He came to power in 2002 and is coming to the end of his second and final term as Brazil's president.
He was called "the most popular politician on earth" by Barack Obama, the US president.
He came from a poor background, left school at the fifth grade to help support his family, and cleaned the shoes of richer men as a boy.
So what is it about this former shoe-shine boy that has propelled Brazil to the front of the world stage?
Lula talks about his education and life, how he came to politics, his achievements as president, his battle against poverty, Brazil's economy, Iran's nuclear programme, avoiding war and conflict and the convincing power of dialogue.
Talk to Jazeera: Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva can be seen from Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 1230, 2330; Wednesday: 0530, 1900; Thursday: 0030, 1430.