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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Name: Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeyevich BORN: March 2, 1931 in Privolnoye, in the Stavropol region, Russia

Gorbachev, Mikhail SergeyevichEDUCATION:

1955: graduated with law degree from Moscow State University.

1967: graduated with a master's degree in Agronomy and Agriculture.


1955-56: deputy manager of the propaganda and agitation department, Stavropol territorial Komsomol committee.

1956-78: party jobs in the Stavropol regional, rising from a local komsomol head to first secretary of the region.

1961: chosen as delegate to the 22nd Party Congress, where Nikita Khrushchev first publicly described Stalinist repression.

1978: Appointed Communist Party agriculture boss, based in Moscow.

1979: became candidate member of the Politburo.

1980: became full member of the Politburo.

1985: named General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1986: outlines key concepts of perestroika.

1987: released a detailed report, the first of its kind, delineating the crimes of the Stalinist period.

1988: signed decree "On Glasnost," paving the way for the restoration of free speech.

1989: allowed fall of Soviet regimes in Eastern Europe; instigated the first contested parliamentary elections in Soviet history.

1990: created the post of president of the Soviet Union and confirmed as the country's first president by the party-dominated Supreme Soviet.

1991: Aug. 19 taken hostage in Crimea by hardliners and released three days later after coup failed; Aug. 22 resigned as Communist Party general secretary; Dec. 25 resigned as president of the Soviet Union.

1992: began a second career as a lecturer and professor, heads his own research institute.

1996: announced candidacy for the Russian presidency.

AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS: Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (1990) and named Time Magazine's Man of the Decade for the 1980's. Three Orders of Lenin.

INTERESTS: Married to wife Raisa since 1953. Has one daughter, Irina, and two grandchildren, Ksenya and Anastasia. Claims to be a fan of hockey, figure skating and "the wonderful Mohammed Ali."

N.B.: renowned for his ungrammatical Russian.