Archival Collections

Elias Sarkis

Collection code: CAL2015/3
Collection title: Elias Sarkis Archives Collection

Biographical note

Elias Sarkis (20 July 1924 - 27 June 1985) was President of the Lebanese Republic from 1976 to 1982.

Born in Shabbaniah, he graduated from Saint Joseph University in 1948. First, a lawyer in 1953, he went on to become a judge in charge of financial affairs. During the presidential regime of Fouad Chehab, he became a legal advisor at the presidential palace of Baabda, and in 1962 was the first advisor to the president. After the banking crisis of 1968, Elias Sarkis was appointed governor of the Bank of Lebanon.

Elias Sarkis participated in the presidential elections of 1970. Protected by Chehab, he was one of the favorates to win. However, at the last minute, because of an attitude change of the deputies of Kamal Jumblatt’s camp, he was defeated by Suleiman Frangieh with a single vote. He was elected President of the Republic on 8 May 1976, when the Lebanese civil war was raging; however, with the Syrian army occupying two-thirds of Lebanon, and the militias almost everything else, his power was limited. Just before the end of his presidency in 1982, Israel invaded southern Lebanon and advanced to the outskirts of Beirut.

Elias Sarkis died in Switzerland in 1985, at the age of 61.

Collection description

The collection of Elias Sarkis includes a set of papers, photos, and audio visuals:
  • Papers: personal and financial documents, correspondence, writings, speeches, books, interviews
  • Audio visual: CD, DVD, tapes
  • Photos: personal, familial with different famous people - political, sporting, journalists, artists, religious and military



Material importance

The archives collection of former President of the Lebanese Republic Elias Sarkis is a rich and voluminous political archive. This collection makes it possible to retrace the life of President Elias Sarkis in all his activities. Thanks to his archives his legacy is secured and future studies and research of this collection are made possible.

Languages used

Arabic, French, English, Armenian.

Dates range

Phoenix Center for Lebanese Studies
Tel.: (+961) 9 600 387
Fax : (+961) 9 600 385
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