|Member of the Federal Senate
from São Paulo
1 February 2015
|Preceded by||Eduardo Suplicy|
1 February 1995 – 1 February 2003
|Preceded by||Mário Covas|
|Succeeded by||Aloízio Mercadante|
|33rd Governor of São Paulo|
1 January 2007 – 2 April 2010
|Preceded by||Cláudio Lembo|
|Succeeded by||Alberto Goldman|
|59th Mayor of São Paulo|
1 January 2005 – 31 March 2006
|Preceded by||Marta Suplicy|
|Succeeded by||Gilberto Kassab|
|Minister of Health|
31 March 1998 – 20 February 2002
|President||Fernando Henrique Cardoso|
|Preceded by||Carlos Albuquerque|
|Succeeded by||Barjas Negri|
|Minister of Planning and Budget|
1 January 1995 – 30 April 1996
|President||Fernando Henrique Cardoso|
|Preceded by||Beni Veras|
|Succeeded by||Antônio Kandir|
|Member of the Chamber of Deputies
from São Paulo
1 February 1987 – 1 February 1995
|Preceded by||47th Legislature|
|Succeeded by||50th Legislature|
March 19, 1942 |
São Paulo, Brazil
|Political party||Party of Brazilian Social Democracy|
|Spouse(s)||Monica Allende (m.1967)|
|Alma mater||University of São Paulo
University of Chile
José Serra (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒuˈzɛ ˈsɛʁɐ]; born March 19, 1942) is a Brazilian politician who served as a Congressman, Senator, Minister of Planning and Minister of Health, Mayor of São Paulo and Governor of São Paulo state.
José Serra was born in São Paulo's neighbourhood called Mooca to Francesco Serra, an Italian immigrant from Corigliano Calabro, Calabria, and Serafina Chirico, a Brazilian born to Italian parents. Serra comes from a lower middle class family. His father was semi-illiterate and worked as a fruit vendor in a market of São Paulo, but he was able to enrol his only child in college. He was also a prominent member of the socio-politicla movement Ação Popular which opposed the conservative political system which then existed. 
Serra interrupted his studies in engineering at age 22 and left the country in 1964, after the coup that established the military government era in Brazil. Serra had come to the attention of the authorities having served as President of the União Nacional dos Estudantes (UNE), (National Student Union) which opposed the conservative regime existing while he was a 4th year engineering student at the Polytechnic School at the University of São Paulo.
José Serra was in exile from 1964 to 1978 in Bolivia, France, Chile, and the United States. In Chile, Jose Serra did his masters in Economics and taught Economics at the University of Chile (Universidad de Chile). There he also married Monica Allende (1967), then a top ballerina at the National Ballet of Chile. They had two children, Veronica (1969) and Luciano (1973). In the United States José Serra was awarded a Masters and Ph. D. in Economics at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) and later spent 2 years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.
In 1982 he was appointed São Paulo's State Secretary for Economics and Planning under Franco Montoro's governorship, and became the most influential secretary of Montoro's Government. In 1986 and 1990 he was elected and reelected a Congressman. In 1994 he was elected Senator for the State of São Paulo with more than 6.5 million votes.
His first bid for the mayorship of the City of São Paulo came in 1988 in an election won by PT's Luiza Erundina. He ran again in 1996, resigning his position as Minister of Planning in order to participate in the election for mayor, which was won by Celso Pitta. Pitta was the designated successor of mayor Paulo Maluf, who headed the right-wing populist Progressive Party PP. After having served again as a minister in the Federal Government, Serra ran for President on behalf of the PSDB party in 2002. He was beaten by four-time candidate and PT founder Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the 2nd round.
In all elections in which he was a candidate since 1988 Serra represented the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), which he helped found in 1988 alongside then former and future São Paulo State Governors Franco Montoro and Mario Covas and the future Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, out of a split arising in the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB). PSDB can be seen as a coalition of democrats, liberals and social democrats and enjoys a centrist outlook in comparison to its rival, the leftist Workers' Party (PT) of current President Dilma Rousseff. Both parties enjoy large support in São Paulo state, but the state has been governed by PSDB since 1994.
Serra came to political prominence under Fernando Henrique Cardoso's presidency (1994–2002) when he was appointed as Minister of Planning, and later as Minister of Health. During Serra's tenure in the Health Ministry, the generic drug industry, which gave wider access to medicines to a poor population, and ANVISA, the Brazilian food and drug regulatory agency, were created. Also all form of tobacco advertising was banned, and cigarette packages were made to show pictures of diseases caused by smoking.
