Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeevich, 1931-

Alternative names
Birth 1931-03-02
Soviet Union
English, Russian

Biographical notes:

General secretary, Kommunisticheskai︠a︡ partii︠a︡ Sovetskogo Soi︠u︡za, 1985-1991; president of the Soviet Union, 1990-1991.

From the description of Dialog o perestroĭke, "prazhskoĭ vesne" i sot︠s︡ializme : typescript, 1994 / Mikhail Gorbachev, Zdenek Mlynarzh. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122500680

Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev (1931-) was leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1985 to 1991. Gorbachev was born on March 2, 1931, in Privolnoe, Russia, into a family of farmers. In 1952 he became a member of the Communist Party and a student at Moscow State University. A year later he married Raisa Titorenko. After he graduated from the University's law division in 1955, he moved to Stavropol to work as an organizer for the Komsomol (Young Communist League). In 1962 he became party organizer for the Stavropol region and then first secretary of Stavropol four years later. During this time, he also earned an advanced degree in agrarian economics from the Stavropol Agricultural Institute. By 1970 he was first secretary for the Stavropol Territorial Party Committee. In 1978 he moved to Moscow to assume the position of party secretary for agricultural administration. In October 1980 he became a member of the ruling Politburo of the Communist Party. In March 1985 the Politburo elected him leader of the USSR. Despite Gorbachev's efforts to increase economic efficiency, Soviet industrial and agricultural production continued to decline. During the late 1980s, some ethnic groups, such as the Lithuanians, sought independence, and tensions between different ethnic groups caused political unrest and civil warfare. In the face of these domestic problems, Gorbachev turned his attention to the Soviet Union's relations with the United States and other nations. In November 1985 he met with U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1988 Gorbachev visited New York City, and Reagan visited Moscow. In June 1991 the Russian Republic elected a new president, Boris Yeltsin, who was not a member of the Communist Party. Two months later, a group of Communist Party conservatives sought to control the USSR, launched a coup, and captured Gorbachev. Yeltsin's intervention led to the end of the coup and Gorbachev's release within a few days. On December 25, 1991, Gorbachev formally resigned as president of the Soviet Union, which was rapidly breaking apart into independent republics. He continued to write, speak publicly, and travel internationally throughout the 1990s. In May 2000 he founded a new political party, the Russian Social Democratic Party.

From the description of Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeevich, 1931- (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10611567

Biographical/Historical Note

General secretary, Kommunisticheskaia partiia Sovetskogo Soiuza, 1985-1991; president of the Soviet Union, 1990-1991.

From the guide to the Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev typescript : Dialog o perestroike, "prazhskoi vesne" i sotsializme, 1994, (Hoover Institution Archives)


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  • Czechoslovakia Politics and government 1945-1992. (as recorded)
  • Soviet Union (as recorded)
  • Czechoslovakia (as recorded)
  • Soviet Union Politics and government 1985-1991. (as recorded)