|Lech Walesa was born in village of Popowa, Poland. He began working as an electrician in 1961. In the 1970's, when he was working at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, he joined protests against the government which eventually led to his being fired from the shipyard. In 1980 he returned to the shipyard to join in a protest. He soon became the leader of the Solidarity movement.
Solidarity soon gained millions of members across Poland and became a national labor union. At first the government negotiated with Solidarity but the organization was banned in December of 1981. Walesa was arrested and later released. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. Solidarity was re-legalized in 1989 and excercised its poitical muscle by winning a national election in June of that year.
Walesa became President of Poland in 1990 and remained in office until 1995.