President of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe and former Secretary General of the powerful Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. A labor and human-rights activist, he has also advocated a new constitution in Zimbabwe.
March 10, 1952, in Gutu (what was then Southern Rhodesia), the eldest of nine children.
Personal life:
Married to Susan Nyarandzo Mhundwa on July 10, 1979. Has three sons and three daughters.

Political affiliation:
By advocating real democracy and economic reform through the MDC, Tsvangirai put himself directly at odds with longtime President Robert Mugabe. He lost the 2002 presidential election to Mugabe under allegations of massive voting irregularities. In the 2008 elections, Tsvangirai received more votes than Mugabe but not enough -- officially -- to cross the 50%-threshold needed to avoid a runoff.
A onetime worker and then foreman in a nickel mine, Tsvangirai became vice president of the Mine Workers Union in 1985 and then Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions in 1988. In 1997 and 1998, he led a series of strikes against high taxes. A split in the trade union confederation led to Tsvangirai becoming president of the Movement for Democratic Change in 2000. He is also founder and chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, and organized opposition to Mugabe's defeated 2000 constitutional referendum.


Tsvangirai, by his count, has survived four assassination attempts, including a 1997 attempt to toss him out of a 10-story window. In March 2007, Tsvangirai was badly beaten for proceeding with a banned protest. The MDC offices are constantly raided by government forces and supporters are harassed or worse. A reported assassination plot delayed Tsvangirai's return to Zimbabwe in 2008 after forcing Mugabe into the runoff election. Tsvangirai vows to soldier on despite the arrests and intimidation, and has presented the most viable challenge to Mugabe's iron-fisted rule.
"How can global leaders espouse the values of democracy, yet when they are being challenged fail to open their mouths? Why is it that a supposed 'war on terror' ignores the very real terror of broken minds and mangled bodies that lie along the trail left by Mugabe?" -- Written by Tsvangirai in a Guardian editorial, April 2008