Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1941 during WW II, Václav Klaus grew up during the Cold War. After earning a doctorate in economics, he pursued a career in academia and at the Czechoslovak State Bank. Immediately after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, Klaus entered politics. A founder of the Civic Democratic Party, he served from 1992 to 1997 as prime minister of the Czech Republic. In 2003 he was elected president, a position to which he was reelected in 2008.