There's little point in retracing all the details of a long and very politically active life. Everyone will be doing that today. Let me touch on the salient points. A key protégé of David Ben-Gurion, he followed the "old man" out of the Mapai (later Labor) Party to found Rafi, and returned when BG did.
He would be the rare Israeli Defense Ministers never to have served on the IDF or one of the pre-state military organizations. Like a later exception to the rule, Moshe Arens, he made his name in the civilian side of the defense establishment. In Peres' case, he created it. As Director-General of the Defense Ministry in the 1950s, the post in charge of defense production, he was the architect of Israel's defense relations with France, and the father of Israel's domestic defense industrial sector, today one of the most robust in the world. In the same period, he also served as the father of Israel's nuclear program.
|1994 Nobel Peace Prize|
In his last decades Peres was a strong supporter of a two-state solution and what he referred to as a "New Middle East": he would not live to see it. But he made the usually ceremonially role of President an advocate for peace, despite inevitable friction with Prime Minister Netanyahu. I think he will be missed.