Shimon Peres (; Hebrew: שמעון פרס [ʃiˌmon ˈpeʁes] (listen); born Szymon Perski; 2 August 1923 – 28 September 2016) was an Israeli politician who served as the ninth president of Israel from 2007 to 2014 and as the eighth prime minister of Israel from 1984 to 1986 and from 1995 to 1996. He was a member of twelve cabinets and represented five political parties in a political career spanning 70 years. Peres was elected to the Knesset in November 1959 and except for a three-month-long hiatus in early 2006, was in office continuously until he was elected President in 2007. At the time of his retirement in 2014, he was the world's oldest head of state and was considered the last link to Israel's founding generation.From a young age, he was renowned for his oratorical brilliance, and was chosen as a protégé by David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding father. He began his political career in the late 1940s, holding several diplomatic and military positions during and directly after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. His first high-level government position was as deputy director general of defense in 1952 which he attained at the age of 28, and director general from 1953 until 1959. In 1956, he took part in the historic negotiations on the Protocol of Sèvres described by British Prime Minister Anthony Eden as the "highest form of statesmanship". In 1963, he held negotiations with U.S. President John F. Kennedy, which resulted in the sale of Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Israel, the first sale of U.S. military equipment to Israel. Peres represented Mapai, Rafi, the Alignment, Labor and Kadima in the Knesset, and led Alignment and Labor. Peres served in the Knesset from 1959 until 2007, with only a three-month gap in his service in 2006. Serving in the Knesset for 48 years (with the first uninterrupted stretch lasting more than 46 years), Peres is the longest serving member in the Knesset's history.
Peres first succeeded Yitzhak Rabin as acting prime minister briefly during 1977, before becoming prime minister from 1984 to 1986. As foreign minister under Prime Minister Rabin, Peres engineered the 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty, and won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize together with Rabin and Yasser Arafat for the Oslo Accords peace talks with the Palestinian leadership. In 1996, he founded the Peres Center for Peace, which has the aim of "promot[ing] lasting peace and advancement in the Middle East by fostering tolerance, economic and technological development, cooperation and well-being." After suffering a stroke, Peres died on 28 September 2016 near Tel Aviv.