In 1993, Abe ran in a general election following his father's death.
He has since become a leading figure in Japanese politics. As deputy chief cabinet secretary, he visited North Korea with Japan's then-prime minister.
Abe first became leader in 2006 at the age of 52, making him Japan's youngest post-war prime minister. About a year later, the Liberal Democratic Party lost an Upper House election, and Abe resigned due to worsening health.
His condition improved over time. Abe then led the LDP to a landslide victory in the 2012 Lower House election and became prime minster once again.
He became known for his "Abenomics" policy aimed at revitalizing the country's economy. And he was a shrewd operator on the diplomatic front.
Abe led his party to a series of election victories and became Japan's longest-serving prime minister.
He stepped down again in 2020 due to health issues, but has remained an influential figure within the LDP.