The last leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was born on 2 March 1931 in a Russian village Privolnoye to a peasant family.
He joined the Communist Party while he was still studying at the State University in Moscow where he graduated in 1955 with a degree in law. He became very active within the Party and he was appointed the First Party Secretary of the Stavropol Regional Committee. Later in 1974 he was named the First Secretary to the Supreme Soviet and a member of the Politburo in 1979. He became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985.
Gorbachev contributed to the end of the Cold War by applying his policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) and also with the reorientation of Soviet strategic aims. He also removed the constitutional role of the Communist Party in ruling the state which unintentionally led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In 1990 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.