Mikhail Gorbachev Fast Facts

Posted at 11:58 AM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 15:32:24-05

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, Russia, 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.

1955-1958Becomes 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.

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

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

March 11, 1985Elected 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 US 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, 1991Resigns 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, 2001Is elected head of the Social Democratic Party of Russia.

February 8, 2004 – Wins a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children, for “Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf/Beintus: Wolf Tracks.” He shares the award with Sophia Loren and former US President Bill Clinton.

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

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

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

October 2007Becomes 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 US President George H.W. Bush.

November 2009 – Attends ceremonies in Berlin, 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 news agency, RIA Novosti, Gorbachev is released from the hospital.

November 2014 – Attends ceremonies in Berlin to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

May 26, 2016 – The Ukraine bans Gorbachev for five years after he shows support of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

January 26, 2017 – Writes a piece for Time magazine titled, “It All Looks as if the World Is Preparing for War,” in which he says the most urgent problem we face is “the militarization of politics and the new arms race.”

December 4, 2018 – In an opinion piece in the Washington Post on US President Donald Trump’s intention to withdraw from the INF treaty, which Gorbachev and Reagan signed in 1987, Gorbachev and former US Secretary of State George Shultz write that abandoning the treaty “threatens our very existence.”