Gorbachev: The USSR's final leader

Published 9:30 AM ET, Fri October 10, 2014
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Mikhail Gorbachev at a conference in Moscow in 2001. Gorbachev led the Soviet Union from 1985 until its fall in 1991. He changed the world's expectations of the Soviet Union by striving to make a more efficient and democratic state that participated in global politics. Oleg Nikishin/Newsmakers/Getty Images
A 4-year-old Gorbachev in Privolnoe, Ukraine, circa 1935. APIC/Getty Images
Gorbachev attends a celebration of the anniversary of the October Revolution in Moscow in 1984. Georges DeKeerle/Getty Images
Gorbachev and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in England in 1984. Peter Jordan//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
French President Francois Mitterrand with Gorbachev in Moscow in 1985. Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
President Ronald Reagan talks with Gorbachev during a two-day summit between the United States and the Soviet Union in Geneva in 1985. stringer/AFP/Getty Images
Gorbachev at a news conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1986. Bryn Colton/Getty Images
Gorbachev greets well-wishers during a visit to Prague in 1987. Chris Niedenthal//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Gorbachev meets employees of a meat-packing plant outside Moscow in 1987. Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images
Gorbachev meets crew members of a nuclear submarine during a visit to Severomorsk, Soviet Union, in 1987. Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images
Gorbachev and Reagan sign a treaty eliminating U.S. and Soviet intermediate-range and shorter-range nuclear missiles in Washington in 1987. stringer/AFP/Getty Images
Reagan and Gorbachev visit Governors Island in New York in 1988. BILL SWERSEY/AFP/Getty Images
President George H. W. Bush with Gorbachev in Valletta, Malta, during a U.S.-Soviet summit in 1989. JONATHAN UTZ/AFP/Getty Images
Gorbachev takes the oath at the Congress of People's Deputies in Moscow in 1990. V.ARMAND/AFP/Getty Images
Boris Yeltsin sits with Gorbachev during a session of the Congress of People's Deputies in Moscow in 1990. Sasha Stone/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Gorbachev votes in Moscow in 1991 in the first Soviet referendum to decide whether the country would remain a united state. VITALY ARMAND/AFP/Getty Images
Gorbachev accepts the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, in 1991. Gorbachev was awarded the prize in 1990. OLAV OLSEN/AFP/Getty Images
Gorbachev shakes hands with Yeltsin after Yeltsin's investiture as Russian president in Moscow in 1991. VITALY ARMAND/AFP/Getty Images
Gorbachev makes his first appearance after a failed coup in 1991. STEPHANE BENTURA/AFP/Getty Images
Gorbachev stresses a point during a session of the Supreme Soviet in Moscow in 1991. VITALY ARMAND/AFP/Getty Images
Bush and Gorbachev confer during a joint press conference concluding a two-day U.S.-Soviet summit in 1991 in Moscow. MIKE FISHER/AFP/Getty Images
President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, chat with Gorbachev and his wife, Raisa, in the front yard of the Reagan's ranch in Santa Barbara, California, in 1992. MIKE NELSON/AFP/Getty Images
Gorbachev announces his candidacy for president in Moscow in 1996. Gorbachev garnered 1% of the vote. YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images
Gorbachev with his daughter Irina, second right, and granddaughter Krenia, third right, at the coffin of Raisa Gorbachev in Moscow in 1999. MISHA JAPARIDZE/AFP/Getty Images
President Bush, Gorbachev and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl during a ceremony in Prague in 1999. MICHAL DOLEZAL/AFP/Getty Images
Gorbachev pays his respects to Russian soldiers at a Russian military cemetery in Marl, Germany, in 2003. KIRSTEN NEUMANN/AFP/Getty Images
Gorbachev next to a bust of himself created by French artist Serge Mangin after unveiling it to guests in Berlin in 2009. BERTHOLD STADLER/AFP/Getty Images
Gorbachev on stage in London during the finale of the Gorby 80 Gala, a celebration of Gorbachev's 80th birthday in 2011. Ian Gavan/Getty Images
Gorbachev laughs with former Polish president Lech Walesa at the opening of a conference to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Green Cross International in 2013. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images