|Birth Day:||July 2, 1942|
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He started off as a Coca Cola truck driver and moved all the way up to supervisor of Coca Cola operations in Latin America.
Vicente Fox was born on 2 July 1942 in Mexico City, the second of nine children. His father, José Luis Fox Pont, was a Mexican of German, French and Spanish descent. His mother, Mercedes Quesada Etxaide, was a Basque immigrant from San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, in Spain.
Fox spent his childhood and adolescence at the family ranch in San Francisco del Rincón in Guanajuato. He spent a year at Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin where he learned English. Upon reaching college age, Fox moved to Mexico City to attend the Universidad Iberoamericana and received a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1964. Then in 1974, Fox received a certificate in management skills from Harvard Business School.
In 1964, Fox was hired by the Coca-Cola Company as a route supervisor and drove a delivery truck. After nine years, he had risen to the top, serving as the President and Chief Executive of Coca-Cola Mexico; after six years in this role, he was invited to lead all of Coca-Cola's operations in Latin America, but Fox declined and later resigned from Coca-Cola in 1979. It was during the Fox's leadership of Coca-Cola Mexico that Coke became Mexico's top-selling soft drink, increasing Coca-Cola's sales by almost 50%.
In 1969, Fox married Lilian de la Concha, a receptionist at Coca-Cola. They had four children, Ana Cristina, Vicente, Paulina and Rodrigo. In 1990, after 20 years of marriage, Lilian filed for and was granted a divorce.
With the support of Manuel Clouthier, Vicente Fox joined the Partido Acción Nacional on 1 March 1988. That same year, he was elected to the federal Chamber of Deputies, representing the Third Federal District in León, Guanajuato.
In 1991, after serving in the Chamber of Deputies, Fox sought the governorship in Guanajuato, but lost the election to Ramón Aguirre Velázquez of the PRI. Following the election, local discontent was so great that the state congress appointed Carlos Medina Plascencia of the PAN as interim governor. Four years later, Fox ran again, this time winning by a vote of 2 to 1. As governor, Fox promoted government efficiency and transparency. He was one of the first state governors of Mexico to give a clear, public and timely account of the finances of his state.
On 7 July 1997, after the opposition parties first won a majority in the Chamber of Deputies, Vicente Fox decided to run for President of Mexico. In spite of opposition within his political party, Fox secured his candidacy representing the Alliance for Change, a political coalition formed by the National Action Party and the Green Ecological Party of Mexico on 14 November 1999.
In addition to some debate controversies, Fox also faced some controversy due to Amigos de Fox (Friends of Fox), a non-profit fundraising group established by Denise Montaño. The group was instrumental in getting Vicente Fox elected President of Mexico, and the phrase "Amigos de Fox" was also used as a campaign slogan referring to the millions of people supporting Fox in the 2000 presidential election.
On 2 July 2000, his 58th birthday, Fox won the presidential election with 43% (15,989,636 votes) of the popular vote, followed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Francisco Labastida with 36% (13,579,718 votes), and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) with 17% (6,256,780 votes). Fox declared victory that same night, a victory which was ratified by then-President Zedillo. After the final results were announced, President-elect Fox addressed thousands of supporters and celebrated his victory with them at the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City. His opponents conceded the election later that night.
After securing the election, Fox received a substantial amount of media coverage, as well as numerous congratulatory messages and phone calls from world leaders, including then-President of the United States Bill Clinton. He took office as president on 1 December 2000, marking the first time since 1917 that an opposition candidate had taken power from the long reigning Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)
When Fox took office on 1 December 2000, his approval rating neared 80%, being the first president in 71 years who wasn't a member of the PRI. During the rest of his presidency, his average approval rating was of 53%, while his average disapproval rating was of 40%.
Although Fox's victory in the 2000 election and the end of seven decades of PRI rule raised great expectations of change among the Mexican people, his administration was criticized for failing to fulfill those expectations, as little progress was made in fighting corruption, crime, poverty, unemployment and inequality. Few key reforms were implemented during the Fox administration, which became characterised by a growing sense of power vacuum as Fox was increasingly perceived by Mexican society and political actors as a "lame duck" incapable of pushing the ambitious reform agenda that swept him into power in 2000. Alejandro Cacho points out that "Fox incarnated the hope of alternancy [...] and he managed to kick the PRI out of Los Pinos, but his government was a disappointment. Corruption persisted; in fact, his sons-in-law (the Bribiesca-Sahagún brothers) became rich quickly and without explanation. The economy wasn't much better than it had been under Ernesto Zedillo, the wages didn't increase significantly, neither did jobs. His "super cabinet" ["gabinetazo", as Fox himself referred to it] created more controversy than it did good results. His wife, Marta Sahagún, had a big influence in the presidential decisions".
The statue was put in place amidst protests on the dawn of 13 October 2007. The inauguration was to have been held on 14 October. Some hours after the statue was erected, a crowd of about 100 people (many of whom were members of the PRI, the political party opposed to Fox and which Fox had defeated in the 2000 election) brought the statue down by putting a rope around the statue's neck and pulling it down, damaging it. The statue was put back in place for the inauguration, then taken away for repairs.
