Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond, better known as Alex, was born in Linlithgow in 1954. He attended Linlithgow Academy and studied at St Andrew’s University, where he graduated with a joint honours MA in Economics and History.
His professional life began at the Government Economic Service as an Assistant Economist in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland.
In 1980, he embarked on a seven year career with the Royal Bank of Scotland as an Assistant Economist before being appointed as an Oil Economist in 1982.
He entered frontline politics in 1987 with his election as MP for Banff & Buchan in Aberdeenshire. In 1990, he was elected as National Convenor of the Scottish National Party and served as leader of the opposition in the Scottish Parliament after successfully standing as MSP for Banff & Buchan in 1999.
In 2000, he stood down as leader of the SNP. He continued to serve his constituents as an MP for Banff and Buchan and as an MSP until he stood down from the Scottish Parliament in 2001. He was successfully re-elected as leader of the SNP in 2004 and elected as MSP for Gordon in May 2007.
He made political history by becoming the first nationalist to be elected First Minister of Scotland on 16 May 2007, and remained in the post until November 2014. It was during this time that he led the Yes campaign in the Scottish independence referendum, where 45% of Scottish people voted for the country to be separated from the United Kingdom.
His memoirs, titled: ‘The Dream Shall Never Die’, depicted the social and political landscape in Scotland throughout the campaign. It was first published in 2015, and has since been published in Scots Gaelic and Basque.
In May 2015, he was elected as MP for Gordon as one of the famous SNP 56, who dramatically changed the make-up of the House of Commons in the wake of the Scottish National Party’s general election landslide.
He currently serves as the SNP's Foreign Affairs spokesperson in Westminster, and continues to promote Scotland on the world stage and forging new relationships between Scotland and the global community. He is also a board member of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.
He and his wife Moira married in 1981 and live in Strichen, Aberdeenshire.
When not working he enjoys horse racing, football - supporting Scotland and Heart of Midlothian FC - golf and reading.