Lubbers was born in Rotterdam. He started his career as a minister for Econimic Affairs in the cabinet of Prime Minister Joop den Uyl, 1972-1977. He was an effective, if sometimes somewhat bad-tempered minister. His career got an unexpected boost when the leader of the parliamentary faction of the CDA, Willem Aantjes, had to resign in 1978 on accusations that he served in the Waffen SS during the Second World War. Lubbers took over the position of Aantjes and suddenly found himself in a powerful political position.
In 1981 after the general election won by Prime Minister Dries van Agt, a similar thing happend when Van Agt suddenly announced he would not be available for a third term. Lubbers now took over the job of Prime Minister and remained a successful Prime Minister until 1994. He is still the longest serving Prime Minister in the history of The Netherlands.
Major events during his reign: