Born Karol Jozef Wojtyla, he was perhaps the most recognized person of his time. He reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Curch from 1978 until his death 26 years later. His was the second longest Pontificate of modern day. He is one of only four people to be in the Time 100 list in the 20th and 21st centuries.
He worked tirelessly throughout his pontificate against communism and was one of the largest forces contributing to the fall of Eastern Europe. He spoke out often against abortion, contraception, cloning, IVF, war, and dictatorship. He opposed same sex marriage, divorce and the ordination of women. He spoke a dozen languages fluently and made his mark as one of the most travelled world leaders of all time.
Throughout his pontificate there were several failed attempts on his life.It is widely believed he developed Parkinson’s disease. His health began to fail rapidly in early 2005. He died of the complications of sepsis.