Family Background

  • Born June 21, 1953, in Karachi, Pakistan. Her name means "one without equal."
  • Nicknamed "Pinkie" by her family as a result of her unusually pink-skinned appearance as a baby
  • Eldest daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was the founder of the Pakistan People's Party. He served as president and then prime minister of Pakistan from 1971 to 1977. He was deposed in a 1977 coup by Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and executed in 1979.
  • Father was executed for conspiring to murder charges
  • Two brothers were assassinated




Early life & education
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Benazir Bhutto in her college years


  • Nicknamed "Pinkie" by her family as a result of her unusually pink-skinned appearance as a baby
  • In 1973, Benazir went to Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford, where she read for a degree in politics, philosophy and economics and became president of the Oxford Union debating society.
  • She returned to Pakistan for the election in June 1977, she wanted to work as a diplomat or a journalist but her father had other plans. He had groomed her, his oldest child, for political office.
  • Her house arrest began in 1977 and ended in January 1984





Influences
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Bhutto in her college years


  • Life in America was a revelation for Benazir. "...I didn't know such people existed. I saw people criticizing their own president, you couldn't do that in Pakistan, you'd be thrown in prison. I saw the press take on the government. I was determined to go back home and to give to my people the freedoms and the choices - the individual dignity - which I saw my college mates and everyone else in the West have."
  • Her life as an undergraduate was dogged by media attention, as her father's administration was challenged at home and abroad.