Golda Meir was born in Kiev on May 3, 1898. Economic hardship forced her family to emigrate to the United States in 1906, where they settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In high school she joined the Zionist group "Poalei Zion". She immigrated to Israel in 1921 with her husband, Morris Myerson, and settled at Kibbutz Merhavya.
Moving to Tel Aviv in 1924, she worked as a bookkeeper in a public office, and in 1928 began working as the Secretary of the Women Laborers Council. From 1932-1934 she served as an emissary in the United States and the Secretary of the women's organization "Pioneer Women".
Upon returning to Israel, she resumed her work in the Women Laborers Council. She worked in the "Dvar Hapoelet" newspaper, and was one of the founders and managers of the Histadrut Trade Union's Construction Corporation, Solel Boneh. In 1937 she embarked on a fund-raising mission for the "Nachshon" shipping company, established by David Remez. In 1939 she returned to Israel and was appointed Head of the Department for Mutual Aid in the Histadrut, and Chairperson of the Health Fund's Executive Board. She was also a member of the administration of "Matziv", a fund for the assistance of families which lost their providers, and served as head of the "Mishan" Central Committee.
In 1940 she was appointed head of the "Mefadeh", a Histadrut project for the collection of funds from the organization's members, for the purpose of mutual aid. In 1941 she was elected Head of Mapai's faction C, and in 1944 joined the Tel Aviv Laborers Council. When the British Mandate Authorities imprisoned Moshe Sharett in the "Black Saturday" of 1946 she was appointed to replace him as Head of the Jewish Agency's Political Department. She remained in this post after Sharett's release and departure for the U.S. In the months preceding the establishment of the State she was sent on several important missions, including a meeting with King Abdullah I of Jordan, and emergency fund-raising assignments in the United States.
Upon her return to Israel in September 1948, she was appointed the first Israeli Ambassador to the Soviet Union. She returned to Israel in 1949, was elected to the Knesset on behalf of Mapai and assumed the post of Minister of Labor, a position which she held until 1956. She initiated comprehensive socialist legislation, worked for the establishment of housing projects for laborers and immigrants and contributed to the absorption of waves of immigrants.
From 1956-1965 she served as Foreign Minister. In this post, she developed foreign, agricultural and trade relations with emerging African countries and provided them with military assistance. From 1966-1968 she served as Secretary of Mapai, and later of the Israel Labor Party, a merger between Mapai, Rafi and Achdut Ha'avoda. She remained in this post until August 1, 1968.
When Levi Eshkol passed away in February 1969, Golda Meir replaced him as Prime Minister. In this post, she endeavored to cement relations with the United States, focusing on obtaining economic aid and acquisitions for Israel, while fighting terrorism and a constant war of attrition. She was reelected Prime Minister in December 1973, but was forced to resign in June 1974 due to the Yom Kippur war fiasco, despite her acquittal by the Agranat Committee from direct responsibility for the war.
Golda Meir passed away on December 8, 1978.