Born March 2, 1931, Privolnoye village, Stavropol region
1952 - joined the Communist party of the Soviet Union
1955 - graduated from the law faculty of Moscow State University
1955-1958, served as a First Secretary of the Stavropol Komsomol City Committee
1967 - after completing correspondences courses from the Stavropol Agricultural Institute, received a degree in agricultural economics
1970, elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
1970-1990 - served as Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet
November 1978 - served as Central Committee Agricultural Secretary
1980 - became a full member of the Politburo
1984-1985 - served as Chairman for the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Soviet Union
1985-1990 - served as a member in the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
March 11, 1985 - elected General Secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee
June 1985 - "glasnost" policies began with Gorbachev's free speech reforms
February 1986 - delivered speech at the 27th Party Congress outlining new economic refoms. The new policy soon became known as Perestroika
1987- declared Time Magazine's Man of the Year
May 1988 -began to withdraw Soviet troops from Afghanistan
December 1989 - announced that the United States was no longer an adversary of the Soviet Union
1989-1990 - served as President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
1990 - became President of the USSR
October 15, 1990 - awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
August 1991 - survived an attempted hardliner coup
December 25, 1991 - resigned as President of the Soviet Union
1992 - became President of the International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies (also known as The Gorbachev Foundation)
June 1993 - founded and became President of Green Cross International
1996 - ran unsuccessfully for the Russian presidency
April 1996 - became head of the Civic Forum movement
Since his resignation, Gorbachev has remained involved in world affairs.
In May 2008, The Telegraph (UK), published an article, "Gorbachev: US could start new Cold War," which quotes Gorbachev saying, "The Americans promised that NATO wouldn't move beyond the boundaries of Germany after the Cold War but now half of central and eastern Europe are members, so what happened to their promises? It shows they cannot be trusted."
Gorbachev has defended the referendum of Crimea in March 2014: "While Crimea had previously been joined to Ukraine [in 1954] based on the Soviet laws, which means [Communist] party laws, without asking the people, now the people themselves have decided to correct that mistake."
Gorbachev spoke many times about the Crimean situation, which led him being banned from entering Ukraine for 5 years.
One daughter, Irina Virganskaya.
Wife Raisa Gorbacheva passed away in 1999.