Leonid Ilich Brezhnev, 1906–1982

Born in Dneprodzershinsk, Ukraine, Brezhnev completed an agricultural course in Kursk in 1927 and then worked there and in the Urals. He became a member of the CPSU in 1931, and in 1935, graduated from the metallurgy college. He began to work in the party apparatus in 1937, becoming secretary of the Dnepropetrovsk district committee in 1939. During the Second World War, he served as a political officer on the Southern and the 4th Ukrainian fronts. In 1945–6, he was a political section leader in the Carpathian Military District. In 1946, he became first secretary of the Zaporozhe district party committee. In 1947, he was moved to the same post in the Dnepropetrovsk district. In 1950–52, he was first secretary of the Moldavian Communist Party. Brezhnev joined the CPSU Central Committee in 1952. From March 1953 to July 1954, he was first deputy head of the political main section for the Soviet Army and Navy, with the rank of lieutenant general. In 1954–5, he was first secretary of the Kazakhstan communist party. He was an alternate member of the Central Committee Presidium from 1952–3 and again from February 1956 to June 1957. Thereafter he was a Presidium and then a Politburo member. From 1964 until his death, he was first secretary (from 1966 general secretary) of the CPSU. He was head of state (president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet) from 1960 to 1964 and from 1977 to his death.

Please send comments or suggestions.

This page was created: Wednesday, 23-Aug-2000
Last updated: Wednes, 12-Sept-2001
Copyright © 2000 The Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution

Top of the page