Fidel Castro, the former Cuban dictator, turns 88 on 13 August 2014. He served as the island's prime minister from 1959 to 1976, and then as president from 1976, until ill health forced him to hand over power to his brother Raul in 2008.
Together with Ernesto "Che" Guevara and a guerrilla force, Castro fought against the regime of General Batista, ousting him 31 December 1958.
July 1953: Fidel Castro gives a statement after being arrested for a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, but released the following year. AFP Portrait of Castro in 1955, during an interview in New York. AFP Castro with soldiers of the Rebel Army en route for Havana in 1959. He became prime minister in February of that year. Getty 21 April 1959: Castro shakes hands with American vice-president Richard Nixon during a press reception in Washington DC. Getty 1960: US writer Ernest Hemingway awards three trophies to Castro after a fishing contest in Cuba. AFP 1961: Members of Castro's militia pose in the Escambry Mountain area of Cuba, during the ill-fated US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion. Getty May 1963: The now-president Castro and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev pose during an official visit to Moscow. AFP 5 July 1968: Castro shows a photograph in which General Ovando Candia and other members of the Bolivian Army celebrate the murder of Che Guevara. Getty 28 May 1972: Castro relaxes in a swimming pool during a visit to Romania. Reuters September 1973: Castro examines a rifle during a visit to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. AFP 4 September 1986: Castro jokes with his counterparts Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega during the non-aligned countries summit, in Harare, Zimbabwe. AFP 8 January 1989: A white dove lands on Castro's shoulder as he delivers a speech at a ceremony to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution in Havana. AFP 10 May 1994: Castro gets a quick photographic lesson from photographers, before South African President Nelson Mandela's inauguration at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. AFP 13 December 1994: Castro greets retired Venezuelan military officer Hugo Chavez upon his arrival at Jose Marti Airport in Havana. AFP 22 October 1995: Castro and US President Bill Clinton look at each other as world leaders take their places for a group photo in the United Nations building in New York. AFP 23 October 1995: Castro waves a boxing glove in the air, during an appearance at a restaurant in the Bronx, New York. AFP 1 December 1995: Fidel Castro tours the Great Wall of China during his nine-day Chinese official visit. AFP 17 October 1996: Castro, flanked by his Salvadoran president Armando Calderon Sol and Colombian president Andres Pastrana, participates in an induction ceremony by the Port Wine Fraternity for the 19 heads of state at the eighth Ibero American summit at the Bolsa Palace in Porto, Portugal. AFP 2 September 1998: South African President Nelson Mandela greets Castro as he arrives for the opening of the 12th Non-Aligned Movement summit in Durban. AFP 18 November 1999: Honorary coach Fidel Castro smiles after a friendly game between veterans from Cuba and Venezuela. Cuba won 5-4. Castro admitted that Cuba's victory came about by a trick he played on his rivals. In the final innings of the game, several professional Cuban baseball players took to the field disguised with moustaches, beards and wigs, pretending to be old men. AFP 14 May 2002: Former US president Jimmy Carter and Castro listen to the Cuban national anthem at the baseball stadium in Havana Reuters 1 May 2005: Castro listens to a speaker during the May Day parade in Havana's Revolution Square. Reuters 13 August 2006: Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez visits his ailing Cuban counterpart Castro at his bedside in Havana. Reuters 13 August 2006: Castro appears in one of the first photos taken after three failed operations for intestinal problems. AFP 28 September 2010: Castro delivers a speech in Havana. His brother Raul took over as president on February 24, 2008. AFP In an undated photograph released on 11 July 2014, Cuba's former president Fidel Castro talks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Havana. Reuters