Lech Walesa Fast Facts By CNN LibraryUpdated 1650 GMT (2350 HKT) September 13, 2014Here's a look at the life of Lech Walesa, former president of Poland.Personal:Birth date: September 29, 1943Birth place: Popowo, PolandFather: Boleslaw Walesa, carpenterMother: Felicja (Kaminski) WalesaMarriage: Miroslawa "Danuta" (Golos) Walesa (1969-present)Children: Bogdan, Slawek, Przemek, Jarek, Magdalena, Ania, Maria Wiktoria, BrygidkaMilitary service: Polish Army, Corporal, 1965-1967Religion: Roman CatholicOther Facts:His father was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. Sent his wife to accept his Nobel Prize, as he feared he would not be allowed to return to Poland.Timeline: 1961-1965 - Works as a car mechanic.1965-1967 - Serves in the Polish Army.1967 - Begins working as an electrician at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk.1970 - During strikes protesting the rise of food prices, forty-five shipyard workers are killed. Walesa is one of the leaders of the strike.1976 - Is fired for his political activities.1978 - Works with other activists to form free trade unions.August 1980 - Leads a strike in the Gdansk shipyard, which spreads across the country. The workers win the right to organize their own union. September 1980 - The independent trade union Solidarity is formed. January 1981 - Meets with Pope John Paul II.December 1981 - Is arrested. Martial law is imposed across the country. October 1982 - The Polish parliament passes an act dissolving all unions, including Solidarity.November 1982 - Is released. July 1983 - Martial law is lifted. October 1983 - Is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.1987 - Walesa's book "A Way of Hope" is released. November 1989 - Addresses a joint session of the United States Congress. December 1990 - Is elected president of the Republic of Poland.1991 - Walesa's autobiography "The Struggle and The Triumph" is published. 1995 - Founds the Lech Walesa Institute.November 1995 - Is defeated in the presidential election. 2000 - Loses race for the Polish presidency, receiving only 1.1% of the vote.August 2006 - Announces he has quit Solidarity as he opposes the union's support of Poland's current leadership.February 2008 - Is implanted with a pacemaker at a hospital in Houston, Texas.2009 - Sues President Lech Kaczynski for libel, because of Kaczynski's comments that Walesa was a spy in the 1970s. Kaczynski is killed in a plane crash in April 2010.July 2012 - At Walesa's invitation, U.S. Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney travels to Poland. Walesa wishes Romney success in the election.March 2013 - Tells a television reporter that as a minority, gay people have no right to prominent positions in politics, and should sit toward the rear of parliament or even "behind a wall." He later refuses to apologize. More from europeOfficial: Gunman recorded terror attack on Parisian kosher groceryBodies in streets as shelling rocks Ukraine city of DonetskIs Paris in danger of another attack?