1. He has been awarded some of the world’s highest honors

After decades of public service, Shimon Peres has won many of the western world’s most prestigious awards. In 2012 the United States presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom—one of its two highest civilian honors—and in March this year members of the US Congress passed legislation to award Peres the Congressional Gold Medal—which is the other. If and when the House of Representatives passes the bill, Peres will become one of only nine people to win both of America’s highest civilian honors. Other recipients include Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel, Aung San Suu Kyii and Martin Luther King. In 2008 the United Kingdom awarded Peres with its honorary Order of St. Michael and St. George, which is for individuals who render extraordinary nonmilitary service in a foreign country. And most famously, Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize, alongside Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, in 1994.