In April 6 2002, Durão Barroso became prime minister of Portugal.
As prime minister, he took several controversial measures like supporting the 2003 invasion of Iraq and enormous cuttings of public expense.
He is also known in Portugal by the nickname Cherne, a kind of fish.