Shimon Peres, 93

Micheline Pelletier/Sygma/Getty Images

A founding father of Israel, the former president and two-time prime minister stood as a pillar of peace.

"For peace, one must remember: As a bird cannot fly with one wing, as a man cannot applaud with one hand, so a country cannot make peace just with one side, with itself. For peace, we need the two of us. "

- Shimon Peres
Micheline Pelletier/Sygma/Getty Images

Born Shimon Persky in Poland, the Israeli statesman changed his surname in 1944 after a friend spotted what looked to be a nest of eagles, “peres” in Hebrew, during a mission where they surveyed the Sinai Desert and made maps. In this image, dated 1978, Peres looks over the Northern Israel border toward Lebanon with a group of soldiers.


In 1994, Peres, then Israel's minister of foreign affairs, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize alongside Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (pictured, left). Just past the one-year mark of the accord, Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish gunman, and Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated.

Ya'akov Sa'ar/GPO/Getty Images

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (left) embraces Peres in May 1979 in the southern Israeli city of Beersheva, two months after Egypt became the first Arab nation to recognize the Jewish State. Many in the Arab world clashed with Peres and cast his legacy in a critical light for his role in Israeli policies that had devastating effects on Palestinians.

LOCHON/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Peres was one of the last living Israeli politicians who had seen the country through its creation in 1948. “He served our people before we even had a country of our own. He worked tirelessly for Israel from the very first day of the state to the last day of his life,” his son, Chemi, said.

2016 in numbers