Mikhail Gorbachev Biography

Mikhail Gorbachev, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, is one of the notable leaders of former Soviet Union. Read this brief biography to find more on his life.

Mikhail Gorbachev
Quick Facts

Birthday: March 2, 1931

Nationality: Russian

Famous: Quotes By Mikhail Gorbachev Nobel Peace Prize

Age: 88 Years, 88 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Pisces

Also Known As: Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev

Born Country: Russia

Born in: Privolnoye, Russia

Famous as: Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males

political ideology: Independent Democratic Party of Russia (2008–present), Union of Social Democrats (2007–present)

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Raisa Gorbachova (m. 1953–1999)

father: Sergey Andreyevich Gorbachev

mother: Maria Panteleyevna Gorbacheva

children: Irina Mihailovna Virganskaya

Founder/Co-Founder: Gorbachev Foundation, Green Cross International

More Facts

education: Moscow State University

Continue Reading Below

A great statesman and an outstanding leader, Mikhail Gorbachev played a quintessential role in terminating the ‘Cold War.’ He also contributed towards the fall of the ‘Berlin Wall’ and the re-unification of the East and West Germany. Right from a young age, he displayed immense dedication and organizational skills, and had a bent towards politics. With time, his inclination towards political pursuits also increased, and he became a prominent member of the ‘Communist Party.’ In 1970, he became one of the youngest provincial party chiefs. In 1979, he became the youngest member of ‘Politburo.’ In 1985, he was made the general secretary of the ‘Communist Party’ of the Soviet Union, which he served until 1991. Gorbachev became the first and the last president of the Soviet Union. Under his presidency, he sought to reform the party and the state economy by introducing the concepts of openness, restructuring, democratization, and accelerated economic development. Furthermore, he brought about various technological advancements that secured increased productivity and reduced wastage. His efforts to democratize country’s political system and decentralize its economy led to the downfall of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Continue Reading Below
Mikhail Gorbachev
Childhood & Early Life
  • Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was born on 2 March 1931, in Privolnoye, Russia, to Sergey Andreyevich Gorbachev and Maria Panteleyevna Gorbacheva. While his father was a combine harvester and ‘World War II’ veteran, his mother was employed as a kolkhoz worker.
  • From a young age, he had an aptitude for learning and trained himself very well in operating machines. He started contributing to the family’s income and by 1948, became the youngest ever to win the ‘Order of the Red Banner of Labor’ for his active role in bringing in that year’s bumper crop.
  • He graduated from high school with a silver medal. In 1950, he enrolled at the ‘Moscow University’ and graduated from the same in 1955 with a degree in law.
  • In 1967, he obtained a correspondence master’s degree from ‘Stavropol Institute of Agriculture,’ after which he became a qualified agricultural economist.
    Continue Reading Below
Top
Career
  • He was involved in politics at a young age, becoming a ‘Communist Party’ member while still in high school. However, he was officially recognized and granted full membership only in 1952.
  • His reputation as a hardworking and dedicated activist worked for him as he was soon promoted up the ranks. He became Head of the Department of Party Organs in the ‘Stavropol Agricultural Kraikom’ in 1963.
  • By 1970, he had become the First Party Secretary of the ‘Stavropol Kraikom,’ thus becoming the youngest provincial party chief in the nation. Working in this capacity, he improved the basic living standard of the workers and helped them reorganize collective farms. He even assisted them in expanding private plots.
  • Once a member of the ‘Communist Party Central Committee,’ he rose up the ranks to become the Central Committee's Secretary for Agriculture in 1978. A year later, he was appointed to the ‘Politburo’ and received full membership in 1980.
  • During Yuri Andropov’s term as the general secretary, his visibility increased as he was counted as one of the most active members. His journey to different nations shaped his political and social view.
  • With the death of Andropov and his successor Konstantin Chernenko, the need for a younger leader became evident. In 1985, Gorbachev was elected as the general secretary by the ‘Politburo.’
  • He aimed at bringing forth a change in the party. He also wanted to bring about a change in the state economy by introducing concepts of openness, restructuring, democratization, and accelerated economic development.
    Continue Reading Below
  • In an attempt to increase the efficiency of the Soviet bureaucracy, he brought about various technological advancements to enhance productivity and reduce waste. He established a market economy which was more socially oriented and raised an anti-alcohol campaign.