Fox remarried on 2 July 2001, while serving as President of Mexico, to Marta María Sahagún Jiménez (until then his spokesperson). The wedding date was the first anniversary of his presidential election and his 59th birthday. For both Fox and Sahagún Jiménez, it was their second marriage.
In terms of the significance of Fox's presidency, historian Philip Russell asserts that, "Marketed on television, Fox made a far better candidate than he did president. He failed to take charge and provide cabinet leadership, failed to set priorities, and turned a blind eye to alliance building." Fox himself asserted in 2001 (one year into his administration) that he much preferred his experience as candidate than actually being President.
In 2003, money-laundering charges were lodged against Amigos de Fox, but were dropped shortly before the July 2003 mid-term elections.
Having assumed office with an approval rating of 80%, by the time he left office in 2006 his public image had become exhausted by the controversial Presidential elections of that year and the few reforms implemented.
After leaving office in December 2006, Fox has maintained himself in the public eye by speaking in countries such as Nigeria, Ireland, Canada, and the United States about topics such as the controversial 2006 election and the Iraq War. In Mexico, Fox has been criticized by some for his busy post-presidency since former Mexican presidents are traditionally expected to stay out of the political spotlight. In response, Fox has stated, "There is no reason to hold to the anti-democratic rules of those who still live in the authoritarian past . . . now that Mexico is a democracy, every citizen has the right to express himself, even a former president."
Fox's autobiography, entitled Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith and Dreams of a Mexican President, was released in September 2007. To promote its release, Fox toured many U.S. cities to do book-signings and interviews with U.S. media. During his tour, however, he faced protests from Mexican immigrants who accused him of actions that forced them to emigrate and find jobs in the United States. He faced the subject several times during interviews, such as one held with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly, who questioned him about the massive illegal immigration problem of Mexicans into the United States. Finally, during an interview with Telemundo's Rubén Luengas, the interviewer asked Fox about allegations concerning some properties of Vicente Fox's wife, Marta Sahagún. After Fox explained the situation, he asked the interviewer not to make false accusations and to prove what he was saying. Luengas said, "I'm telling you in your face, I'm not a liar." After this, Fox walked out of the studio, calling the interviewer a "liar," "vulgar," and "stupid."
On 12 January 2007, over a month after he left office, Fox announced the construction of a center of studies, library and museum that was labeled by the U.S. press as Mexico's first presidential library. The project will be a library, museum, a center for the advancement of democracy, a study center and a hotel, and it will be completely privately funded. It is expected to be a genuine U.S.-style presidential library. It will be built in Fox's home state of Guanajuato, in his home town of San Francisco del Rincón.
On 20 September 2007, Fox was elected Co-President of the Centrist Democratic International (along with the re-elected Pier Ferdinando Casini) at its leaders' meeting in Rome. The CDI is the international organization of political parties that counts Fox's party, the National Action Party, as a member.
In October 2007, an announcement was made in the municipality of Boca del Río, Veracruz, that a 3-meter (10 ft) statue of Vicente Fox was to be erected to honor the former president. This aroused criticism from the opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution towards Boca del Río's mayor, who was affiliated with the same political party (PAN) as Fox.
In a national survey conducted in 2012 by BGC-Excelsior regarding former presidents, 32% of the respondents considered that the Fox administration was "very good" or "good", 25% responded that it was an "average" administration, and 42% responded that it was a "very bad" or "bad" administration.
In 2013, Fox discussed why the West has pursued a moral crusade against drugs at HowTheLightGetsIn festival in Hay-on-Wye. with Chris Bryant and John Ralston Saul. The three debated whether it is hypocritical to ban certain drugs while continuing to export others such as alcohol and tobacco, and whether to follow the lead of Washington and Colorado states in the U.S. and allow the free trading of drugs.
Vicente Fox gave a video interview in July 2013 to High Times, in which he discussed the failure of drug prohibition, and cited Portugal's decriminalization policies as "working splendid(ly)." He said he supports drug legalization despite not being a user himself, just as he said he also "fully respects" same-sex marriage although he does not personally agree with it.
In February 2014, Fox wrote an opinion piece that was published in Toronto's The Globe and Mail in which he stated that, "Legalization of not just marijuana, but all drugs, is the right thing to do." He also said that "we must be given the very freedom to decide our own behaviour and to act responsibly, as long as we do not detrimentally affect the rights of others".
In 2015, Fox was interviewed by Peter High for Forbes at the library, which is called "Centro Fox" (the Fox Center). During the interview, Fox remarked that the guiding principle behind the library is that "[w]e are a Latin American center that is geared around ideas, leadership, and strategies. We do it through, number one, young kids. The middle-upper class and the rest have access to the best universities. But the broader constituency does not receive any messages or aspirations of happiness in life at home."
