Mikhail Gorbachev Fast Facts

Here's a look at the life of Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the former USSR.

Birth name:
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev

Birth date: March 2, 1931

Birth place: Privolnoye, Soviet Union

Father: Sergei Andreyevich Gorbachev

Mother: Maria Panteleyevna (Gopkalo) Gorbachev

    Marriage: Raisa (Titarenko) Gorbachev (1953-September 20, 1999, her death)

    Children: Irina (1956)

    Education: Moscow State University, Faculty of Law (1955), Stavropol Agricultural Institute, Faculty of Economy (1967)

    Other Facts:
    Nominated for one Grammy Award and won one.

    1952 -
    Joins the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and works in various positions in the party for the next two decades.

    1955-1958 - Becomes the first secretary of the Communist Party of the Stavropol Komsomol City Committee.

    1963 - Becomes chief of the Agriculture Department in the Stavropol region.

    1970-1978 - Named the first secretary for the Communist Party in the Stavropol region.

    1970-1990 - Deputy of the Supreme Soviet, the highest legislative body in the Soviet Union.

    1971 - Becomes a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

    March 11, 1985 - Elected to be the general secretary of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. In this post, he is effectively the leader of the USSR.

    1985-1988 - Participates in a series of summit talks with U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

    1987 - Signs the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty with the United States to limit nuclear weapons.

    1989 - Announces the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan.

    1989-1990 - Chairman of the Supreme Soviet.

    1990 - Becomes president of the USSR.

    1990 - Wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

    December 25, 1991 - Resigns as president of the USSR.

    1993-2000 - Founds and serves as president of the Green Cross International, an environmental organization.

    1996 - Runs for re-election in Russia but receives only 1% of the vote.

    November 24, 2001 - Is elected head of the Social Democratic Party of Russia.

    February 8, 2004 - Wins a Grammy Award for best spoken word album for children from the Recording Academy for "Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf/Beintus: Wolf Tracks". He shares the award with Sophia Loren and former President Bill Clinton.

    May 2004 - Resigns from the Social Democratic Party of Russia over conflicts with party direction and leadership.

    January 2006 - Along with a business partner, Gorbachev buys 49% of shares in the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

    August 2007 - Appears in print advertisements for Louis Vuitton leather goods.

    October 2007 - Becomes head of a new Russian political movement, Union of Social Democrats.

    September 19, 2008 - Receives the 2008 Liberty Medal, awarded each year by the National Constitution Center, which is chaired by former President George H.W. Bush.

    November 2009 - Attends ceremonies in Berlin, Germany, marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    March 2, 2011 - On his 80th birthday, Gorbachev is awarded Russia's highest honor, the Order of St. Andrew, by President Dmitry Medvedev.

    March 7, 2013 - In an interview with the BBC, Gorbachev is critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin and says, "For goodness sake, you shouldn't be afraid of your own people."

    April 2013 - Does not attend the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher due to unspecified health problems.

    October 9, 2014 - According to Russia News Service, Gorbachev is admitted to a hospital with "a disease recurrence."

    October 10, 2014 - According to Russia's state-run RIA Novosti,Christine Lagarde, Gorbachev is released from the hospital.