Bo Xilai was once considered a rising star in Chinese politics. He was thought to be a top candidate for elevation to China's all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee in November at the 18th Party Congress, which will pick a new generation of Chinese leaders.
But a political scandal that surfaced earlier this year derailed his career.
Bo was stripped from the top ranks of China's Communist Party when authorities became aware of allegations that his wife, Gu Kailai, was involved in the murder of a British businessman. She is serving a suspended life sentence.
Bo joined the Communist Party in 1980 and ascended through the ranks, holding posts as mayor of Dailan, governor of Liaoning province and commerce minister. In 2007, he was named leader of the southwestern city of Chongqing and rose to membership in the 25-member Politburo.
Bo gained prominence when he and police chief Wang Lijun launched a crackdown on corruption in Chongqing, resulting in the arrests and convictions of many officials. Bo's tenure was marked by strong support for state-owned enterprises, and he led a revival of Mao-era cultural themes and slogans aimed at re-instilling a socialist spirit.
But Bo left a mixed legacy in Chongqing, with some saying his improvements there covered up deeper problems.
Bo was once heir to a political dynasty. His father, Bo Yibo, was a founder of the People's Republic of China, and one of the eight leaders known as the "Eight Immortals." The group steered Chinese politics away from the legacy of Mao Zedong to the market-oriented reforms that have transformed China into an economic powerhouse.
The younger Bo has not been seen or heard from in months.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
: Bo Xilai Scandal
Former police chief Wang Lijun speaks during a court hearing in Chengdu, China, in this still image taken from CCTV video, September 18, 2012.
Security guards stand behind the glass doors of a closed shop next to the Chengdu Intermediate People's Court, where Wang Lijun was tried, Chengdu, China, September 17, 2012.
This video image taken from CCTV shows Gu Kailai, second left, the wife of disgraced politician Bo Xilai, being taken into the Intermediate People's Court in the eastern Chinese city Hefei, August 9, 2012.
Police officers stand guard at the Hefei City Intermediate People's Court for the murder trial of Gu Kailai, Anhui Province, China, August 9, 2012.
This image taken from CCTV shows Gu Kailai (front, C) at her trial at Hefei Intermediate People's Court, August 9, 2012.
Composite photo of Neil Heywood and Gu Kailai
Zhang Xiaojun, Gu Kailai's aide, attends a trial in the court room at Hefei Intermediate People's Court in this still image taken from CCTV video, August 9, 2012.
Then Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai attends a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 11, 2012.
Bo Xilai, walks past from left, Zhou Yong Kang, China's Communist Party head of Political and Legislative affairs committee, Vice Premier Li Keqiang and propaganda chief Li Changchun at the National People's Congress in Beijing, March 9, 2012.
Gu Kailai attends a memorial ceremony for Bo Xilai's father at a military hospital in Beijing, January 17, 2007.
Bo Xilai, right and his son, Bo Guagua, 2007.