Jorge Sampaio was born in Lisbon on September 18th 1939. He is married to Maria José Ritta and has two children. He studied music from a very early age and due to his father’s career – a doctor who specialised in public health – he spent long periods of his childhood in the United States and in England. He attended secondary school at Pedro Nunes and Passos Manuel lycées. Meanwhile he took up a legal career. He became a member of the board of the Law Association, playing an important role in the defence of political prisoners.