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Konstantin Chernenko

Died when: 73 years 167 days
Star Sign: Libra

 

Konstantin Chernenko Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko ( chur-NENK-oh; Russian: Константи́н Усти́нович Черне́нко, IPA: [kənstɐnʲˈtʲin ʊsʲˈtʲinəvʲɪtɕ tɕɪrˈnʲɛnkə], 24 September 1911 – 10 March 1985) was a Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death on 10 March 1985. Born to a poor family from Siberia, Chernenko joined Komsomol (the Communist Party's youth league) in 1929 and became a full member of the party in 1931. After holding a series of propaganda posts, in 1948 he became the head of the propaganda department in Moldavia, serving under Leonid Brezhnev. After Brezhnev took over as First Secretary of the CPSU in 1964, Chernenko rose to head the General Department of the Central Committee, responsible for setting the agenda for the Politburo and drafting Central Committee decrees. In 1971 Chernenko became a full member of the Central Committee, and in 1978 he was made a full member of the Politburo. After the death of Brezhnev and his successor Yuri Andropov, Chernenko was elected General Secretary in February 1984 and made Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in April 1984. Due to his rapidly failing health, he was often unable to fulfill his official duties. He died in March 1985 after leading the country for only 13 months, and was succeeded as General Secretary by Mikhail Gorbachev.
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