1948 - Born in Donetsk, Ukraine
1973 - After denied an exit visa to Israel, Sharansky becomes an activist in the human rights movement in the USSR and becomes internationally known as the spokesperson for the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group. Sharansky was also one of the founders and spokesmen for the Jewish and Refusenik movements in Moscow.
1977 - Arrested and later convicted of treason and spying for the United States. Sentenced to 13 years of forced labor.
1986 - As a result of increasing pressure of a mounting international campaign led by his wife, Avital, in 1986, Natan Sharansky was released after 9 years in Siberian prison. He was brought to East Germany and led across the Glienicke Bridge to West Berlin where he was exchanged for a pair of Soviet spies. Famed for his resistance in the Gulag, he was told upon his release to walk straight towards his freedom; Sharansky instead walked in a zigzag in a final act of defiance. Sharansky then emigrated to Israel, adopting a Hebrew given name, Natan. Following his release, Sharansky receives the Congressional Medal of Honor.
1988 - Founder and first President of the Zionist Forum, an umbrella organization of Jewish activists from the former Soviet Union dedicated to helping new immigrants and educating the public about absorption issues. Sharansky also served as Associate Editor to The Jerusalem Report and as a Board member of Peace Watch.
1996-2005 - Served as Minister as well as Deputy Prime Minister in all successive Israeli governments. Sharansky resigned from his position as Minister of the Interior in July 2000 over his opposition to then Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s intention to divide Jerusalem and concede other areas as part of the Camp David Accords.
2005 – Sharansky resigns from the Israeli Knesset and assumes the position of Chairman of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.
2005 - Chosen as #11 in Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in Scientists and Thinkers category.
2006 - Sharansky resigns from the Israeli Knesset and assumes the position of Chairman of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.
2007 - Organizes Democracy & Security International Conference in Prague for the advancement of democracy and human rights all over the world.
2007 - Becomes Chairman of the Board of Beit Hatefutsot, the Jewish diaspora museum.
2008 - Receives Ronald Reagan Freedom Award from President George W. Bush, joining Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and Pope John Paul II in becoming only the fourth non-American to receive both the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom..
2009 - Resigns from Adelson Institute to become the new Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.