Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Shimon Peres 1923-2016

Shimon Peres, who had served as Israel's President and Prime Minister, has died at the age of 93 at the Sheba medical center near Tel Aviv.  He had suffered a stroke two weeks earlier.  His condition reportedly improved, but then suddenly deteriorated.

Szymon Perski was born in Wiszniew, Poland (now Vishnyeva, Belarus) to a timber merchant father and a librarian mother.  His father emigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1932, with the rest of the family following in 1934.  During the 1940's, he worked as a dairy farmer, shepherd and kibbutz secretary, and was also the secretary of a Labor Zionist movement.  He served in the Haganah (predecessor of the IDF) and later in several positions in the Ministry of Defense.  In 1959, he was elected to the Knesset as a member of the Mapai party.  He eventually severed in four different cabinet positions, twice as Prime Minister, and as President.

In 1945, Peres married Sonya Gelman, who had served as a truck driver in the British military during World War II.  She died of heart failure in 2011.  They had three children.

Read more at BBC News, The Guardian, The Times Of Israel, Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post.

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