Biographies of people who made a difference and shaped our world. Short profiles for children on men and women who changed our world with path breaking ideas and actions. Personalities include statesmen, leaders, political thinkers, inventors, scientists, artists, writers, actors, sports persons and achievers.
The 35th president of United States (1961-63) was at the age of 43, the youngest and the first Roman Catholic to be elected to the presidency. Rich, handsome, elegant and articulate, he aroused great admiration at home and abroad.
He was born in Privol’noye, Russia. In 1985 Gorbachev became general secretary of the Communist Party, and in 1988 he became president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
Between 1985 and 1990, Gorbachev sought to reform Soviet society by introducing perestroika (restructuring) of the economy and glasnost’ (openness) in political and cultural affairs.
Born on August 19, 1946 in Hope, Arkansas, to Virginia Blythe and named for his father, who had recently died in an auto accident, William Jefferson Blythe was reared from the age of seven in Hot Springs, Ark.
The Ayatollah (Arabic, “Reflection of Allah”) Ruhollah Khomeini became leader of Iran in 1979 by forcing the overthrow of the shah and Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar. Born in Khomein, Iran on May 27, 1900, the son of an ayatollah of the Shiite sect, he studied theology and by 1962 was one of the six grand ayatollahs of Iran’s Shiite Muslims.
The most photographed male dancer in the world, Rudolf Nureyev electrified the world with his ballet for close to three decades in the second half of the 20th century.
In the world of ballet, dominated by the ballerina or the female artist, Nureyev brought male dancing to the limelight, and changed the nature of 20th century ballet.
Roosevelt served longer than any other president and held office during two great crises: the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II (1939-1945). Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York. In 1899 he entered Harvard College, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1903.
Churchill was born on November 30, 1874 in Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England. His father Randolph Churchill was the third son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. As a young man of undistinguished academic accomplishment, he entered the army as a cavalry officer.
The year was 1989. China witnessed a major pro-democratic student uprising. The Chinese leaders in a horrific show of force vented their fury and frustration on student dissidents and their pro-democracy supporters who had gathered in the Tiananmen Square.
Thatcher was born Margaret Hilda Roberts in Grantham. She married Denis Thatcher in 1951. Thatcher was elected to the House of Commons in 1959. After the Conservative defeat in 1974 she won leadership of the party the following year.
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