Baby Doc Duvalier hadn't made much news since his ouster from Haiti in 1986, other than when he returned there in 2011. What a shock it was to hear he was only 63 when he died yesterday. I'd never thought of him as being roughly my age.
I suppose part of the reason Baby Doc seems like such ancient history is that his name is intertwined with that of his father, Papa Doc Duvalier, the populist and black nationalist who ruled Haiti from 1957 to 1971. From 1964 to 1971, Papa Doc had the title of "President for Life."
(Baby Doc at his 1980 marriage to Michele Bennett)
Baby Doc, a softer, more self-indulgent sort than his father, ruled Haiti from 1971 until 1986. When he left Haiti, he reportedly took $800 million of the $1 billion national treasury with him to his exile in France. He was famed for his corruption and also his laziness (he was known to doze through most cabinet meetings).
Still, he certainly got a lot further than I have in life, at least in the wealth and fame department.
And I'm only three years younger.