Mikhail Gorbachev

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About Mikhail Gorbachev

The last leader of the Soviet Union who oversaw the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. His policy of perestroika (“restructuring”) irrevocably changed the path of Russian history.

Early life

He worked with combine harvesters on huge farms as a teen.

Trivia

He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for introducing the policy of Glasnost and the Harvey Prize in 1992, among several other honorary doctorates.

Family of Mikhail Gorbachev

He married Raisa Titarenko in September 1953; the couple had only one daughter named Irina.

Close associates of Mikhail Gorbachev

He formed close connections with various Western leaders, including U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

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Manmohan Singh

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About Manmohan Singh

Thirteenth Prime Minister of India and member of the Indian National Congress party and the United Front and United Progressive Alliance coalitions. He assumed office in 2004 and held the distinction of being the first Prime Minister to belong to the Sikh faith.

Early life

After receiving his PhD from Oxford University, he worked for the United Nations.

Trivia

While serving as Indian Minister of Finance, he played a key role in abolishing internal corruption and promoting Indian economic growth.

Family of Manmohan Singh

His 1958 marriage to Gursharan Kaur produced three children.

Close associates of Manmohan Singh

In 2009, he became the first Indian Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to be elected to a second five-year term.

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Raul Castro

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About Raul Castro

Cuban politician and revolutionary who became the President of Cuba in 2008 after the death of his brother Fidel Castro. In 2017, after Donald Trump was sworn in as the President of the United States, Castro became a vocal critic of Trump’s policies. 

Early life

He was a member of the 26th of July Movement in 1958 that attacked the Moncada Barracks, and he spent 22 months in prison as a result of this and was exiled to Mexico.

Trivia

In 1959, after his brother’s army took Cuba, he was responsible for overseeing the summary execution of scores of soldiers loyal to deposed president Batista.

Family of Raul Castro

He married Vilma Espín on January 26, 1959. They have three daughters and one son together: Déborah, Mariela, Nilsa, and Alejandro.

Close associates of Raul Castro

He took office as President after his brother, Fidel Castro, fell ill.

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Mwai Kibaki

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About Mwai Kibaki

Kenyan politician who was the 3rd President of Kenya from 2002 to 2013. He was accused of favoring Kikuyu people, the large ethnic group in Kenya, for government jobs.

Early life

He attended the prestigious London School of Economics for a B.Sc in public finance before returning to Kenya to become executive officer of Kenya African National Union.

Trivia

He has served Kenya in the following positions: Minister for Finance (1969–1981), Minister for Home Affairs (1982–1988) and Minister for Health (1988–1991).

Family of Mwai Kibaki

He married Lucy Muthoni and had four children with her: Judy Wanjiku, Jimmy Kibaki, David Kagai, and Tony Githinji.

Close associates of Mwai Kibaki

He met former President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush at the White House during a state visit in 2003.

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Juan Carlos I King of Spain

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About Juan Carlos I King of Spain

Progressive ruler of Spain who rose to power following the death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. He notably stepped away from the authoritarian policies of the Francoist regime and began to transition Spain towards democracy. He abdicated the throne in 2014.

Early life

He attended military academy, naval school, and air force school while growing up to gain training and experience. Franco made him the Prince of Spain in 1969.

Trivia

He oversaw Spain’s first post-Franco democratic elections and helped promulgate a new constitution.

Family of Juan Carlos I King of Spain

His sisters are Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz and Infanta Margarita, Duchess of Soria.

Close associates of Juan Carlos I King of Spain

Felipe VI of Spain, Juan Carlos’s son, became king in 2014 following Juan Carlos’s abdication.

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Mao Tse Tung

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About Mao Tse Tung

Chinese communist revolutionary who founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and whose rule is estimated to have caused the deaths of approximately 70 million people.

Early life

He became an early member of the Communist Party in China while working at Peking University, where he was studying to be a teacher.

Trivia

In 1956, during his Hundred Flowers Campaign, he encouraged citizens to openly express their opinions of the communist regime but several months later he ordered the executions of hundreds of thousands of people who did just that.

Family of Mao Tse Tung

His parents were Mao Shun-sheng and Wen Ch’i-mei. He was married four times and had a total of ten children.

Close associates of Mao Tse Tung

Early on in life, he was greatly inspired by the teachings of Karl Marx.

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