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Digital Archive International History Declassified

Biographies

Le Duan

Le Duan was an original founder of the Indochina Communist Party.

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Biography

b. 1908 - d. 1986

Le Duan was an original founder of the Indochina Communist Party, Le served on the North Vietnamese Central Committee under Ho Chi Minh, and directed the formation of an underground Communist organization in South Vietnam. After Ho Chi Minh’s death, Duan assumed leadership of North Vietnam.

Secretary, North Vietnam’s Communist Party, 1959-1969; Vietnamese Communist Party Leader, 1969-1986

Imprisoned by the French colonial regime, he organized Communist forces in the South after the French withdrawal from Vietnam in 1954 and became first secretary of North Vietnam’s Communist party in 1959. After Ho Chi Minh’s death in 1969, Le Duan emerged as the leader of North Vietnam’s ruling collective. In 1976, after Vietnam’s reunification, he was renamed party leader and served until his death.

He was known publicly as Ba, or “Second Son.”