Doe, Samuel Kanyon

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 TolbertTolbert, William Richard, Jr.
, 1913–80, president of Liberia (1971–80). In government since 1935, he was vice president (1951–71), succeeding to the Presidency upon Tubman's death in 1971.
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 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.