Childhood & Early Life
Traian Băsescu was born on November 4, 1951 in Murfatlar near Constanta, Romania to mother Elena and father Dumitru, who served in the military. As a young boy, he had a job greeting tourists to the Black Sea.
After his father was transferred to the city of Iasi in 1957, Traian attended primary school in the city and then enrolled in Costache Negruzzi High School.
In 1963, Traian's father was transferred to the city of Bacau. There he attended ‘Lucretiu Patrascanu High School’.
He graduated from the ‘Marine Institute of Mircea cel Batran’ in Constanta in 1967 with a degree in Maritime Navigation.
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During the time from 1976-1981, he was a naval officer commanding several different ships for NAVROM, the merchant marine service. For the next six years, he served as a naval officer for NAVROM, commanding the Arges and Crisana tanker ships.
He rose the ranks steadily, and in 1987 he was posted in Belgium. There he served as the head of NAVROM’s Antwerp office for the next two years.
In 1989, during the final days of the Communist regime, he was appointed director general of the ‘State Inspectorate for the Civil Navigation’ which was controlled by the Ministry of Transportation.
After the Romanian Revoultions, when the ‘National Salvation Front’ came to power in 1990, he served as the head of maritime department under the newly formed Government.
From 1991-1992, he served as the Minister of Transportation under the governments of Petre Roman and Theodor Stolojan.
He briefly served on the board of directors for ‘Astra Passenger Cars Arad’ in 1992. The same year, he was elected to parliament, representing the city of Vaslui.
In 1995, he graduated from the ‘Norwegian Academy’ with a degree in maritime transportation. The course focused on advance management techniques in naval transport.
The next year, he was once again appointed to be the Minister of Transportation, serving in this capacity for two years. He was re-appointed twice, serving as Transportation minister until June 26, 2000 under three consecutive governments.
In July 2000, he was elected as the mayor of Bucharest and served four years of his five-year mandate.
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In 2003, allegations began to surface that Băsescu had received kickbacks after selling off 16 state-owned naval vessels during the Communist era. Although the charges were never proven, he was hounded by doubts and suspicions throughout the rest of his career.
He ran for president of Romania and was elected in the second round, narrowly beating Adrian Nastase, in 2004.
In 2007, his political enemies gained control of the parliament and suspended Băsescu from office. After a nationwide referendum, he was restored to the presidency.
After five years in office, he ran for president once again in 2009, defeating Mircea Geoana in the first round.
In 2012, he was abolished from office once again by his political enemies. After a nationwide referendum, he was reinstated to the presidency.
By law, the president of Romania is limited to two terms in office and by effect his mandate came to a conclusion on December 21, 2014 after the election of his successor, Johannis Klaus.
Băsescu is now a member of the PMP party and continues to play an active role in Romanian politics.
Personal Life & Legacy
The secret dossiers compiled by the Communist era police on Traian when he was a naval cadet in 1973 have never been found, leading to much suspicion by his opponents that he had his records destroyed.
Traian remains married to his wife of nearly 40 years, Maria Băsescu, whom he married in 1975, and they have two daughters, Ioana and Elena.
His daughter Elena is now a politician serving in the European Parliament and the Băsescu family continues to be a powerhouse in Romanian politics.