With Deep Sadness, APB Mourns the Loss of Mikhail Gorbachev, Former President of the Soviet Union
30 Aug 2022
One of APB’s most important speakers and a true friend to all of us has passed away. Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel Laureate and Former President of the Soviet Union, died in Moscow at the age of 91.
Gorbachev served as leader of the Soviet Union from 1985-1991. He is world-renowned and admired for streamlining and decentralizing the oppressive system he inherited. In an effort to secure relations with the West, Gorbachev signed two broad disarmament pacts, and ended Communist rule in Eastern Europe. He taught the world two new words: perestroika (governmental restructuring) and glasnost (political openness). As a result of his extraordinary achievements, Gorbachev was the recipient of the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, the Orders of Lenin, the Red Banner of Labor and the Badge of Honor.
In 1992, Gorbachev became President of The Gorbachev Foundation, known as the International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies. The Gorbachev Foundation is a nonprofit, non-partisan educational foundation. Its purpose is to articulate and address the challenges of the post-Cold War world, through the revisioning of global priorities.
In 2019, Gorbachev was the focus of acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog’s documentary, Meeting Gorbachev. Called "a study in how world events often come down to quirks of character and circumstance" by The New York Times, Gorbachev is applauded as "one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century."
In 1993, Gorbachev founded Green Cross International, the environmental organization with a mission to help ensure a just, sustainable and secure future for all by fostering a value shift and cultivating a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility in humanity’s relationship with nature.
“I was politically active at a time when my country and the whole world were ripe for colossal changes,” he wrote in his book What Is at Stake Now in 2020. “We took on the challenges. We made mistakes and misjudged some things. Yet, we initiated changes of historic dimensions, and they were peaceful.”
After graduating from Moscow State University with a law degree, Gorbachev joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1952 and acted as First Secretary for the Stavropol Komsomol City Committee from 1955 to 1958. He then gained reputation and experience in Stavropol politics. In 1971, he was elected as a member to the Central Committee, Communist Party (CCCP) of the Soviet Union. From 1978 to 1985, he served as Secretary for the CCCP with responsibility for areas involving agriculture. Gorbachev also served as Deputy of the Supreme Soviet from 1970 to 1990 and acted as Chairman for the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Soviet Union from 1984 to 1985. From 1985 to 1990, he was President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
A member of the APB family for decades, Gorbachev worked closely with Founder and CEO Robert P. Walker, traveling the world to educate audiences through the power of open dialogue. The two became close friends, forming a connection through their shared enthusiasm, energy, sense of humor and passion for introducing listeners to new viewpoints and ideas. APB will forever feel grateful and proud for having known and worked with such an incredible human being.