Highlights of Lech Walesa – KESQ

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a glimpse into the life of Lech Walesa, former President of Poland.


Date of Birth: September 29, 1943

Place of birth: Popowo, poland

Father: Boleslaw Walesa, carpenter

Mother: Felicja (Kaminski) Walesa

Wedding: Miroslawa “Danuta” (Golos) Walesa (1969-date)

Children: Bogdan, Slawek, Przemek, Jarek, Magdalena, Ania, Maria Wiktoria and Brygidka

Military service: Army, corporal, 1965-1967

Religion: Catholic

Other facts

Her father was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp.

Sent his wife to accept his Nobel Prize because he feared he would not be allowed to return to Poland.


1961-1965 – Works as an auto mechanic.

1965-1967 – Serves in the Polish Army.

1967 – Starts working as an electrician at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk.

1970 – In strikes to protest against rising food prices, 45 shipyard workers are killed. Walesa is one of the leaders of the strike.

1976 – Is dismissed for his political activities.

1978 – Work with other activists to form free unions.

August 1980 – Leads a strike in the Gdansk shipyard, which is spreading across the country. Workers get the right to organize their own union.

September 1980 – The independent union Solidarity is formed.

January 1981 – Meeting with Pope John Paul II.

December 1981 – Wales stopped. Martial law is enforced across the country.

October 1982 – The Polish parliament passes a law dissolving all unions, including Solidarity.

November 1982 – Walesa is released.

July 1983 – Martial law is lifted.

October 1983 – Receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

1987 – Walesa’s book, “A Way of Hope,” is published.

November 1989 – Addressed to a joint session of the US Congress.

December 1990 – Is elected President of Poland.

1991 – Walesa’s autobiography, “The Struggle and The Triumph”, is published.

1995 – Founds the Lech Walesa Institute.

November 1995 – Is defeated in the presidential election.

2000 – Is again defeated in the presidential election.

August 2006 – Announces that he has resigned from Solidarity because he opposes the union’s support for the current leadership of Poland.

February 2008 – Is implanted with a pacemaker at a hospital in Houston.

2009 – He is suing Polish President Lech Kaczynski for libel, over Kaczynski’s comments that Walesa was a spy in the 1970s. Kaczynski was killed in a plane crash in April 2010.

July 2012 – At the invitation of Walesa, the American presidential candidate Mitt Romney goes to Poland. Walesa wishes Romney success in the election.

March 2013 – Told a TV reporter that as a minority, homosexuals do not have the right to hold high positions in politics and should sit at the back of parliament or even “behind a wall”. He later refuses to apologize.

July 8, 2017 – Is hospitalized for heart problems in Gdansk.

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