José Alberto “Pepe” Mujica Cordano served as the 40th President of Uruguay between 2010 and 2015. He is married to Senator Lucía Topolansky and they own a three-legged dog named Manuela.
But what is astounding about him is the fact that he is well-known to be the poorest president in the world.
While he was president, he and his wife declined to live in Uruguay’s presidential palace and instead still lived in the one bedroom house in the farm his wife owned in the outskirts of Montevideo. He also uses an old 1987 Volkswagen Beetle, donated 90% of his salary as President to charity, and even does some of the housework, all of which are clear reflections of his humble lifestyle.
The video below is an interview conducted by David O’Shea for Dateline. Watch it and find out more about his remarkable life story. In another interview he did for CNN en Español as he stepped down from office last year, he said that people who like money too much ought to be kicked out of politics.
He isn’t against rich people per se but he stated that the rich aren’t doing a good job representing the interests of the majority of people, after all, “we [heads of state] should live like the majority and not like the minority.”
Furthermore, he said:
I’m not against people who have money, who like money, who go crazy for money … but in politics we have to separate them. We have to run people who love money too much out of politics, they’re a danger in politics … People who love money should dedicate themselves to industry, to commerce, to multiply wealth. But politics is the struggle for the happiness of all.