The 41-year-old is a Russian-speaking comic, actor and owner of a production company, Kvartal 95.
While he has a law degree from the Kiev National Economic University, he has never practised law. He also has no political experience.
His lucrative production company produces TV shows, feature films and comedy series.
Over the last three years, he has been starring in a hit political TV sitcom, the Servant of the People, where he fights corruption as a teacher-turned-president.
He gave his political party the same name as his show.
The millionaire of Jewish descent is married to a Christian and has two children. He refuses to discuss his religion.
Zelensky was born in the predominantly Russian-speaking industrial city of Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine.
Zelensky secured more than 73 percent of ballots in the runoff vote
Zelensky announced his candidacy during a televised New Year’s Eve comedy performance.
After formally registering himself with Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, Zelensky ran an unorthodox election campaign based on comedy tours and social media, largely shunning journalists and avoiding debates.
Despite giving no details about how he intended to fix the corruption-riddled and war-torn Ukraine, Zelensky soon shot to the top in the country’s opinion polls, benefitting from the Ukrainian’s fatigue of mainstream politicians.
Oleksiy Haran, a professor of comparative politics at the University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, told Al Jazeera that Ukrainians did not appear to distinguish between his TV character and Zelensky.
“People projected the image of the fictional president in his movie into the real candidate. This is a psychological phenomenon,” he said.
Culled from Al Jazeera