Gorbachev as a Leader

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I haven’t read much about politics and political leaders but recently I began reading stories of Barack Obama and other prominent leaders past and present given the political fever in our recently concluded national elections here in the Philippines.
As I browse through leaders of various nations I came across Mikhail Gorbachev who as a leader is said to be the greatest Russian leader.
When did Gorbachev become leader of russia? I believe Gorbachev started his leadership reign in 1985.
I haven’t known him until recently and reading his Wikipedia page seems impressive. The award he has gained thus far are as follows:
In 1990, Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community.”[40]
On 4 May 1992, Gorbachev was awarded the first ever Ronald Reagan Freedom Award at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.[41]
In 1993 Gorbachev was awarded a Legum Doctor, honoris causa from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He was also given an honorary degree from The University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Gorbachev was the 1994 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for improving world order, awarded by the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky.
In 1995, Gorbachev received an Honorary Doctorate from Durham University, County Durham, England for his contribution to “the cause of political tolerance and an end to Cold War-style confrontation”.[42]
For his historic role in the evolution of glasnost, and for his leadership in the disarmament negotiations with the United States during the Reagan administration, Gorbachev was awarded the Courage of Conscience award 20 October 1996.[43]
In 2002, Gorbachev received an honorary degree of a Doctor in Laws (LL.D.) “in recognition of his political service and contribution to peace” from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.[44]
Gorbachev, together with Bill Clinton and Sophia Loren, were awarded the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for their recording of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.
In 2005, Gorbachev was awarded the Point Alpha Prize for his role in supporting German reunification. He also received an honorary doctorate from the University of M√ľnster.[45]
In 2010, Gorbachev received the first ever Dresden award for nuclear disarmament.

I plan to continue reading more about Gorbachev as a leader. For starters you can view information of him from the following links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Gorbachev
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/238982/Mikhail-Gorbachev
http://www.historyguide.org/europe/gorbachev.html

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