- NAME: Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
- OCCUPATION: World Leader, Government Official
- BIRTH DATE: March 02, 1931 (Age: 82)
- EDUCATION: Moscow State University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Privolnoye, Russia
- Full Name: Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
- AKA: Mikhail Gorbachev
- AKA: Gorbachev
- AKA: Gorbachov
- AKA: Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev
- ZODIAC SIGN: Pisces
Best Known For
Mikhail Gorbachev was the first president of the Soviet Union, serving from 1990 to 1991. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for contributing to the break-up of the USSR.
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Once back in Stavropol after graduation, Gorbachev took a position at the Stavropol territorial prosecutor’s office. Soon after he began the job, Gorbachev ran into some old acquaintances. They remembered him from his involvement in the Young Communist League during high school. Because Gorbachev had shown himself to be dedicated and organized,
they asked him to be the assistant director of propaganda for the territorial committee of the local Communist youth league. Soviet premier Joseph Stalin had died two years prior, and the Soviet Union’s process of political restructuring created an exciting climate for young Communist Party activists. Eager to get involved, Gorbachev accepted the offer and resigned his position at the prosecutor’s office after just 10 days on the job.
Gorbachev steadily rose through the ranks of the Communist league. In 1956, he was made first secretary of the Stavropol City Komsomol Committee. In 1961, he was appointed as a delegate to the party congress. Throughout the 1960s, Gorbachev continued to advance his political position and increase his knowledge of agriculture and economics, eventually becoming the regional agricultural administrator and party leader.
In 1980, Gorbachev made a critical advancement in his burgeoning political career when he became a full member of the Politburo, otherwise known as the Political Bureau of the Central Agency, the executive committee for numerous Communist Party factions.
In 1984, Gorbachev’s mentor at the Kremlin, Yuri Andropov, general secretary of the Communist Party, died. In 1985, when Andropov’s successor, Konstantin Chernenko, also died, Gorbachev was elected general secretary of the Communist Party. Gorbachev inherited the issues that Andropov and Chernenko had been struggling to tackle, including serious domestic problems and escalating Cold War tensions. But Gorbachev’s youthful energy and enthusiasm gave the Soviet Union hope that a new generation of leaders geared toward positive change had taken charge.
During his term as general secretary, Gorbachev was engaged with U.S. president Ronald Reagan in a costly race to amass nuclear weapons in space. The expense put further stress on the already suffering Soviet economy. Gorbachev worked diligently to create reforms that he believed would improve the Soviet standard of living. By providing more freedom and democracy to Soviets, he strove toward “glasnost” and “perestroika,” openness and restructure. He worked toward establishing a market economy that was more socially oriented. Gorbachev’s reforms were also geared toward increasing productivity and reducing waste.
Even a couple of years prior to his appointment, Gorbachev had attempted to improve Soviet relations with the leaders of Western nations. Ronald Reagan was initially distrustful, but when he met with Gorbachev at the first Geneva arms summit in November 1983, Reagan was surprised to find that “there was warmth in [Gorbachev’s] face and style.” Reagan recognized “a moral dimension in Gorbachev.” Over the next three years, Reagan and Gorbachev met at four additional summits, during which their relationship further warmed as they collaborated on bringing the Cold War to a close.
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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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