- Date of Birth:
- August 2, 1923
- Tel Aviv
Shimon Peres (born Szymon Perski on August 2, 1923 in Wiszniew, Poland) was a Polish-born Israeli statesman. He served twice as the Prime Minister of Israel, from 1984-1986 and 1995-1996. He served as the President of Israel, from 2007 to 2014. When he retired in 2014, he was the world’s oldest head of state and considered one of the last living links to Israel’s founding generation. From a young age he was active in politics, and he was well-liked because of his oratorical skills. He began his political career in the late 1940s and over the course of his 66 year-long career, Shimon held positions on 12 different cabinets. In 1994, he won the Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for peace talks, which produced the Oslo Accords. Shimon suffered from a massive stroke in mid-September 2016. He died after two weeks in a hospital near Tel Aviv on September 28, 2016 at the age of 93.
Best Known For:
Shimon Peres was best known for his peace efforts for the nation of Israel and it’s neighboring countries.
Shimon was a polygot and spoke Polish, French, English, Russian, Yiddish and Hebrew. He was a poet and a songwriter, who would write lines during cabinet meetings. Shimon published 11 books throughout his life, his most recent being published in 2011. He could quote from the Old Testament, French literature and Chinese Philosophy. In May 1945, Shimon married Sonya Gelman, who he met in the Ben Shemen Youth Village. The two married after Sonya completed her military service. She kept the Peres family out of the media throughout Shimon’s service. After Shimon was elected as president, Sonya announced she would stay in the couple’s apartment in Tel Aviv instead of joining him in Jerusalem, as she did not want him to accept the position. The two lived separately. Sonya died on January 20, 2011, at age 87, from heart failure. The couple had three children, Dr. Tsvia Walden, Yoni Peres, and Nehemia Peres.