Ho Chi Minh
Half Lenin, Half Gandhi
Ho Chi Minh led the Vietnamese nationalist movement for more than three decades, fighting first against the Japanese, then the French colonial power and then the US-backed South Vietnamese.
He was President of North Vietnam from 1954 until his death.
Ho Chi Minh (originally Nguyen That Thanh) was born on 19 May 1890 in Hoang Tru in central Vietnam.
Ho's father worked at the imperial court but was dismissed for criticising the French colonial power.
In 1911, Ho took a job on a French ship and travelled widely. He lived in London and Paris, and was a founding member of the French communist party.
He travelled to southern China to organise a revolutionary movement among Vietnamese exiles, and in 1930 founded the Indo-Chinese Communist Party (ICP). He spent the 1930s in the Soviet Union and China.
Return to Vietnam
After the Japanese invasion of Indo-China in 1941, Ho returned home and founded the Viet Minh, a communist-dominated independence movement, to fight the Japanese.
He adopted the name Ho Chi Minh, meaning 'Bringer of Light'.
At the end of World War Two the Viet Minh announced Vietnamese independence.
The French refused to relinquish their colony and in 1946, war broke out.
After the Vietnam split, he was determined to reunite Vietnam under communist rule.
US Entry in Vietnam War
Fearing the spread of communism, the United States provided increasing levels of support to South Vietnam.
By 1965, large numbers of American troops were arriving and the fighting escalated into a major conflict.
Ho Chi Minh was in poor health from the mid-1960s and died on 2 September 1969.
When the Communists took the South Vietnamese capital Saigon in 1975 they renamed it Ho Chi Minh City in his honour.
BBC Biography (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/ho_chi_minh.shtml)
Google Images (https://www.google.co.in/imghp)