Vaclav Havel 1936-2011
Vaclav Havel was a writer and a playwright.
He was also the former Czech
From 1989 to 1992, Mr. Havel was also
the president of Czechoslovakia.
From 1993 to 2003, he was the
president of the Czech Republic.
On January 1, 1990, Vaclav Havel gave
New Year's address
to the Nation.
Sunday, December 18, 2011, was a sad
day. Vaclav Havel died after having lived some eventful 75 years.
This from Reuters:
Vaclav Havel, a dissident playwright jailed
by Communists who became Czech president and
a symbol of peace and freedom after leading
the bloodless "Velvet Revolution," died at
75 on Sunday.
The former chain smoker died at his country
home in Hradecek, north of Prague, of a long
respiratory illness after surviving
operations for lung cancer and a burst
intestine in the late 1990s that left him
frail for more than a decade.
The diminutive playwright, who invited the
Rolling Stones to medieval Prague castle,
took Bill Clinton to a Prague jazz club to
play saxophone and was a friend of the Dalai
Lama, rose to fame after facing down
Prague's communist regime.
"His peaceful resistance shook the
foundations of an empire, exposed the
emptiness of a repressive ideology, and
proved that moral leadership is more
powerful than any weapon," President Barack
Obama said in a statement.
Read the entire
And here is
Reuters' Havel timeline.
In the late 1970s he had become
Czechoslovakia's best-known dissident and
helped found the Charter 77 movement for
Sam Walters, director of the Orange Tree
Theatre in London, first staged a play by
Havel in 1977 and told BBC News that his
political life overshadowed a "wonderful "
career as a playwright.