Golda Meir (1898-1978) was the fourth Israeli Prime Minister, and one of the founders of the State of Israel.
Born in Kiev, on May 3, 1898, she emigrated to the United States as a child with her family, in 1906, and was educated there, becoming a teacher. Shortly after her marriage, she and her husband emigrated to what was then, Palestine, in 1921, settling on a kibbutz.
After serving as the Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister, Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel on March 17, 1969. She was described as the "Iron Lady" of Israeli politics years before the epithet became associated with British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. David Ben-Gurion used to call her "the only man in the government". She was also portrayed as the "strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people".
In 1973, after the Yom Kippur War, Golda Meir formed a government headed by the Labor Party, but resigned immediately after the publication of the Agranat Commission, which revealed failures in the government's conduct before and during the war.
Meir's views on the Arab-Israeli conflict and Israel's social problems seemed to many, simplistic and rigid, nevertheless, she was highly regarded in Israel and around the world, due to her personality and leadership. In 1972 she was elected Vice-Chairman of the International Socialist, an international organization of Social Democratic parties, and served in that position until she ceased to chair the Labor Party. Meir died on December 8, 1978. She was Israel's first woman prime minister and the third woman in the world to hold this office, but the first to do so without a family member having been head of state or government.