Here's What We Know About Vladimir Putin's Childhood

Vladimir Putin is considered one of the most powerful men in the word, rising up the ranks from being a member of the KGB to serving as the president of Russia. Through his years in office, Russia has seen vast economic improvement and military expansion, transforming the country into a major power.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on October 7, 1952, in Leningrad (now known as St. Petersburg) to Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin and Maria Shelomova. According to Childhood Biography, Putin's parents lost two boys before Vladimir was born. One died when he was an infant, and the other was 1 year old when he died of diphtheria. Losing two children was hard for the couple, so when Putin was born, they became protective of him.

At a young age, Putin studied the Japanese martial art judo, and by his teens, he was already an expert at sambo, a combination of wrestling and judo. In school, Putin wasn't always on his best behavior, as a grade book from his childhood years reveals, as reported by ABC News. In it, his instructors wrote notes about his behavior in class, with one saying he "threw chalkboard erasers at the children." Another says that he talks during class, while another note says that he "didn't do his math homework."

Vladimir Putin's rise to power

Vladimir Putin's grades were not exceptional according to the grade book that was discovered, though he showed great interest in history and German. His school performance may have improved through the years, as he attended high school at School 281, an institution known for only accepting achievers. According to Notable Biographies, Vladimir later on studied biology and liberal arts, while working for the school's radio station on the side.

After finishing high school, Putin decided that he wanted to work as an intelligence officer. For him to be able to do that, he needed to have a college degree. He went on and studied law at Leningrad State University, where he graduated in 1975. He landed a job working for the KGB after graduation, an incredible achievement considering he was the only one given a position from his class of 100.

Putin continued his work for the KGB, earning praise for his work ethics, as reported by SCMP. In declassified KGB documents, he was described as disciplined and organized, as well as "constantly raising his ideological, political and professional level."

After leaving the KGB, Vladimir Putin delved into politics and held key political positions until he was given the role of the acting president, taking over Boris Yeltsin in 1999. Upon being offered the position, Putin said, "Fate was offering me the chance to work for the country at the very highest level, and it would have been foolish to say no," per Childhood Biography.