1941 – Son of a politician from the state of Sergipe and mother from Bahia, both in the north-east of Brazil, João Ubaldo Ribeiro is born on January 23 on the island of Itaparica, which lies offshore opposite the Bahian state capital Salvador.

1958 – He begins his journalistic carreer at the Jornal da Bahia.

1959 – He enrols to study law at the Universidade Federal da Bahia.

1962 – He graduates from law school, and marries Maria Beatriz Moreira Caldas.

1965 – Gains a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Political Science from the University of Southern California, USA.

1968 – His first book is published – the novel Setembro não tem sentido.

1971 – He marries Mônica Maria Roters, with whom he fathers two daughters: Emília and Manuela.
– Wins the Jabuti Prize for best debut author, from the Câmara Brasileira do Livro.
– Publishes the novel Sargento Getúlio.

1974 – Publishes Vencecavalo e o outro povo.

1979 – Publishes the novel Vila Real.

1981 – Publishes the book of short-stories Livro de histórias (which subsequently, with the addition of two more stories, is published under the title Já podeis da pátria filhos) and the book of essays Política: quem manda, por que manda e como manda.

1982 – Marries Berenice de Carvalho Batella, with whom he has two more children: Bento Manoel and Francisca.

1983 – Publishes the children’s book Vida e paixão de Pandonar, o Cruel, which wins the Orígenes Lessa Prize for best children’s book, awarded by the Fundação Nacional do Livro Infantil e Juvenil – FNLIJ.
– Launch of the film Sargento Getúlio, based on the novel of the same name. This feature, directed by Hermano Penna, is voted best film at the Gramado Film Festival and also wins the critics’ prizes for best actor (Lima Duarte), best supporting actor (Orlando Vieira) and best live sound (Mário Masetti). The film also wins the Bronze Leopard Trophy at the Festival of Locarno, in Switzerland.

1984 – Vida e paixão de Pandonar, o Cruel wins the prize for best children’s book of 1984 from the São Paulo Association of Art Critics.
– Publishes the novel Viva o povo brasileiro.

1985 – Viva o povo brasileiro wins the Jabuti Prize for best book of the year.

1986 – The play Vida e paixão de Pandonar, o Cruel, opens at the Teatro de Bolso Aurimar Rocha, in Rio de Janeiro.

1987 – The samba-school Império da Tijuca bases its parade in the Rio de Janeiro Carnival on the book Viva o povo brasileiro.

1988 – Publishes the book of columns originally published in the press Sempre aos domingos.

1989 – The novel O sorriso do lagarto is published.

1990 – At the invitation of the German institution Deutscher Akademische Austauschdienst, Ribeiro goes to Berlin where he spends 15 months. During his time in Germany he writes a column for the Frankfurter Rundschau, one of the most important newspapers in the country. These articles are published in Germany and Brazil in the book Um brasileiro em Berlim.
– Publishes the children’s book A vingança de Charles Tiburone.

1991 – The play Sargento Getúlio (based on Ribeiro’s novel) opens at the Teatro Gláucio Gil, in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro.
– Brazil’s major television network, TV Globo, broadcasts the mini-series O sorriso do lagarto, based on Ribeiro’s novel and directed by Roberto Talma from an adaptation by Walter Negrão and Geraldo Carneiro.
– Production begins on Ribeiro’s first work written especially for television: O compadre de Ogum, created in partnership with Luiz Carlos Maciel and based on an episode from the Jorge Amado novel Os pastores da noite.

1993 – João Ubaldo Ribeiro wins the vote for Chair nº34 of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, vacant following the death of journalist Carlos Castello Branco. Competing against him were Álvaro Pacheco, a Senator from the state of Piauí, and the poet Olavo Drummond from Minas Gerais.

1994 – Ribeiro is admitted to the Brazilian Academy of Letters in Rio de Janeiro.

1995 – TV Globo transmits A Maldita, an adaptation of Ribeiro’s short-story (published in Já podeis da patria filhos) written by the author himself together with Geraldo Carneiro.
– He wins the Die Blaue Brillenschlange Prize for the German edition of Vida e paixão de Pandonar, o Cruel, awarded to the best children’s book addressing themes related to Asia, Africa and Latin America.
– Ribeiro’s book of German newspaper columns, Um brasileiro em Berlim, is published.

1996 – Launch of Tieta do Agreste, a film by director Cacá Diegues, with script by Diegues, João Ubaldo Ribeiro and Antonio Calmon.

1997 – Ribeiro renews his publishing contract with Editora Nova Fronteira.
– He is the only Brazilian invited to take part in a world literary conference promoted by the Goethe Institute in Weimar, Germany.
– Director Cacá Diegues buys the film-rights to Ribeiro’s book of short-stories Já podeis da patria filhos. The feature-film is to be focussed on the story O santo que não acreditava em Deus, but will include some characters and events from other stories in the book.
– TV Bahia, part of the TV Globo network, produces and broadcasts the drama Danada de Sabida, based on a story from Já podeis da patria filhos.
– Ribeiro sells television and film-rights for Viva o povo brasileiro. The film is due to be launched in year 2000, and is to be directed by André Luiz Oliveira.
– Publishes the novel O feitiço da ilha do Pavão.

1998 – Ribeiro is selected – together with Brazil’s President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, photographer Sebastião Salgado, architect Oscar Niemeyer and writer Nélida Piñon – to record video depositions for a UNESCO – supported project which unites around 100 world figures in an intercultural virtual library for year 2000. He is currently writing a book for publisher Editora Objetiva on the theme of luxury, part of a series on the seven deadly sins. He intends to publish a new collection of his newspaper columns and to write a series of stories about the Rio de Janeiro district of Leblon: "noites leblônicas".