Vilasrao Deshmukh was born on May 26, 1945, in Babhalgaon village of Latur district to Dagdojirao Deshmukh, a rich farmer
After completing his basic education at Latur, he studied law at Garware College, Pune
He was elected member of the Babhalgaon panchayat samiti in 1974 and later the same year elected its sarpanch
First elected to the Maharashtra state legislative assembly in 1980, he won subsequent elections but lost in 1995. However, he was re-elected in 1999. From 1995-99, he built the Congress party organization in Latur and across the state
In 1982, was first inducted into the Maharashtra cabinet as minister of state and, elevated to the cabinet rank in 1986
On October 18, 1999, he was sworn in as chief minister, but was asked to hand over the reins to Sushilkumar Shinde on January 18, 2003. On November 11, 2004, he took over as CM but was asked to quit on December 7, 2008, after 26/11
In August 2009, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha and in May 2009, was inducted into the Union cabinet. A former state chief minister with the second-longest term after V P Naik, Deshmukh was among the few senior Congress leaders believed to ‘know the pulse of the people’. His grasp of the grassroots helped him sail through setbacks and controversies, and earned him the reputation of a skilled survivor The body of Vilasrao Deshmukh who died on Tuesday at 1.40pm will be flown to his village in Latur, 550km east of Mumbai. The flight will land on an air strip that belongs to the Maharashtra Industrial Corporation. The body will be kept at his house from 9am to 3pm on Wednesday for people to pay their last respects, his brother Dilip Deshmukh said. The last rites would be performed at 4pm.