David Ben-Gurion was the primary national founder of the State of Israel and the first Prime Minister of Israel.
Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946. As head of the Jewish Agency from 1935, and later president of the Jewish Agency Executive, he was the de facto leader of the Jewish community in Palestine, and largely led its struggle for an independent Jewish state in Mandatory Palestine. On 14 May 1948, he formally proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, and was the first to sign the Israeli Declaration of Independence, which he had helped to write. Ben-Gurion led Israel during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and united the various Jewish militias into the Israel Defense Forces. Subsequently, he became known as "Israel's founding father".
Following the war, Ben-Gurion served as Israel's first Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. As Prime Minister, he helped build the state institutions, presiding over various national projects aimed at the development of the country.