Degree in industrial engineering, University San Carlos.
He is also the father of Antonio Colom Szarata, the bass player of a Guatemalan popular rock band, Viento en Contra. After gaining a degree as an industrial engineer at the University of San Carlos (Universal Service Administrative Company) he became a businessman involved in a variety of businesses, and a government civil servant, including being the founding General Director of the Fondo Nacional para la Paz and Vice Minister of the Economy before turning to politics. Representing the UNE (Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza) in the 2003 presidential elections, he lost to Óscar Berger on December 28, 2003, this is the closest a left-wing presidential candidate had come to winning the presidency since democracy was restored in 1985.
He was one of the two candidates to reach the second stage of the 2007 presidential election on September 9, 2007 along with Partido Patriota candidate Otto Pérez Molina.
At 10:00 p.m. local time on election night, Colom was declared the newly elected president by over five percentage points, 52.7% to 47.3%, with over 96% of polling places counted, becoming Guatemala"s first left-wing president in 53 years. During the presidential campaign, Colom promised to tackle poverty in an effort to reduce the rate of crime in the country.
As President, Colom expanded social programs and access to health, education, and social security. These contributed to a rise in the living standards of the Guatemalan poor.
In 2010 he appointed Helen Mack Chang, a noted human rights activist, to investigate police corruption and make recommendations for changes.
She noted that their low pay and poor working conditions made them open to influence and needed to be addressed. Although he is opposed to the death penalty, Colom stated that he would not pardon those sentenced to death out of respect for the country"s laws, although the option to do so was granted in 2008.
His uncle, Manuel Colom, was a mayor of Guatemala City who was killed by the military in 1979 just after the creation of his political party was approved.
Married Sandra Torres. 3 children.