Ngo Dinh Diem

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Ngo Dinh Diem:

see Diem, Ngo DinhDiem, Ngo Dinh
, 1901–63, president of South Vietnam (1955–63). A member of an influential Roman Catholic family, he was a civil servant before World War II and was connected with the nationalists during the war.
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Diem, Ngo Dinh

(nō dĭn dyĕm), 1901–63, president of South Vietnam (1955–63). A member of an influential Roman Catholic family, he was a civil servant before World War II and was connected with the nationalists during the war. He repeatedly refused high office with the government of Bao DaiBao Dai
, 1913–97, emperor of Annam (1926–45) and chief of state of Vietnam (1949–55). Born Prince Nguyen Vinh Thuy, he was the son of Emperor Khai Din and succeeded to the throne in 1926, but did not occupy it until 1932.
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 until 1954, when he became prime minister. In 1955 he controlled a referendum that abolished the monarchy and emerged as South Vietnam's ruler. With strong backing from the United States, Diem initially made some progress, but his favoritism toward his family and toward Roman Catholics over Buddhists caused substantial criticism by the early 1960s. Opposition grew as Diem's authoritarianism increased and as South Vietnam's position in the Vietnam WarVietnam War,
conflict in Southeast Asia, primarily fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerrilla forces aided by North Vietnam. The war began soon after the Geneva Conference provisionally divided (1954) Vietnam at 17° N lat.
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 deteriorated. With the apparent connivance of the U.S. government, a group of dissident generals staged a coup in 1963, and Diem was murdered during the takeover.