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Labor activist and later Polish president Lech Walesa helped form and lead communist Poland's first independent trade union, Solidarity and won a Nobel Prize.
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Lech Walesa was born September 29, 1943 in Popowo, Poland. He helped form and led (1980–1990) communist Poland's first independent trade union, Solidarity. The charismatic leader of millions of Polish workers, he went on to become the president of Poland (1990–1995). He received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1983. He ran for president again in 2000 but carried only a tiny fraction of the vote.
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When Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel died in 1896, he left his fortune to create an annual series of prizes for the individuals who confer "the greatest benefit on mankind." The most prestigious of the awards is the Nobel Peace Prize. Historians believe Alfred Nobel wanted to award people who work for peace to compensate for his own role in inventing dynamite. Since its establishment, the prize has gone to many courageous individuals who have fought for peace and human rights around the world.
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