In 1939, after graduating from the Nakhchivan Pedagogical School he studied at the Architecture Department of the Azerbaijan Industry Institute (present Azerbaijan State Oil Academy). The incipient war impeded to complete his education.
From 1941, Heydar Aliyev headed the department at the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Nakhchivan.
In 1944 was sent to work at the state security bodies.
Heydar Aliyev, working since that time in the security bodies, from 1964 held the post of deputy chairman, and from 1967 chairman of the Committee of State Security under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and he was conferred the rank of lieutenant general. These years, he received special higher education in Leningrad (present St Petersburg), and in 1957 he graduated from the History Department of the Azerbaijan State University.
Being elected at the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan in July 1969 as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev became the head of the republic.
In December 1982, Heydar Aliyev was elected a member of Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Soviet Union, and appointed to the post of the First Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the USSR, and became one of the leaders of the USSR. During twenty years, Heydar Aliyev was the Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and for five years was Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
In October 1987, Heydar Aliyev, as a sign of protest against the policy pursued by Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and personally the Secretary General Michael Gorbachev, resigned from his post.
In bound with the tragedy committed on 20 January 1990 in Baku by the soviet troops appearing in the next day at the Azerbaijan Representation in Moscow with a statement Heydar Aliyev demanded to punish the organizers and executors of the crime committed against the people of Azerbaijan.
As a sign of protest against the hypocritical policy of leadership of the USSR, in connection with the critical conflict accrued in Daghlig Garabagh, in July 1991 he left the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. By return in July 1990 to Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev lived in Baku, then in Nakhchivan, and in the same year was elected a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan. In 1991-1993, he held the post of Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In 1992, at the constituent congress of the New Azerbaijan Party in Nakhchivan, Heydar Aliyev was elected Chairman of the Party.
In May-June 1993, when, as a result of extreme tension of the governmental crisis, the country was at the verge of civil war and loss of independence, the people of Azerbaijan demanded to bring to power Heydar Aliyev. The then leaders of Azerbaijan were obliged to officially invite Heydar Aliyev to Baku. On 15 June 1993, Heydar Aliyev was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan, and on 24 July – on resolution of the Milli Mejilis, he commenced to fulfill powers of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On October 3, 1993, as a result of nationwide voting, Heydar Aliyev was elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Heydar Aliyev, giving his consent to be nominated as a candidate at the 15 October 2003 presidential elections, relinquished to run at the elections in connection with health problems. On December 12 national leader of the Azerbaijani people, President Heydar Aliyev passed away in Cleveland Hospital in the United States of America. He was buried in the Alley of Honor in Baku on December 15.