Two-year-old Lhamo Thondup never imagined he would be anything other than an ordinary child but after undergoing a series of tests he was proclaimed the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. By age 15 he found himself the undisputed leader of six million people who were facing the threat of a full-scale war from the Chinese. After the defeat of the Tibetan national uprising in 1959 the Dalai Lama had to flee Tibet and went into exile in India. For nearly 50 years he has aimed to establish Tibet as a self-governing democratic state. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent efforts for the liberation of Tibet and his concern for global environmental problems. As the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism the Dalai Lama continues to spend his life working to benefit humanity and preserving Tibetan culture.