AP, The Big Story – bigstory.ap.org
JERUSALEM (AP) — In an unprecedented seven-decade political career, Shimon Peres has filled nearly every position in Israeli public life.
Here’s a look at some of his career highlights:
—Shimon Perski is born on Aug. 2, 1923 in Vishneva, then part of Poland. He moves to pre-state Palestine in 1934 with his immediate family and later enters politics where he becomes a protégé of Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion.
—In 1952, at age 29, he becomes the youngest person ever to serve as director-general of Israel’s Defense Ministry. There he is credited with arming Israel’s military almost from scratch and creating what is widely believed to be a nuclear arsenal.
—In 1959, Peres is first elected to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, serving almost uninterrupted until 2007. He is appointed deputy defense minister.
—In 1969, he is appointed minister of immigrant absorption, the first in a long line of Cabinet position to follow.
—In 1977, he suffers defeat while running for prime minister, losing to Menachem Begin, whose Likud party rises to power for the first time.
—In 1984, he finally becomes prime minister after tying with Likud’s Yitzhak Shamir and agreeing to share the job in a rotation. As prime minister, he disentangles Israeli troops from Lebanon and rescues the economy from triple-digit inflation.
— In 1992, he becomes foreign minister in the Labor party-led government, serving under his longtime rival Yitzhak Rabin. Together they work to forge the first peace accord with the Palestinians and a peace accord with Jordan. In 1994, they share the Nobel Peace Prize with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
—In 1995, after Rabin is assassinated by a Jewish ultranationalist opposed to Israel’s peace moves, Peres became acting prime minister. Just six months later he is defeated by Benjamin Netanyahu in elections.
—In 2007, he is elected president, a largely ceremonial role but one that earns him the kind of national admiration that eluded him throughout his lengthy career.
—In 2014, Peres completes his presidential term, remaining active at his peace center until suffering a debilitating stroke on Sept. 13.