Shehu Shagari was born on April 25, 1925, in the northern state of Sokoto. His father, Magaji Aliyu, died when Shehu Shagari was 5 years old, and the future President was reared by his older brother, Muhammadu Bello.
Alhaji Shehu Shagari began his studies at the age of four, and later attended the School of Elimentary in Yabo near Shagari village, and then went to Middle School in Sokoto, and then went to Kaduna College.
Shehu Shagari was educated at Kaduna College, where he received a bachelor's degree in science, and he subsequently went to Mecca, the Islamic holy city in Saudi Arabia. A Sunni Moslem, he has made the trip several times since.