Date of Birth: June 28, 1909
Time of Birth:
Place of Birth: Abomey
Christophe Soglo, born on June 28, 1909, in Abomey, French Dahomey, hailed from a chiefly Fon family. His life was marked by both military service and political involvement.
Joining the French Army voluntarily in 1931, Soglo saw action during World War II, serving in various theaters, including Morocco and participating in crucial Allied operations in Corsica, Elba, and southern France. Rising to the rank of lieutenant, he continued his military career after the war, becoming a staff officer for the French Colonial Army. He later served as a military advisor in French Indochina during the First Indochina War, earning recognition with the Croix de Guerre in 1956 for his contributions.
In addition to his military duties, Soglo's personal life intersected with his military service when he married a French-Vietnamese woman while stationed in Indochina.
After Benin gained independence in 1960, Soglo transitioned to a political role, ascending to the rank of colonel in the newly formed Beninese army and assuming the position of chief of staff under President Hubert Maga.
Soglo's political career took a decisive turn in 1963 when he assumed control of the country to avert a potential civil war. He formed a provisional government and served as its chairman after dissolving the national assembly. Despite relinquishing power in early 1964, political instability persisted, leading to another coup in November 1965, which saw Soglo reinstated as President of Benin under a military government until December 1967 when he was overthrown by younger army officers.
Following his second ousting, Soglo retired from politics. He passed away on October 7, 1983, at the age of 74. Throughout his life, Soglo's dedication to both his military duties and his attempts to navigate Benin's tumultuous political landscape left a lasting impact on the country's history.