Irish-Israeli soldier, lawyer, writer, politician, and president of Israel (1983–93). He served as Israel's ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations between 1975–78. Returning to Israel, he joined the Labour Party and was elected to the Knesset in 1981. His public standing made him an obvious choice for the presidency in 1983.
He studied law in Britain and Israel, and in World War II served in the British army as a tank commander. He disagreed with British rule in Palestine and joined an underground movement opposing it. In 1947, at the age of 29, he was given the task of organizing the intelligence service of the fledgling Israeli army, becoming its first head (1954–62). He was then appointed commander of the Israeli Defence Forces in East Jerusalem, occupying the crucial border with Egypt, with the rank of major-general.
He retired from the army in 1962, while still only in his forties, and launched himself into a business career, becoming, between 1962–83, a director of Israel Aircraft Industries, the Industrial Development Bank of Israel, the Israel Discount Bank, and managing director of GUS International.
During the ‘Six-Day War’ between Israel and Egypt in 1967, Herzog became famous for his reassuring radio broadcasts to the Israeli people at a time when the country felt isloated.; after its successful outcome, he was made military governor of the West Bank.
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he emigrated to Poland with his parents in his teens before returning to the UK for military service in World War II.