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Nanak
1469-1539
Sikh Guru





The son of a merchant he made an extended pilgrimage to Moslem and Hindu shrines in India, returning to the Punjab in 1520.

He became the founding guru of the Sikh faith, combining Hindu and Moslem beliefs into a single doctrine.

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Napoleon III
1808-73
Emperor of France





As nephew of Napoleon I he was exiled after 1815. He was involved in two unsuccessful insurrections (1836 and 1840) and returned to France after the 1848 revolution, to be elected President, and to become Emperor in 1852.

During his prosperous reign Paris was rebuilt, Indo-China was acquired and the Suez Canal opened. He was defeated by Bismarck in the Franco-Prussian War and went into exile in England in 1871.

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Gamal Abdel Nasser
1918-70
President of Egypt




As an army officer he was the leading member of a group which overthrew King Farouk in 1952.

In 1954 he became Prime Minister and then President until his death. He introduced land reform; built the Aswan Dam; followed a neutralistic foreign policy between the great powers; and provided leadership for the Arab nationalist movement, which led to two wars (with Israel, Great Britain and France, 1956, with Israel, 1967) and increasing dependence on the USSR.

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Jawaharlal Nehru
1889-1964
Prime Minister of India




Born in India, schooled in England and graduated at Cambridge University.

Back in India Nehru supported Gandhi's civil disobedience movement and for the next 27 years worked unceasingly for Indian independence, often imprisoned by the British.

Several times president of the Indian National Congress he became India's first prime minister (1947-64). He established parliamentary government and became a leader of nonalignment in world affairs.

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Kwame Nkrumah
1909-72
President of Ghana




He wrote 'Towards Colonial Freedom' in 1947 in opposition to British rule, and later organized a non-cooperation movement in Ghana.

After independence (1957) he became first President of the Ghana republic (1960). He declared a one-party state and was deposed in 1966 by the army while on a visit to China.

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Biography