Brazauskas, Algirdas (Lithuania)
A former Communist Party first secretary and Lithuanian president (1992–98), Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas became prime minister of Lithuania in July 2001, representing the A. Brazauskas Social Democratic Coalition. After his election he concentrated on leading Lithuania to European Union (EU) and NATO membership. He resigned from office in late May 2006 after his ruling coalition collapsed.
Brazauskas was born on 22 Sept. 1932 in Rokiškis, northeast Lithuania. He studied engineering and economics at Kaunas Polytechnic, graduating in 1956. Over the next 10 years he worked in industry while becoming active in the Lithuanian Communist Party. In 1965 he joined the government of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, serving first as construction materials minister and then as deputy chairman of the state planning committee 2 years later. By 1988 he was the first secretary of the Communist Party’s central committee. As Communism weakened throughout the Eastern...