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Digital Archive International History Declassified


Pham Van Dong

Prime Minister of North Vietnam from 1954-1976.



b. March 1, 1906 - d. April 29, 2000

Pham Van Dong was an associate of Ho Chi Minh who helped establish the Indochinese Communist Party. He served as Prime Minister of North Vietnam from 1954 through 1976.

Co-founder, Viet Minh, 1941; Prime Minister, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 1976-1987

Born in 1906, Pham Van Dong was a leader of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War; he became prime minister of the unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976 and chairman of the Council of Ministers in 1981. He was one of the founders of the Viet Minh Movement in 1941.

Scion of a prominent Mandarin family, he joined the activist Communist underground in the 1920s, was imprisoned by the French for seven years, and twice forced to flee to China. A close associate of Ho Chi Minh, Dong was one of the founders of the Viet Minh, a nationalist organization. After leading the Vietnamese delegation to the 1954 peace talks with France, which resulted (to Dong’s dismay) in an agreement dividing Vietnam into North and South, Dong assumed the office of prime minister, also serving as minister of foreign affairs from 1954 to 1961.

Pham resigned from the politburo in 1986, and was replaced as prime minister in 1987, although he remained a government adviser.