Mayor of São Paulo
Serra was elected mayor of São Paulo in 2004, defeating incumbent Marta Suplicy in the second round of elections. Serra created the Virada Cultural, a 24-hour-long cultural festival inspired by the French Nuit Blanche. He also established the Bilhete Único system in the subway system of the city.
Serra was trying to be nominated as the PSDB candidate for president in the 2006 elections, but on March 14, 2006, he decided to run for governor of the state of São Paulo instead, and resigned his post as mayor of São Paulo, although he signed a document promising he would fulfill his four-year mandate. Gilberto Kassab, the deputy mayor, took office and remained the mayor until 2012. Serra was elected and on January 1, 2007, he took office as the Governor of São Paulo State.
Role in Brazilian politics today
Serra was the presidential candidate of the incumbent PSDB party in 2002, when he lost the election to Lula. In 2004, he was elected Mayor of the city of São Paulo in a run-off with 55% of the votes after signing a public commitment to stay in office for the full term. Nevertheless, he resigned after 15 months to run for Governor of the State of São Paulo in 2006, and was elected in the first round with almost 60% of the votes.
Serra announced another run for the Brazilian presidency as the PSDB candidate in the 2010 elections. He received support from his party, as well as the Socialist People's Party (PPS) and the Democrats (DEM). His primary opposition in the election was Workers' Party (PT) candidate, Dilma Rousseff. Serra's candidacy received support from Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo and British newspaper Financial Times. In the first-round of voting, on October 3, 2010, an unexpectedly strong showing from Green Party (Brazil) candidate, Marina Silva, forced a second-round, run-off between Serra and Rousseff on October 31, 2010, which Rousseff won 56% to 44%.
On February 2012, Serra announced he would be running for Mayor of São Paulo, which, in case he wins, would result in his second non-consecutive term, though he left the first one before it ended. But, in the second round of the 2012 Brazilian municipal elections, he was defeated by Fernando Haddad, Lula da Silva's candidate.
- Costa, Florência (2009-11-11). "Os Brasileiros do Ano 2004 - José Serra". IstoÉ. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
- Furtado, Bernardino; Friedlander, David (2002-10-21). "SERRA. O candidato enfrentou o funil da mobilidade social, a ditadura e o exílio antes de se tornar um dos principais políticos do Brasil". Época. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
- Veja São Paulo (2004-10-27). "Tenho mais medo de inveja do que de colesterol alto". Retrieved 2009-08-22.
- Folha Online (02/10/2006). "TRE-SP confirma vitória de Serra no 1º turno". Retrieved 2009-08-22. Check date values in:
- Serra agarra a sua chance
- See http://ultimosegundo.ig.com.br/jose-serra/4f8897b2a076935111000191.html
- "Cornell Masters’ Thesis for José Serra?". Cornell University. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- "Virada Cultural Paulista: diversão para todo o Estado" (in Portuguese). Portal of the Government of the State of São Paulo. Archived from the original on April 29, 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2010.
- Faria, Thiago (22 October 2008). "‘Não votem em mim se eu sair candidato,’ diz Kassab sobre eleições 2010" (in Portuguese). Folha Online. Retrieved 9 May 2010.
- "Jose Serra launches bid to be Brazil's next president". BBC News. 2010-04-11. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- "Editorial: O mal a evitar" (in Portuguese). O Estado de S. Paulo. 25 September 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
- "Brazil's testy election race". FT.com. 26 October 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
If only to interrupt this relationship with power, Mr Serra is the better choice for Brazil.
- "No Twitter, Serra anuncia que disputará candidatura à Prefeitura de SP". Estadão.com (in Portuguese). 27 February 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Fernando Haddad wins Sao Paulo for Brazil Workers' Party". BBC News. 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2013-03-03.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to José Serra.|
- São Paulo 2004 mayoral race pages
- http://citymayors.com/mayors/saopaulo_mayor.html Profile on CityMayors.com
|Mayor of São Paulo
2005 - 2006
|Governor of São Paulo
2007 - 2010
|Party political offices|
Fernando Henrique Cardoso
|PSDB Party presidential candidate
|PSDB Party presidential candidate