Chaim Weizmann (Hebrew: חיים וייצמן) was the first President of the State of Israel. He was elected on 1 February 1949.
Chaim Weizmann was a remarkable personality: not only the first president of Israel but also a Zionist leader, President of the Zionist Organization and a chemist who developed the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.
Weizmann was born in Russia in 1874. He received his education in biochemistry in Switzerland and Germany. Already in Geneva, he became active in the Zionist movement. In 1905 he moved to England and was elected to the General Zionist Council.
In the 1930’s Weizmann laid the foundations of the Daniel Sieff Research Institute in Rehovot, later to become the Weizmann Institute a driving force behind Israel’s scientific research.
After the end of World War II, Weizmann was instrumental in the adoption of the Partition Plan by the United Nations on November 29, 1947, and in the recognition of Israel by the United States.
With the declaration of the State of Israel, Weizmann was chosen to serve as the first President of Israel. He filled his role until his death in 1952. Weizmann died at the age of 78.
His nephew, Ezer Weizmann, was the seventh President of Israel.