Eduard Ambrosis dze Shevardnadze (Georgian: ედუარდ ამბროსის ძე შევარდნაძე, Eduard Ambrosis dze Shevardnadze; 25 January 1928 – 7 July 2014) was a Georgian politician and diplomat who ruled Georgian SSR from 1972 until his resignation in 2003.
Eduard Ambrosiyevich Shevardnadze
ედუარდ ამბროსის ძე შევარდნაძე
|2nd President of Georgia|
26 November 1995 – 23 November 2003
|Preceded by||Zviad Gamsakhurdia|
|Succeeded by||Nino Burjanadze (acting)|
|1st Chairman of Parliament|
6 November 1992 – 26 November 1995
(Chairman of the Parliament from 4 November 1992)
|Preceded by||Position established;|
himself as the Chairman of the State Council of Georgia
|Succeeded by||Zurab Zhvania|
|Chairman of the State Council of Georgia|
10 March 1992 – 4 November 1992
|Preceded by||Position established; Military Council as the interim head of state|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished; himself as the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union|
2 July 1985 – 20 December 1990
|Preceded by||Andrei Gromyko|
|Succeeded by||Aleksandr Bessmertnykh|
19 November 1991 – 26 December 1991
|Preceded by||Boris Pankin (acting)|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party|
29 September 1972 – 6 July 1985
|Preceded by||Vasil Mzhavanadze|
|Succeeded by||Jumber Patiashvili|
|Full member of the 26th, 27th Politburo|
1 July 1985 – 14 July 1990
|Born||25 January 1928|
Mamati, Guria, Georgian SSR, Transcaucasian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Died||7 July 2014 86) (aged|
|Nationality||Soviet (1928–1991) and Georgian (1991–2014)|
|Political party||Communist Party of Georgia (Soviet Union) (1948–1991)|
Union of Citizens of Georgia (1995–2003)
(m. 1951; d. 2004)
|Relatives||Sophie Shevardnadze (granddaughter)|
|Awards||Hero of Socialist Labour|
|Years of service||1964–1972|
|Commands||Ministry of Public Order of the Georgian SSR (1965–68)|
Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Georgian SSR (1968–72)
He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union from 1988 to 1990. In 1992 he become the leader of Georgia (as Chairman of Parliament) after president Zviad Gamsakhurdia resigned. In 1995, he became President and served until his resignation in 2003 because of the Rose Revolution.
Shevardnadze started his political career in the late 1940s as a leading member of his local Komsomol organisation. He was later appointed its Second Secretary, then its First Secretary. His rise in the Georgian Soviet hierarchy continued until 1961 when he was demoted after he insulted a senior official. After spending two years in obscurity, Shevardnadze returned as a First Secretary of a Tbilisi city district, and was able to charge the Tbilisi First Secretary at the time with corruption. His anti-corruption work quickly garnered the interest of the Soviet government and Shevardnadze was appointed as First Deputy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Georgian SSR. He would later become the head of the internal affairs ministry and was able to charge First Secretary (leader of Soviet Georgia) Vasil Mzhavanadze with corruption.
He served as First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party (GPC) from 1972 to 1985, which made him the de facto leader of Georgia. As First Secretary, Shevardnadze started several economic reforms, which would spur economic growth in the republic—an uncommon occurrence in the Soviet Union because the country was experiencing a nationwide economic stagnation. Shevardnadze's anti-corruption campaign continued until he resigned from his office as First Secretary.
In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev appointed Shevardnadze to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs. He served in this position, with the exception of a brief interruption between 1990 and 1991, until the fall of the Soviet Union. During this time, only Gorbachev would outrank Shevardnadze in importance in Soviet foreign policy. Shevardnadze was responsible for many key decisions in Soviet foreign policy during the Gorbachev Era, and was seen by the outside world as the face of Soviet reforms such as Perestroika.
In the aftermath of the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, Shevardnadze returned to the newly independent Georgia. He became the country's head of state following the removal of the country's first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Shevardnadze was formally elected president in 1995. His presidency was marked by rampant corruption and accusations of nepotism. Allegations of electoral fraud during the 2003 legislative election led to a series of public protests and demonstrations colloquially known as the Rose Revolution. Eventually, Shevardnadze was forced to resign. He later published his memoirs and lived in relative obscurity until his death in 2014.