Edith Lucie Bongo Physician
Édith Lucie Bongo Ondimba (March 10, 1964 – March 14, 2009) was the First Lady of Gabon as the wife of President Omar Bongo from 1990 to 2009. The daughter of Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso, her marriage to President Bongo in 1990 was reportedly viewed politically as an example of cooperation between the two countries according to Reuters. Édith Bongo was a medical doctor by education, a pediatrician, with HIV/AIDS as one of her main focuses. She helped create a forum for African first ladies to fight AIDS and founded associations for vulnerable children and people with disabilities. In 2009, she was hospitalized in Rabat, Morocco. On March 14, 2009, she died at the hospital, four days after her 45th birthday. The statement announcing her death not specify the cause of death or the nature of her illness. She had not appeared in public for around three years preceding her death. After the state funeral in Libreville, Gabon, Édith Bongo's remains were taken to Edu, her father's home village in northern Congo for a traditional Mbochi tribal burial in the family cemetery there on March 20, 2009.