Abdirashid Ali Shermarke born on November 16, 1919 and died on October 15, 1969, was President of Somalia from June 10, 1967 until October 15, 1969.
After returning from his studies abroad in Italy in 1959, Shermarke was elected to the Legislative Assembly.
When Somalia gained its independence on July 1, 1960, he was appointed by then-incumbent President Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as Prime Minister. Shermarke's duties as Prime Minister saw him travel abroad extensively in pursuit of a non-aligned and neutral foreign policy. He remained Prime Minister until March 1964, when the first general elections were held and which saw him re-elected as a member of Parliament.
In the 1967 presidential elections, Shermarke beat out Daar to become the second President of Somalia. He was sworn in to office on June 10, 1967.
On October 15, 1969, while paying a visit to the northern town of Las Anod with colleague Ali Mahdi Muhammad, Shermarke was shot dead by a policeman.
His assassination was quickly followed by a military coup d'état on October 21, 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the army seized power without encountering opposition -- essentially a bloodless coup. The coup was spearheaded by Major General Muhammad Siad Barre, who was at the time the commander of the army.
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Raised in Mogadishu, he attended Qur'anic schools and completed his elementary education in 1936. He then embarked on a career as a trader and later as a civil servant in the Italian colonial administration.
While still a civil servant, Shermarke completed his secondary education in 1953. He earned a scholarship to study at the prestigious Sapienza University of Rome, where he graduated in political science in 1958. (source wikipedia)