Andrei Lezhava

Lezhava, Andrei Matveevich


Born Feb. 19 (Mar. 3), 1870, in Signakhi, Georgia; died Oct. 8, 1937. Soviet state and party figure. Member of the Communist Party from 1904.

Lezhava was the son of a peasant. After graduating from the Tbilisi Teachers’ Institute he joined the populist movement at the end of the 1880’s. In 1893 he was arrested for participating in the organization of an underground press in Smolensk. He was imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress for more than two years and was in exile in Yakutsk for five years, where he became a Marxist mainly under the influence of N. E. Fedoseev. After his exile he conducted party work in Tbilisi, Voronezh, Nizhny Novgorod (present-day Gorky), Saratov, and Moscow. After the October Revolution of 1917 he held high posts in the economic administration and the soviets. In 1919–20 he was chairman of the Central Union of Consumers’ Societies of the USSR; he was deputy people’s commissar of foreign trade in 1921–22 and people’s commissar of domestic trade from 1922 to 1924. From 1924 to 1930 he was deputy chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR and simultaneously chairman of Gosplan of the RSFSR; he next served as chairman of the All-Union Fisheries Trust. From 1930 to 1937 he was chief of the Central Board for Subtropical Crops of the USSR.

Lezhava was a delegate to the Tenth and Thirteenth through Seventeenth Party Congresses; at the Fifteenth Party Congress he was elected a member of the Central Control Commission. He was a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Central Executive Committee of the USSR for a number of convocations.