Tadeusz Mazowiecki | Former Polish leader, 86
A lawyer by training, a writer and thinker by temperament, Mr. Mazowiecki was well-equipped for his role in ousting communism from Poland and shaping a democracy.
As prime minister, he called for drawing a "thick line" to separate the communist past from the new Poland, a position that contributed to his ouster after a year in office.
He decided in 1980 to join thousands of workers on strike at the Gdansk Shipyard to demand restitution of a job for a fired colleague, better pay, and a monument to workers killed in the 1970 protest. Within days, the action grew into a wave of strikes that gave birth to Solidarity, Eastern Europe's first free trade union and a nationwide freedom movement. - AP