Born in 1940 to a family of mountain shepherds, Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev joined the Communist Party when he was 22 years old. He received a technical degree in metallurgy in 1967, a doctorate from the Russian Academy of Management in 1992, and a correspondence degree from the Soviet Communist Party Higher Party School. He worked as a technician and later as an economist at the Karaganda Metallurgical Combine from 1960 until 1969. Nazarbayev then moved into Komsomol and Communist Party work in 1969. He served as the second secretary of the local Communist Party committee in Karaganda from 1973 until 1977. In 1977, he became a secretary of the Karaganda Regional Committee of the Kazakh Communist Party (KCP). In 1979, he became a secretary of the KCP Central Committee, with broad responsibility for industrial management. From 1984 to 1989, he was chairman of the Kazakh Council of Ministers (Prime Minister). He and his wife, Sara Alpysovna, have three daughters and three grandchildren. Nazarbayev enjoys playing tennis.