Short bio-bibliography

Personal:                              Born on 3 March 1935 in Vesselinovo, small village in Southeast Bulgaria. Married, one daughter.

Professional career and qualifications:

1958                                        Diploma for higher studies in philosophy from Sofia University. Student with a fellowship at Sofia University.Fellowship in Sofia University - withdrawn for dissent from the communist dogma. Banished from the capital Sofia and forced to live in the countryside because of his dissertation work: “Philosophical definition of the matter and the contemporary natural science” where he criticised the Lenin’s definition of the matter.

1972-1974                              Research Fellow at the Institute for Amateur Art in Sofia. Prepares a second defence of Ph.D. degree.

1974                                       Ph.D. degree for a thesis on dialectics (The Modal Categories).               

1975-1989                              Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture.

1987                                       D.Sc. degree for the monograph “Relational Theory of the Personality”

Political career:

1988                                       Main originator and co-founder of the Club for Glasnost and Perestroika – reason to be undertaken new repressive measures against him.

1989                                       Fired from the Institute for Culture for his dissident activities.

7 Dec. 1989                            Co-founder of the Union of Democratic Forces (Union of all opposition parties and movements). Elected the first Chairman of the UDF’s Coordinating Council;

June 1990                              Elected member of the Grand National Assembly.

                                               Elected Chairman of the UDF Parliamentary Group.

1 August 1990                                    Elected President of the Republic of Bulgaria by the Grand National Assembly.

19 January 1992                    Re-elected President for a five-year term by direct popular vote under the newly adopted Constitution of Bulgaria.

Since January 1997               President of “Dr. Zhelyu Zhelev” Foundation.

March 1997                            Elected Honorary Chairman of Party “Liberal-Democratic Alternative”

2001                                        Initiator, founding member and first President of the Balkan Political Club.

2004                                       Re-elected President of the Balkan Political Club

Principal publications:        Monographs:

Amateur art in the context of the scientific and        technical revolution (1976); The Modal Categories (1978); Physical Culture and Sports in the Urbanized         society (1979); “Fascism” – the most famous book of the author. He finished the research in 1967 under initial title “The Totalitarian State”. Because of the Communist censorship he succeed to publish it with great difficulty in 1982 under the title “Fascism”. Shortly after this first edition the book is suppressed and stopped for distribution. In a fitting manner it was published after the Velvet revolution in 1989. Since then it has been edited on more than 10 languages. (Second edition -1990) Man and His Personalities (1991); The Relational Theory of the Personality (1993);

Recent political writings:Intelligentsia and Politics”,Articles essays, speeches and interviews (1995); Bulgaria’s new foreign Policy and NATO (1995); Presidential Addresses to the Nation and to Parliament (1996); Bulgaria’s new foreign Policy and NATO (1995); “In the big policy”(1998); “Political Speeches” (2003); Interviews (2004); “Despite All”, (2006).

Awards and Distinctions:    Honorary Doctor of: Graceland College, Iowa, USA (1993); University of Maine, USA (1993); University of Tel Aviv (1993); University of Ankara (1994); University of Seoul (1995); American University in Blagoevgrad (1996); Slavic University in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan (2002); South-Western University “Neophyte Rilski” in Blagoevgrad (2004);Veliko Tarnovo University “Cyril and Metodius” (2006); Elected Honorary Chairman of International Academy for Art and Science and observer for the Caspian, South Caucasian and Black Se Region ( September 2007) Catherine Medici Award (1991) of the International Academy Medici; Transition Award shared with Yitzhak Rabin  /posthumously/, presented in Crans Montana (1996). The highest state distinctions of France, Spain,          Portugal and Venezuela. Honorary Member of Rotary Club - New York. On 7 March 2005 President Zhelev was awarded the highest Bulgarian state order Stara planina ,1st degree and medal ribbon as recognition of his significant contribution to establishing and consolidating democracy in Bulgaria.

Foreign languages:             Russian, French, English