Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. As a young boy growing up in a village in Tibet, he was formally recognized by Tibetan Buddhist elders as the reincarnated Dalai Lama,  spiritual leader of Tibet. In 1950, at 15 years old, he became Tibetan head of state in Tibet.

In 1959 he was forced to flee the county in the midst of Chinese occupation and oppression. With 100,000 followers, he established the Tibetan Government in Exile in Dharamsala, India.

While continuing to minister to the Tibetans in his community and around the world, and living what he calls the life of a “simple monk,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama has brought Tibetan Buddhism, with its understanding of compassion and respect for all life, to the rest of the world in a way that may never have been possible without his exile.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.