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Digital Archive International History Declassified

Biographies

Nguyen Cao Ky

Nguyen Cao Ky was Premier of the Republic of South Vietnam, 1965-1967

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Biography

b. 1930

Involved in the overthrow of President Diem in 1963, and Vice-President, Republic of South Vietnam (1967-1971). Cao Ky fled to the US in 1975 after the communist takeover.

Premier, Republic of South Vietnam, 1965-1967; Vice-President, Republic of South Vietnam, 1967-1971

Nguyen Cao Ky was a Premier and Vice President of the former Republic of South Vietnam. He was flight trained by the French, and he returned to Vietnam in 1954 and held a series of commands in the South Vietnamese air force.

Ky’s involvement in the 1963 coup against President Diem led to his appointment to the air force command. Following a military coup led by Nguyen Van Thieu in 1965, Ky became premier, and was Nguyen Van Thieu’s vice-presidential running mate in the 1967 election.

Alienated from Thieu, Ky intended to oppose him in the 1971 elections, but was outmaneuvered and retired from politics. After the Communist takeover in 1975, he settled in the U.S., where he published a book in 1976, Twenty Years and Twenty Days, and lectured at various universities.