Hamid Karzai served as President of Afghanistan for almost a decade, from 7 December 2004 to 29 September 2014.
He comes from a politically active family, Karzai's father, uncle and grandfather were all active in Afghan politics and government.
Karzai and before him, his father, Abdul Ahad Karzai, were each head of the Popalzai tribe of the Durrani tribal confederation.
In the 1980s Karzai was active as a fundraiser for the Afghan mujahideen who were fighting to expel Soviet Union troops during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
After the Soviet withdrawal the Islamic State of Afghanistan was established and then it was replaced in 1996 when the Taliban came to power and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
In July 1999 Karzai's father was assassinated and Karzai succeeded his father as head of the Popalzai tribe.
In October 2001 the American invasion of Afghanistan began and Karzai became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001.
During the December 2001 International Conference on Afghanistan in Germany, Karzai was selected by prominent Afghan political figures to serve a six-month term as Chairman of the Interim Administration.