Donald Tusk was born in 1957 in Gdańsk, Poland. In 1976 he started studying history at the University of Gdańsk, where he got involved in illegal activities against the Communist regime.
In the 1980s he was an activist in the underground Solidarity movement. In 1980 he founded the Independent Students’ Association (NZS), part of Solidarity. In 1983 he launched the Political Review, a monthly that promoted economic liberalism and democracy. An informal think-tank supporting Lech Wałęsa was centred around the periodical.
After the fall of communism the think-tank members known as the Gdańsk Liberals formed a government following the first free presidential elections in Poland. They also founded the Liberal Democratic Congress, with Tusk as its leader.
In the 1990s Tusk served as Deputy Speaker of The Sejm and Deputy Speaker of the Senate. He also published books on the history of Gdańsk.
In 2001 he was one of the initiators of the centrist Civic Platform party, which he led from 2003. Tusk was Prime Minister from 2007-2014, making him the longest-serving premier in democratic Poland, and the first to be reelected.
Donald Tusk was elected President of the European Council in 2014, reelected for a second term in 2017.