Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the Soviet Union, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991. He was the only general secretary in the history of the Soviet Union to have been born during the Communist rule.
Gorbachev's attempts at reform as well as summit conferences with United States President Ronald Reagan and his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War, ended the political supremacy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), and led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. For these efforts, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and the Harvey Prize in 1992 as well as Honorary Doctorates from Durham University in 1995, Trinity College in 2002 and University of Münster in 2005, and Eureka College in 2009.
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