Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (1870-1924) was a Soviet communist politician and theoretician. Active in the 1905 Revolution, Lenin had to leave Russia when it failed, settling in Switzerland in 1914.
He returned to Russia after the February revolution of 1917. In November 1917 he became leader of a Soviet government, concluded peace with Germany, and organized a successful resistance to White Russian (pro-Tsarist) uprisings and foreign intervention.
His modification of traditional Marxist doctrine to fit conditions prevailing in Russia became known as Marxism-Leninism, the basis of communist ideology.
Lenin was born 22 Apr in Simbirsk (now renamed Ulyanovsk), on the river Volga, and became a lawyer in Saint Petersburg. A Marxist from 1889, he was sent to Sib
eria for spreading revolutionary propaganda (1895-1900). He then edited the political paper Iskra ("The Spark") from abroad, and visited London several times.
In What Is to be Done? (1902) he advocated a professional core of Social Democratic Party activists to spearhead the revolution in Russia, a suggestion accepted by the majority (bolsheviki) at the London party congress 1903. From Switzerland he attacked socialist support for World War I as for an "imperialist" struggle, and wrote Imperialism in 1917. After the renewed outbreak of revolution in February/March 1917, he returned to Russia in April. From the overthrow of the provisional government in November 1917 until his death, Lenin effectively controlled the Soviet Union, although an assassination attempt in 1918 injured his health.
He founded the Third (Communist) International in 1919. Communism proving inadequate to put the country on its feet, in 1921 he introduced the private-enterprise New Economic Policy to win over the peasantry and boost agriculture. His embalmed body is in a mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow.
Why is Lenin famous?
Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician.