Ibrahim Rugova was born on December 2, 1944 in the village of Cernica near the town of Peć in Kosovo, then part of Yugoslavia. He studied literature and linguistics at the University of Pristina and later earned a PhD in literature from the University of Paris.
In 1989, Rugova founded the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), an Albanian political party that sought greater autonomy for Kosovo within Yugoslavia. He served as the president of the LDK and as the unofficial President of the Republic of Kosovo from 1992 until his death in 2006.
Rugova became the main political representative of the Albanians in Kosovo, leading a peaceful resistance movement against Serbian rule. He advocated for a policy of non-violence and peaceful resistance, and his leadership helped to maintain relative calm in Kosovo during the 1990s.
In 1999, during the Kosovo War, Rugova was forced to go into hiding. After the war, he returned to the public scene and played a key role in the negotiations for the final status of Kosovo. Rugova died on January 21, 2006, in Vienna, Austria, where he had been receiving medical treatment for lung cancer.
Rugova was widely respected and admired by the Albanians in Kosovo and in the diaspora. He is considered a symbol of the peaceful and non-violent resistance of the Albanian people in Kosovo and a leader who helped Kosovo to become an independent state.