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Mikhail Gorbachev Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 12:17 PM EST, Thu February 27, 2014

(CNN) -- Here's a look at the life of Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the former USSR.

Personal:
Birth name: Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev

Birth date: March 2, 1931

Birth place: Privolnoye, 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.

Timeline:
1952 - Joins the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and works in various positions in the party for the next two decades.

1955-1958 - Becomes 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.

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

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

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

February 8, 2004 - Wins a Grammy Award for best spoken word album for children from the Recording Academy for "Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf/Beintus: Wolf Tracks". He shares the award with Sophia Loren and former President Bill Clinton.

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

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

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

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

November 2009 - Attends ceremonies in Berlin, Germany, 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.

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