Newsmaker: Eduard Shevardnadze
Eduard A. Shevardnadze, former president of Georgia, recently announced his resignation after massive public demonstrations against him. The citizens of Georgia had long been dissatisfied with him because of growing levels of poverty and corrupti...
Eduard A. Shevardnadze, former president of Georgia, recently announced his resignation after massive public demonstrations against him. The citizens of Georgia had long been dissatisfied with him because of growing levels of poverty and corruption in their country. Large protests began after the Nov. 2 election, which many believe was rigged.
Early years: Shevardnadze was born Jan. 25, 1928, in the Lanchkhuti region of Georgia. He graduated from the Party School of Central Communist Party in 1951 and the Kutaisi Pedagogical Institute in 1959.
Career: Shevardnadze, who has been involved with politics since his youth, was promoted to the position of minister of foreign affairs of the Soviet Union in 1985 and served until 1990, helping to rebuild the Soviet Union's relations with the United States. In 1992, after Georgia's dissolution from the Soviet Union, he returned to Georgia and became chairman of the State Council. He was elected president of Georgia in 1995. While the U.S. government welcomed his help in establishing the country as a strategic military hub, Georgians criticized Shevardnadze for misplacing his loyalties and ignoring important issues.
Shevardnadze has earned honorary degrees from Harvard University, Boston University and Emory University, as well as from schools in Italy, Germany and Russia. He won the Emanuel Kant Prize in 1993, the Onassis Prize in 1997, Israel's Democracy Institute's Prize and the Nixon Peace Prize, both in 1997.
Family: Shevardnadze's wife, Nanuli, is a Georgian journalist and president of the international society Georgian Women for Peace and Life. Together they have a grown son and daughter.
In his words: "History never vowed loyalty to any constitution."
Web link: www.biography.com
Compiled by Heather Leinen
Sources: Parliament.ge/gov, Presidpress.gov.ge