Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, also known as Colonel Gaddafi; born 7 June 1942, has been the de facto leader of Libya since a coup in 1969. Gaddafi was born in a Bedouin family near Sirt. Although this claim is not proven, there is speculation that his biological father was Albert Preziosi, a Free French Forces air officer of Corsican origins.
- He is married to Safia Farkash . Gaddafi has eight biological children, seven of them sons. He also had two adopted children. His adopted daughter was killed. His adopted son, Milad Abuztaia Al-Gaddafi is also his nephew. Milad is credited with saving Gaddafi's life during the April 1986 bombing of the Gaddafi compound.
- His eldest son, Muhammad al-Gaddafi, was born to a wife now in disfavour, but runs the Libyan Olympic Committee.
- The next eldest son by his second wife is Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi, who was born in 1972 and is an architect. He runs a charity (GIFCA) which has been involved in negotiating freedom for hostages taken by Islamic militants, especially in the Philippines. In 2006, after sharply criticizing his father's regime, Saif Al-Islam briefly left Libya, reportedly to take on a position in banking outside of the country. He returned to Libya soon after, launching an environment-friendly initiative to teach children how they can help clean up parts of Libya. He is involved in compensation negotiations with Italy and the United States.
- The third eldest, Saadi Gaddafi, is married to the daughter of a military commander. Saadi runs the Libyan Football Federation and signed for various professional teams including Italian Serie A team U.C. Sampdoria, although without appearing in first team games.
- Gaddafi's fourth son, Mutassim Gaddafi, was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Libyan army. He now serves as Libya's National Security Advisor, in which capacity he oversees the nation's National Security Council. Saif Al-Islam and Moatessem-Billah are both seen as possible successors to their father.
- The fifth eldest, Hannibal Gaddafi once worked for General National Maritime Transport Company, a company that specializes in Libyan oil exports. He is most notable for being involved in a series of violent incidents throughout Europe. In 2001, Hannibal attacked three Italian policemen with a fire extinguisher; in September 2004, he was briefly detained in Paris after driving a Porsche at 90 mph in the wrong direction and through red lights down the Champs-Élysées while intoxicated; and in 2005, Hannibal in Paris allegedly beat model and then girlfriend Alin Skaf, who later filed an assault suit against him. He was fined and given a four month suspended prison sentence after this incident. In December 2009 police were called to Claridges Hotel in London after staff heard a scream from Hannibal's room. Aline Skaf, now his wife, was found to have suffered facial injuries including a broken nose, but charges were not pressed after she maintained she had sustained the injuries in a fall. On 15 July 2008, Hannibal and his wife were held for two days and charged with assaulting two of their staff in Geneva, Switzerland and then released on bail on 17 July. The government of Libya subsequently put a boycott on Swiss imports, reduced flights between Libya and Switzerland, stopped issuing visas to Swiss citizens, recalled diplomats from Bern, and forced all Swiss companies such as ABB and Nestlé to close offices. General National Maritime Transport Company, which owns a large refinery in Switzerland, also halted oil shipments to Switzerland. Two Swiss businessmen who were in Libya at the time have, ever since, been denied permission to leave the country, and even held hostage for some time. (see Switzerland-Libya conflict). At the 35th G8 summit in July 2009, Gaddafi called Switzerland a "world mafia" and called for the country to be split between France, Germany and Italy.
- Gaddafi's two youngest sons are Saif Al Arab and Khamis, who is a police officer in Libya.
- Gaddafi's only daughter is Ayesha al-Gaddafi, a lawyer who had joined the defense team of executed former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. She married a cousin of her father in 2006.
- His adopted daughter, Hanna, was killed in the April 1986 United States bombing of Libya. At a "concert for peace", held on 15 April 2006 in Tripoli to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing raid, U.S. singer Lionel Richie told the audience:"Hanna will be honoured tonight because of the fact that you've attached peace to her name."
- In January 2002, Gaddafi purchased a 7.5% share of Italian football club Juventus for USD 21 million, through Lafico ("Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company"). This followed a long-standing association with the Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli and car manufacturer Fiat.
Gaddafi is a controversial figure worldwide due to his choice of bodyguards. His 40-member bodyguard contingent, known as the Amazonian Guard, is entirely female. All women who qualify for duty must be virgins, and are hand-picked by Gaddafi himself. They are trained in the use of firearms and martial arts at a special academy before entering service.