Fernando Henrique Cardoso (born 18 June 1931) is a Brazilian sociologist, professor and politician who served as the 34th President of Brazil from 1 January 1995 to 31 December 2002. He was the first Brazilian president to be reelected for a subsequent term. An accomplished scholar of dependency theory noted for his research on slavery and political theory, Fernando Henrique Cardoso has earned many honors including the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation (2000), and the Kluge Prize from the US Library of Congress (2012).
Fernando Henrique Cardoso was the 10th president of International Sociological Association (1982–1986). Educated like all sociologists, he was a professor of political science and sociology at the Universidade de São Paulo. His work on dependency was his most acclaimed contribution to sociology and development studies, especially in the United States.
Fernando Henrique Cardoso descends from wealthy Portuguese immigrants. Some were politicians during the Empire of Brazil. He is also of black African descent, through a black great-great-grandmother and a mulatto great-grandmother. Cardoso earned a bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Universidade de São Paulo in 1952, from where he also earned a Master's and a Doctorate in Sociology.
Fernando Henrique Cardoso's doctoral thesis, under the supervision of Florestan Fernandes, examined the institution of slavery in Southern Brazil, critiquing, from a Marxist perspective, the dominant approach of Gilberto Freyre to the topic. Cardoso was selected as a Fulbright Program 40th anniversary distinguished fellow and in that capacity was a visiting scholar and lectured at Columbia University on democracy in Brazil. Fernando Henrique Cardoso figures among eminent sociologists of the world.