Born in Popowo, Poland in 1943, Lech Walesa was a founding member of Solidarity, Poland's first independent trade union during the communist era. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983. In 1990, he was elected President of Poland, a position which he held for five years. He ran for the presidency again in 2000, but was unsuccessful. His work in the Solidarity movement caught the attention of world leaders at that time including Pope John Paul II.