Polish President Lech Kaczynski along his wife and other member's of Poland's political elite died in a plane crash on Saturday morning that killed all 97 on board.
Lech Kaczynski and his twin brother, Jaroslaw, were born on June 18, 1949. Both were child actors, starring in their first movie "About a Couple Who Stole the Moon" at the age of 14.
Lech Kaczynski received a degree in law and administration from the University of Warsaw and went on to earn a PhD in labor law from Gdansk University, in 1980. He worked closely with unions and was a very active anticommunist in the 1970s. In 1978, he married Maria Kaczynska, who also died in the crash.His political career began in 1977 when he joined the Interventions Office of the Worker Defense Committee. When the Solidarity Trade Union was formed, which eventually brought down the communist regime, he was a delegate at its First National Congress. Kaczynski was arrested and served 11 months in prison under martial law in Poland in the 1980s.
After his release, Kaczynski’s career as a politician took off. In 1988, as a key solidarity member, he served on the Civic Committee with Lech Walesa. Later Kaczynski became a senator, parliamentarian, justice minister, and Warsaw’s mayor from 2002 to 2005 until he moved on to the presidency in Dec. 2005. Half a year after taking the president’s office, he appointed his twin brother, Jaroslaw to the role of prime minister.
Kaczynski was considered to be pro-American and pro-NATO, with a cooler relationship towards Russia.
He and his wife leave behind a daughter, Marta, and two granddaughters, Ewa and Martyna.