Patrice Talon is a Beninese businessman and politician who has been President of Benin since 6 April 2016.
He studied science at the University of Dakar and transferred to the National School of Civil Aviation in Paris. With dreams of becoming a pilot, Talon failed a medical test and this dream became an impossibility.
Known as the “King of Cotton” for his involvement in the cotton industry, Talon built his empire due to connections with the Beninese political class. He was a backer of President Thomas Boni Yayi, financing his campaigns for the 2006 and 2011 elections. In 2011, Talon received management of Cotonou’s imports at the Port of Cotonou.
Talon ran as an independent candidate in the March 2016 presidential election. Although he finished second to Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou of the Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin in the first round of voting, he won the second round with 65% of the vote.