Shimon Peres was born Szymon Perski, on 2 August 1923, in Wiszniew, Poland (now Vishnyeva, Belarus).
In 1932, Peres' father immigrated to Mandatory Palestine and settled in Tel Aviv.
In 1941, he was elected Secretary of HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed, a Labor Zionist youth movement.
In 1945, Peres married Sonya Gelman, who preferred to remain outside the public eye. They had three children.
In 1946, Peres and Moshe Dayan were chosen as the two youth delegates in the Mapai delegation to the Zionist Congress in Basel.
In 1947, Peres joined the Haganah, the predecessor of the Israel Defense Forces.
In 1952, he was appointed Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Defense, and the following year, he became Director-General.
From 1954, as Director-General of the Ministry of Defense, Peres was involved in the planning of the 1956 Suez War, in partnership with France and Britain against Egypt.
Peres was first elected to the Knesset in the 1959 elections, as a member of the Mapai party. He was given the role of Deputy Defense Minister, which he filled until 1965.
In 1969, Peres was appointed Minister of Immigrant Absorption.
In 1970 he became Minister of Transportation and Communications.
In 1974, after a period as Information Minister.
On 27 June 1976, Peres, as Minister of Defense, along with Rabin, had to deal with a coordinated act of terrorism when 248 Paris-bound travelers on an Air France plane were taken hostage by pro-Palestinian hijackers and flown to Uganda, Africa, 2,000 miles away.
Peres and Rabin were responsible for approving what became known as the Entebbe rescue operation, which took place on 4 July 1976.
Perez became a Prime Minister.
Peres succeeded Rabin as party leader prior to the 1977 elections when Rabin stepped down in the wake of a foreign currency scandal involving his wife.
On 26 October 1994, Jordan and Israel signed the Israel–Jordan peace treaty.
Shimon Peres served as Acting Prime Minister until 22 November 1995.
In 1996, he founded the Peres Center for Peace, which has the aim of "promoting lasting peace and advancement in the Middle East by fostering tolerance, economic and technological development, cooperation and well-being".
On 11 April 1996, Prime Minister Peres initiated Operation Grapes of Wrath.
In 2000, Peres ran for a seven-year term as Israel's President, a ceremonial head of state position which usually authorizes the selection of Prime Minister. However, he lost to Likud candidate Moshe Katsav.
On 30 November 2005 Peres announced that he was leaving the Labor Party to support Ariel Sharon and his new Kadima party.
On 13 June 2007, Peres was elected President of the State of Israel by the Knesset. 58 of 120 members of the Knesset voted for him in the first round (whereas 38 voted for Reuven Rivlin, and 21 for Colette Avital).
On 20 November 2008, Peres received an honorary knighthood, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George from Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace in London.
Peres announced in April 2013 that he would not seek to extend his tenure beyond 2014. His successor, Reuven Rivlin, was elected on 10 June 2014 and took office on 24 July 2014.
Shimon Peres received the Israeli Diplomacy Award, November 29, 2015
He died on 28 September 2016 at the age of 93.