Samuel Kanyon Doe

Doe, Samuel Kanyon, 1951–90, Liberian military ruler (1980–90). Doe joined the army after the 11th grade, and rose to master sergeant. In 1980 Doe led a group of rebels in a successful coup. President William Tolbert was killed and Doe took power. Initially popular, he maintained ties with Western powers. After winning an apparently rigged election in 1985, Doe narrowly escaped a coup attempt. He repressed opposition, was hostile to neighboring nations and was faced with widespread rebellion by 1989. By mid-1990 all of Liberia except parts of Monrovia was controlled by rival rebel groups. Doe was captured and assassinated in Sept., 1990.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: African History: Biographies