Ariel (“Arik”) Sharon was born at Kfar Malal on February 27, 1928. He served in the IDF for more than 25 years, retiring with the rank of Major-General. He holds an LL.B in Law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1962).
He joined the Haganah at the age of 14 in 1942. During the 1948 War of Independence, he commanded an infantry company in the Alexandroni Brigade. In 1953, he founded and led the “101” special commando unit which carried out retaliatory operations against Palestinian fedayeen. Sharon was appointed commander of a Paratroop Corps in 1956 and fought in the Sinai Campaign. In 1957, he attended the Camberley Staff College in Great Britain.
During 1958-62, Sharon served as Infantry Brigade Commander and then Infantry School Commander, and attended Law School at Tel Aviv University. He was appointed Head of the Northern Command Staff in 1964 and Head of the Army Training Department in 1966. He participated in the 1967 Six Day War as commander of an armored division. In 1969 he was appointed Head of the Southern Command Staff.
Sharon resigned from the army in June 1972, but was recalled to active military service in the 1973 Yom Kippur War to command an armored division. He led the crossing of the Suez Canal which helped secure an Israeli victory in the war and eventual peace with Egypt.