Al Jazeera describes Muammar Gaddafi as an autocratic ruler, and he was known as a dictator who suppressed those who opposed his reign. He first came to power in 1969, and he ruled for over 40 years in Libya.
Muammar Gaddafi began ruling when he overthrew King Idris during a non-violent coup and disbanded the monarchy of Libya. Gaddafi was known for his nationalist and socialist leanings, and he sought to purge the country of what he viewed as imperialist influences from the nation. He turned the nation into a republic but dissolved it in 1977 while remaining the commander-in-chief of the military and head of the Revolutionary Committees, which quelled political dissent in the country. He took an adversarial stance against the West, particularly the United States and Great Britain. He was overthrown and killed in 2011 during an uprising that was backed by NATO.