Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev was born on 10 May 1923 in Nakhchyvan City of Azerbaijan. In 1939, after graduating from the Nakhchyvan Pedagogical School, he studied at the Architecture Department of the Azerbaijan Industry Institute (present Azerbaijan State Oil Academy). The incipient war impeded to complete his education. 

Since 1941, Heydar Aliyev headed a department at the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Nakhchyvan, and in 1944 was sent to work at the state security bodies. Heydar Aliyev, having worked since then in the security bodies, from 1965 held the post of a deputy chairman, and from 1967 chairman of the Committee of State Security under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and was conferred the rank of lieutenant general. These years, he received special higher education in Leningrad (present St. Petersburg), and in 1957 graduated from the History Department of the Azerbaijan State University.

Being elected at the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan in July 1969 as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev became the head of the republic. In December 1982, Heydar Aliyev was elected a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party, appointed to the post of the First Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the USSR and became one of the leaders of the USSR. A member to the Supreme Soviet (the highest legislative body) of the USSR and the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan for more than 20 years, Heydar Aliyev had been holding the position of the Deputy Chairman of the USSR Cabinet of Ministers for the five following years.

In October 1987, Heydar Aliyev, as a sign of protest against the policy pursued by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party and, personally, by Secretary General Michael Gorbachev, resigned from his post. 

In bound with the tragedy committed on 20 January 1990 in Baku by the Soviet troops, appearing in the next day at the Azerbaijani Representation in Moscow with a statement, Heydar Aliyev demanded to punish the organizers and executors of the crime committed against the people of Azerbaijan. As a sign of protest against the hypocritical policy of the USSR leadership, in connection with the critical conflict in Daghlyg Garabagh, in July 1991, he left the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

After returning in July 1990 to Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev first lived in Baku, then moved to Nakhchyvan, and in the same year was elected a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan. In 1991-1993, he had held the post of Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchyvan, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In 1992, at the constituent congress of the New Azerbaijan Party in Nakhchyvan, Heydar Aliyev was elected Chairman of the Party.

In May-June 1993, when, as a result of a crisis in the government, the country was on the verge of a civil war and loss of independence, the people of Azerbaijan demanded to bring Heydar Aliyev to power. The then leaders of Azerbaijan were obliged to officially invite Heydar Aliyev to Baku. On 15 June 1993, Heydar Aliyev was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan, and on 24 July, on resolution of the Milli Majlis, he proceeded to fulfilling the authorities of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

On October 3, 1993, as a result of nationwide voting, Heydar Aliyev was elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On October 11, 1998, having won at the elections, passed in high activeness of the population, with 76,1 percent of the votes, he was re-elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Heydar Aliyev, giving his consent to be nominated as a candidate at the 15 October 2003 presidential elections, relinquished to run at the elections in connection with health problems. 

On December 12 national leader of the Azerbaijani people, President Heydar Aliyev passed away in Cleveland Hospital in the United States of America.

Heydar Aliyev was awarded a number of state orders and medals, international awards, and was elected honourable doctor of universities in many countries.

Heydar Aliyev was five times awarded the Lenin Order, Order of Red Star, numerous medals, also orders and medals of foreign countries, twice received the rank of a Hero of the Socialistic Labour.

On 27 March 1997, the Head of the State of Azerbaijan was awarded, in Kiev, the "Yaroslav Mudry" Order, the supreme order of Ukraine.

On 13 April 1999, President Heydar Aliyev was awarded the "Peace Premium of Ataturk" Order, the high order of Turkey. 

On 20 January 1999, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev was awarded the rank of Honourable Professor of the Moscow State University.

On 3 April 2003, President Heydar Aliyev was elected professor and full member of the Academy of Safety, Defence and Legal Norms Problems of the Russian Federation, awarded the premium of Y.V.Andropov.

On 10 May 2003, a decree was signed on awarding Heydar Aliyev the Order of Saint Apostle Andrey Pervozvanny, the supreme order of Russia.