Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilich Lenin was a Russian revolutionary leader and theorist, who presided over the first government of Soviet Russia and then the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He was born in 1870, and died in 1924. Lenin was the leader of the socialist Bolshevik Party (later renamed the Communist Party). It seized power in the October phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917. After the revolution, Lenin headed the new Soviet government that formed in
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their effort to preserve their authority during the civil war. His leadership, and his conception of the revolutionary party as a disciplined, military-style organization, served as an important model for later revolutionary leaders of the 20th century, such as Mao Zedong of China and Fidel Castro of Cuba. Lenin was also one of the leading Russian writers and thinkers of the period, and his works made important contributions to the development of revolutionary socialist theory.