The 14th Dalai Lama
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Born to a peasant family, His Holiness was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the thirteenth Dalai Lama, and thus an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. In 1959, nine years after China invaded Tibet, he fled to Dharamsala, India, where he lives today as leader of the Tibetan government in exile. He travels throughout the world teaching Tibetan Buddhism’s central tenet of compassion. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and was also awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal in October of 2007.