  • Apart from handling the domestic issues, he built a rapport with the then US President Ronald Reagan to improve Soviet relations with the leaders of Western nations. It was due to the budding relationship of the two that the ‘Cold War’ came to an end.
  • In 1987, he signed a treaty with Reagan, according to which both the countries had to destroy the existing stock of intermediate range nuclear tipped missiles. From 1988 to 1989, he oversaw the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, before which the Soviet troops had occupied the country for nine years.
  • In an effort to restructure the government’s legislative and release them from the grip of ‘CPSU,’ he introduced a bicameral parliament called the ‘U.S.S.R. Congress of People’s Deputies,’ and organized elections that required ‘Communist Party’ members to contest in multi-candidate elections.
  • In 1989, he was elected as the chairman of the ‘Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.’ In contrast to his predecessors, he gained greater influence and was a real standing parliament with substantial legislative powers due to the reformative policy.
  • On March 15, 1990, the ‘Congress of People’s Duties’ elected him as the first president of the Soviet Union with about 59% of the deputies’ vote. In May, the Congress met to elect representatives who would be elected as the ‘Supreme Soviet’ of the Soviet Union.
  • During his term as the president, he stressed on peaceful international relations. Not only did he play a pivotal role in ending the ‘Cold War,’ but was also instrumental in encouraging the fall of the wall of Berlin and the reunification of Germany.
    Continue Reading Below
  • He also diligently dealt with domestic matters and economic reforms. The pressing issue back then was the emergence of different ethnic groups which had waged a war against each other. Furthermore, Ukrainians and Lithuanians demanded independence for themselves.
  • While dealing with the issues of the country, he faced strong competition from the opposition leader Boris Yeltsin, a former ‘Communist Party’ member, who emphasized on bringing about a radical change in the economy.
  • Yeltsin was elected as the chairman of the ‘Presidium of the Supreme Soviet,’ and was eventually elected as the president of the Russian Federation by 57.3% of the vote.
  • In 1991, Gorbachev was captured in a coup to seize power. Despite being an opposition leader, Yeltsin intervened and personally manned a resistance against the coup, which finally released Gorbachev.
  • In 1991, Gorbachev was captured in a coup to seize power. Despite being an opposition leader, Yeltsin intervened and personally manned a resistance against the coup, which finally released Gorbachev.
  • Post presidency, he established a ‘Social Democratic Party of Russia’ from which he resigned in 2004. Three years henceforth, he formed a new political party called ‘Union of Social Democrats.’
  • Though a great critic of the current President Vladimir Putin, he welcomed the 2018 US-Russia summit. He criticized the US President Donald Trump who wanted to withdraw the 1987 ‘Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty’ which he had signed with former US President Ronald Reagan.
    Continue Reading Below
  • Political career aside, he has also appeared in popular media. Not only did he star in films and television commercials, he also recorded an album of Russian ballads.
Top
Awards & Achievements
  • For his outstanding leadership skills and remarkable contribution to the overall betterment of world development, he was conferred with the prestigious ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ on October 15, 1990.
  • In his lifetime, he has received various national and foreign honors, including Russia’s decorations, such as ‘Order of St. Andrew,’ ‘Order of the Badge of Honour,’ ‘Order of Lenin,’ ‘Order of Honour,’ ‘Order of October Revolution,’ and so on.
  • Various universities across the globe have felicitated him with honorary doctorate degrees. Furthermore, he also received the ‘Indira Gandhi Prize’ (India) and ‘Ronald Reagan Freedom Award’ (US).
Top
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He tied the knot in 1953 with Raisa Titarenko, whom he had met at ‘Moscow State University.’ Four years later, the couple was blessed with a daughter.
Top
Trivia
  • This ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ laureate was the first president of the Soviet Union, serving from 1990 to 1991. He has a prominent port wine stain on his forehead.
Top

Follow Mikhail Gorbachev On:

Twitter

See the events in life of Mikhail Gorbachev in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Mikhail Gorbachev Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/mikhail-gorbachev-58.php
Last Updated
- September 24, 2019

People Also Viewed

Vladimir Putin
(Russian)
 
Roman Abramovich
(Russian)
 
Mikhail Prokhorov
(Russian)
 
Anatoly Chubais
(Russian)
 

Pavel Grudinin
(Russian)
 
Leonid Brezhnev
(Russian, Ukrainian)
 
Nikolai Bulganin
(Russian)
 
Alexei Kosygin
(Russian)