1931: March 2, born, Privolnoye, Krasnogvardeisky District, Stavropol territory in the North Caucasus, to a peasant family in a small village, his father an agricultural mechanic on a collective farm.
1942: German army occupies the Privolnoye area.
1945: Begins work as assistant to combine harvest operator.
1949: Awarded Order of Red Banner of Labour.
1950: Enrolled in Faculty of Law, Moscow University.
1952: After having been a member of Komsomol (Communist Youth Organisation), now joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU).
1955: Marries Raisa Maximovna Titorenko, philosophy student. Receives degree in law.
1955-60: Appointed First Secretary, Komsomol Territorial Committee, then moves up to higher posts, finally becoming top Komsomol official in Stavropol.
1956: Daughter Irina born.
1961: Delegate from Stavropol to 22nd Communist Party Congress in Moscow.
1962: Appointed to key position in Stavropol Communist Party, responsible for personnel in administration, farms and industry.
1964-67: Studies for second degree at Stavropol Agricultural Institute.
1970: Appointed First Secretary for Stavropol territory, governing an area of 2.4 million people.
1971: Member CPSU Central Committee.
1978: Moves to Moscow as Secretary of Agriculture in Central Committee.
1980: Becomes youngest full member of Politburo.
1985: March, Elected by Central Committee as General Secretary of CPSU.
1989: Elected by new parliament as Executive President of Soviet Union.
1991: August, abortive coup of hardliners, resigns as General Secretary of CPSU, dissolves Central Committee.
1991: December 25, resigns as President when Soviet Union disintegrates.
1992: Head of Foundation for Social, Economic and Political Research, think-tank founded after August coup.