The third of nine children, Yunus was born on 28 June 1940 to a Bengali Muslim family in the village of Bathua, by the Kaptai road in Hathazari, Chittagong in the Bengal Presidency of the British Raj, present Bangladesh.
The 1970 Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck East Pakistan and India's West Bengal on November 3, 1970. It remains the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded and one of the deadliest natural disasters. At least 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, primarily as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta. This cyclone was the sixth cyclonic storm of the 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, and also the season's strongest.
By 1982, it had 28,000 members. On 1 October 1983, the pilot project began operation as a full-fledged bank for poor Bangladeshis and was renamed Grameen Bank ("Village Bank").
The Daulatpur–Saturia tornado occurred in Manikganj District, Bangladesh on April 26, 1989. It was the deadliest tornado in Bangladesh's history. There is great uncertainty about the death toll, but estimates indicate that it was devastating and that it killed approximately 1,300 people, which would make it the deadliest tornado in history.
The 1991 Bangladesh cyclone (IMD designation: BOB 01, JTWC designation: 02B) was among the deadliest tropical cyclones on record. On the night of April 29, 1991, it struck the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 250 km/h (155 mph). The storm forced a 6-metre (20 ft) storm surge inland over a wide area, killing at least 138,866 people and leaving as many as 10 million homeless.
On 11 January 2007, Army General Moeen U Ahmed staged a military coup. Meanwhile, Yunus turned down his request to become the nation's fourth Chief Advisor after Khaleda Zia's term ended. Yunus, however, suggested the general pick Fakhruddin Ahmed for the job.
There was speculation that the army supported a move by Yunus into politics. On 3 May, however, Yunus declared that he had decided to abandon his political plans following a meeting with the head of the interim government, Fakhruddin Ahmed.
On 27 January 2011, Yunus appeared in court in a food-adulteration case filed by the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Food Safety Court, accusing him of producing an "adulterated" yogurt whose fat content was below the legal minimum. According to Yunus's lawyer, the allegations are "false and baseless". At the request of Yunus's lawyers, pointing procedural irregularities and errors, this case is now considered by the High Court.
On 2 March 2011, Muzammel Huq – a former Bank employee, whom the government had appointed Chairman in January – announced that Yunus had been fired as Managing Director of the Bank. However, Bank General Manager Jannat-E Quanine issued a statement that Yunus was "continuing in his office" pending review of the legal issues surrounding the controversy.
On 4 October 2013, Bangladesh's cabinet has approved the draft of a new law that will give the country's central bank closer control over Grameen Bank, raising the stakes in a long-running dispute with the pioneering microlender.
The new Grameen Bank law was passed by parliament on 7 November 2013, and replaced the Grameen Bank Ordinance, the law that underpinned the creation of Grameen Bank as a specialised microcredit institution in 1983.