Golda Meir

Facts about Golda Meir

Golda Meir died at 80 years old
Born: May 3, 1898
Birthplace: Kiev, Russia (now the Ukraine)
Best known as: The first female prime minister of Israel


Golda Meir Biography

Name at birth: Goldie Mabovitch

Golda Meir was the fourth prime minister of Israel and one of the most visible women in international affairs for nearly two decades.

Born in Russia but raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she settled on a kibbutz in British Mandate Palestine with her American husband, Morris Meyerson, in 1921.

As Golda Meir (her adopted name), she became active in Zionist politics, and after Israel gained independence in 1948 she served as ambassador to the Soviet Union (1948), was elected to the Knesset (1949) and was named the country’s foreign minister (1956-65).

Strong-willed and fiercely protective of Israel, Meir became an international symbol of Israeli resolve.

After the death of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in 1969, Meir came out of retirement to become prime minister — at the age of 71.

Meir’s handling of the Arab-Israeli War of 1973 (the Yom Kippur War) was widely criticized, as were her attempts to garner peace for Israel after the war, and she resigned in 1974.

She was succeeded by Yitzhak Rabin. Meir published an autobiography, My Life, in 1975.

Extra credit

Meir and Meyerson were married in 1917. They separated in 1928, but never divorced. They had two children: Menaham (b. 1924) and Sara (b. 1926)… She was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1982 TV movie A Woman Called Golda… In the stage play, Golda, she was portrayed by Anne Bancroft.


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