An electrician by trade, Lech Walesa sparked the infamous Lenin Shipyard strike in Gdansk, Poland. Christened "Solidarity," the strike became a social revolution. He was named Man of the Year by Time magazine, The Financial Times, The London Observer, Die Welt, Die Zeit, L'Express, Le Soir. Walesa, and in 1983 awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The government re-legalized Solidarity and invited it to join the Communist Party in forming a coalition government. Walesa became Poland's first democratically elected President. His term in office set Poland firmly on the path to becoming a free market democracy. Mr. Walesa made Poland a model of economic and political reform for the rest of Eastern Europe to follow and earned it the honor of receiving one of the first invitations to join an expanded NATO. He now heads the Lech Walesa Institute whose aim is to advance the ideals of democracy and free market reform throughout Eastern Europe and the rest of the world.
Last Updated: 9/14/09