Former chairman and chief executive officer, Yukos Oil Corporation
Born: June 26, 1963, in Moscow, USSR.
Education: Mendeleev Institute of Chemical Technologies, BA, 1986.
Family: Son of a construction worker and a production engineer; married twice; children: four.
Career: Menetep Bank, 1989–1993, president; Russian Ministry of Fuel and Energy, deputy minister, 1993–1994; Rosprom, 1994–1996, chief executive officer; Yukos Oil Corporation, 1996–2003, chairman and chief executive officer.
, the world's 16th-wealthiest person in 2004, rose from the ashes of the Soviet Union to become the richest of the "oligarchs," the hyperwealthy billionaires who rapidly gained control of Russian industry during President Boris Yeltsin's anything-goes privatization of Soviet-era assets. The former Communist Youth League activist bought Yukos Oil Company for a pittance in 1995, but hardball tactics raised the ire of shareholders, foreign banks, and Western partners. Khodorkovsky responded by making Yukos the most transparent of Russian companies, further increasing his wealth. Accompanying that wealth was a growing interest in Russian politics; in October 2003 Khodorkovsky was jailed, charged with embezzlement, theft, and tax evasion by Russian authorities. Khodorkovsky and his supporters blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin, and fear of the oligarch's political influence, for the arrest.
Russian multi-billionaire businessman who was imprisoned after a personal clash with president Putin.
Arrested by the Russian authorities in 2003 and sentenced for 9 years of prison for tax evasion.
Has four children: three sons and one daughter.
Awarded the 2010 Rainer Hildebrandt International Human Rights Award while doing his prison time in Russia.