Born in Poland in 1923, Shimon Peres immigrated wtih his family to Palestine in 1934. He became an activist while living on a kibbutz as a youth.

At age twenty-four, when Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, appointed him head of the new state’s navy. Peres went on to serve as a member of the Knesset, minister of defense, finance minister, and prime minister.

As Israel’s foreign minister, he was the key architect in the 1994 Oslo Accords. He shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat.

In March 2001, Peres was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister in the National Unity government headed by Ariel Sharon, serving until October 2002 when he resigned together with the other Labor ministers. Presently he is leader of the opposition Labor Party.

He is the founder of the Peres Center for Peace, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peace and economic stability in the Middle East.

photo by Peter Badge