In 2016, Fox co-signed a letter to Ban Ki-moon calling for a more humane drug policy.
Fox has been an outspoken critic of U.S. President Donald Trump, beginning with Trump's bid for the Republican candidacy in the 2016 presidential election.
In an interview with Univision's Jorge Ramos in February 2016, Fox responded to then-candidate Trump's proposal to build a wall at the border between the United States and Mexico at Mexico's expense, declaring in English, "I am not going to pay for that fucking wall. He should pay for it. He's got the money." Fox went on to call Trump a "crazy guy" and a "false prophet," and questioned the claim that Trump received 44% of the Hispanic vote in the Republican caucus in Nevada. Trump took to Twitter in response, demanding that Fox apologize for using "the F word while discussing the wall." Fox eventually apologized for the remark, while also asking for Trump to apologize for his remarks about Mexicans and inviting Trump to visit Mexico.
Despite his apology, Fox continued to criticize Trump to the international media and troll Trump on Twitter, stating, "I'm committed to be Donald Trump's shadow until he is done with politics." When Trump visited Mexico on 31 August 2016 upon President Enrique Peña Nieto's invitation, Fox slammed the visit, calling it a "desperate move" on the part of Peña Nieto and stating, "He is not welcome in Mexico. We don't like him. We don't want him. We reject his visit." Trump responded by pointing out Fox's previous invitation, to which Fox clarified that he invited Trump to Mexico on the condition that he used the visit to apologize to the Mexican people. He directly addressed the American people the next day on CNN, where he described Trump as a "false prophet" who is "absolutely crazy" and warned that they need to "wake up" and realize the harm that Trump's immigration and economic policies would inflict on the United States.
Later in September 2016, The Washington Post reported that Fox had received multiple emails from Trump's campaign soliciting donations throughout the month. Fox received the first email on 9 September, which he posted on Twitter and responded, "Donald Trump, I won't pay for that fucking wall! Also, campaigning in Mexico? Running out of money and friends?" Fox received two additional emails on 24 and 27 September, both of which he also posted on Twitter and mocked as being "desperate" and "begging." The revelation of the emails has raised concern, as accepting campaign donations from foreign nationals is illegal in the United States.
In July 2017, Fox was an international observer to the unofficial Venezuelan referendum held by the opposition. During the trip, Fox gave a speech that compared the referendum to the 2000 Mexican elections. He said that "this battle has been won" and "step by step, vote by vote, the dictator will leave." He was subsequently declared a persona non grata by the Venezuelan government. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada said that Fox had taken advantage of the country's hospitality and "was paid to come to Venezuela to promote violence and the intervention of foreign powers." Moncado said the ban came from Maduro and criticized Fox and the other former Latin American leaders invited as observers (Andrés Pastrana, Jorge Quiroga, Laura Chinchilla and Miguel Ángel Rodríguez) as "political sicarios," "clowns" and "mercenaries" that "sell themselves to the highest bidder to go to various destinations and repeat what they are told." Fox said he was not surprised by the ban and that the vote would weaken Maduro.
Fox has continued criticizing Trump on Twitter after the election. In a series of tweets in January 2017, Fox again criticized Trump's proposed Mexican border wall, calling it a "racist monument" and insisted that Mexico will never fund it, calling on Trump to "be honest with US taxpayers" about that fact. Following the release of a U.S. government intelligence report that accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 election to ensure Trump's victory, Fox tweeted, "Sr Trump, the intelligence report is devastating. Losing election by more than 3M votes and in addition this. Are you a legitimate president?" Fox further criticized Trump's response to the intelligence report, calling him a "bully" and a "bluff" and stating that Trump is "bringing in a new era of dictatorship." Though on 12 January, Fox broke with his criticism of Trump and simply tweeted, "America Will Survive."
In an interview with Anderson Cooper on 25 January 2017, and during an appearance on Conan O'Brien's late night talk show on 1 March 2017, Fox again asserted that Mexico should not have to pay for the wall.
In September 2017, Fox was once again in the news after President Trump announced he would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months if the U.S. congress failed to pass legislation to address the issue. In response, Fox tweeted to President Trump's Twitter account, "Ending DACA is on the top of the vilest acts you’ve pulled off. You’re destroying the legacy of greater men before you." In another tweet, Fox suggested that President Trump's DACA decision was a result of him compensating for earlier failures to pass healthcare legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act. Fox then went on to post a video in which he claimed that President Trump had "failed America" and stated that "[t]his measure is cruel and heartless, worse than any machine. You’re cancelling the future of 800,000 children and young people."
Since May 2017, Fox has appeared in a series of humorous videos seriously denouncing Donald Trump, including "Vicente Fox is Running for President of the United States" (fake announcement for the candidacy) which was released in September.
Currently, Vicente Fox is 79 years, 1 months and 3 days old. Vicente Fox will celebrate 80th birthday on a Saturday 2nd of July 2022.
Find out about Vicente Fox birthday activities in timeline view here.