Peres is the only Israeli to serve as prime minister and president. Born in Belarus, he arrived in Palestine in 1934. He helped establish and arm the initial IDF and launched a nuclear program. In 1977 he was the first Labor Party leader to lose to a right-of-center candidate for prime minister. He pushed high-tech innovation and stabilized the economy in the 1980s. He shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for the Oslo Accords.
Photo: Mark Neyman, Israeli Government Press Office