Historica Wiki
Leon M'ba

Leon M'ba (9 February 1902 – 27 November 1967) was President of Gabon from 12 February 1961 to 27 November 1967, preceding Omar Bongo.


Leon M'ba was born in Libreville, Gabon on 9 February 1902 to a Catholic Fang family, and he was raised in a privileged family. M'ba became a customs agent after going to Catholic school, but he was issued a prison sentence by the French authorities for his African nationalist views. M'ba was later exiled from Gabon after being accused of a 1931 murder, and he was sent to Ubangi-Shari (now the Central African Republic). His writings led to local administrators giving him positions in the colonial government, and he was finally allowed to return to Gabon in 1946. From 1946 to 1957, he became a well-known politician in the country, and he became the first Prime Minister of Gabon on 21 May 1957, serving in this post until 21 February 1961. On 12 February 1961, he became President of Gabon after the country declared its independence from France, and he established friendly relations with the French. In 1964, he put down a coup by former Foreign Minister Jean-Hilaire Aubame, and the French began to play an even larger role in running the country. M'ba died of cancer in 1967, and Omar Bongo was selected as his successor.