Joseph Mobutu took control of the Congo on September 14th, 1960, in a CIA-sponsored coup. The incumbent prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, had accepted much-needed aid from the Soviet Union. All Soviet advisors fled the country, and Mobutu accused Lumumba of pro-communist sympathies. Mobutu remained dictator of Congo/Zaire for nearly three decades, until he was ousted, and subsequently died, in 1997.
He was one of history's most corrupt leaders, embezzling over five billion dollars from his own country.