|Mikhail Gorbachev in May 2010|
|President of the Soviet Union|
15 March 1990 – 25 December 1991
|Chairman of the Supreme Soviet|
25 May 1989 – 15 March 1990
|Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet|
1 October 1988 – 25 May 1989
|Preceded by||Andrei Gromyko|
|General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
11 March 1985 – 24 August 1991
|Preceded by||Konstantin Chernenko|
|Member of the Politburo|
27 November 1979 – 24 August 1991
|Born||2 March 1931
Privolnoye, Stavropol Krai, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||Independent Democratic Party (2008–present)
Union of Social Democrats (2007–present)
|Social Democratic Party (2001–2004)
Communist Party (1950–1991)
|Spouse(s)||Raisa Gorbachova (m. 1953–1999)|
|Alma mater||Moscow State University|
|Website||The Gorbachev Foundation|
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev  (sometimes spelled Gorbachov) was born 2 March 1931. He was the last leader of the Soviet Union. He was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and the first (and last) president of the Soviet Union from 1990 until it was dissolved in 1991.
His attempts at reform led to the end of the Cold War. His main intent was to improve the economy of the USSR. To do this, he set in motion two major reforms:
- Perestroika: restructuring of the economy
- Glasnost: gave more freedom to the people, and allowed them to express their opinions more freely.
Indirectly, this may have helped cause the end of the power of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), and the break-up of the Soviet Union into smaller countries. However, it should be noted that the need to modernise the economy, and to conduct government less ruthlessly than Stalin, was agreed by the previous two leaders. They, Andropov and Chernenko, were elderly and died before real changes could be put in place.
Gorbachev studied law at Lomonosov Moscow State University where he also met his future wife Raissa Gorbacheva. Raissa studied sociology. After retiring from politics in 1991, Gorbachev started The Gorbachev Foundation, which is currently headed by his daugther Irina.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. He won a Grammy Award in 2004 with Bill Clinton and Sophia Loren for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for their recording of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf.
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References[change | edit source]
|General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party