Ekrem İmamoğlu was born in the Cevizli village of Trabzon's Akçaabat district in 1970. He graduated from Istanbul University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Following his undergraduate studies, he completed a Master of Science degree on Human Resources Management in the same university. During his time as a student, he played football as an amateur. He served as a board member at Trabzonspor Football Club, Trabzonspor Basketball Club and Beylikdüzüspor Sports Club.
In 1992, while he was still a graduate student, he started working for the family business. He then assumed CEO role in the group's companies, and led housing and urban planning projects. While planning and leading these projects, he encountered numerous problems stemming from local politics - which led him to his decision to enter politics.
He joined the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) in 2009, and became a member of the Beylikdüzü District Organization. In the same year, he ran as a candidate for nomination for Beylikdüzü District Mayor, and actively participated in the party's election campaign. Following the local election, he was elected as the District Head of the CHP. After 5 years as a successful District Head who enhanced and improved the District Organization, Mr. İmamoğlu was nominated in 2013 as a candidate for Beylikdüzü District Mayor in the preliminary elections held in his party. In the March 30 local elections in 2014, he was elected as the Mayor of Beylikdüzü.
After his election Beylikdüzü Mayor, and between the years 2014-2019, he materialized a wide range of projects that transformed the district's appearance. Following the positive changes he made in the district's living standards, social life and infrastructural services, Mr. İmamoğlu captured the attention of the Beylikdüzü public, the media, academia, and the party's upper chamber.
Subsequently, the CHP nominated Mr. İmamoğlu as its candidate for the Mayor of Istanbul in the local elections of March 31, 2019. After an effective and inspiring campaigning period of three months, he garnered 48.82% of the total votes, and was elected as the Mayor of Istanbul. This was the highest percentage of votes that any Mayor of Istanbul had received in the past 30 years.
However, following the objections made by the ruling party, the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) annulled Mr. İmamoğlu's mandate on his 18th day as Mayor, relying on a decision that contradicted with legal precedents. YSK ruled for an election re-run on June 23, 2019. After the YSK's decision to annul the vote, he launched his new election campaign with the historic speech he delievered in the Beylikdüzü Valley of Life (Yaşam Vadisi) in the evening of May 6, 2019. His speech generated a strong sentiment of hope and determination among the voters who had faced a great disappointment after the decision of the YSK. This sentiment was sustained during the course of the campaign.
İmamoğlu's June 23 campaign became a symbol for the fight for justice and democracy in Turkey. On June 23, he achieved a much more successful result than March 31. He was elected as Mayor with the support of 54.2% of the voters. This election became a milestone for the democratic future of both İstanbul and Turkey.
Ekrem İmamoğlu, who is married and has 3 children, has been living in İstanbul since 1988.