14th Dalai Lama
(Tenzin Gyatso

Tibetan Spiritual Leader
1959 Ramon Magsaysay Award
1989 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Peace Leadership Award

birthdate: July 6
Taktser, Tibet

Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth and current Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and the head of state of the Tibetan government in exile. Born Lhamo Dhondrub to a poor peasant family, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama when he was two years old. He was renamed Tenzin Gyatso, and officially became the new Dalai Lama in 1940. In 1950, China invaded Tibet. Nine years later he was forced into exile and has lived in Dharamsala, India ever since. In the half-century of his exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has continued to advocate for Tibet's freedom through nonviolent means, despite the aggression his people have faced.

The Dalai Lama's charismatic personality have won many to his cause of freedom for his nation. His inspiring teachings about world peace, human rights, the environment, responsibility, compassion, tolerance and better understanding between all peoples and religions of the world have made him a symbol of spirituality and hope for peace in our time. He has traveled to more than 60 countries, meeting with heads of state, celebrities, scientists and stadium-sized crowds who come to hear his words of wisdom. He has written more than 70 books and has received numerous awards and honors including the Albert Schweitzer Award, the US Congressional Gold Medal and the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite his international fame, he considers himself to be "just a simple Buddhist monk - no more nor less."

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