Gorbunov, Nikolai Petrovich
Born June 9 (21), 1892; died Sept. 7, 1937. Soviet state figure; one of the organizers of Soviet science. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1935). Became a member of the CPSU in 1917.
Gorbunov was born in Krasnoe Selo into the family of an engineer. In 1917 he graduated from the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology. He participated in the February Revolution of 1917. In July 1917 he became the head of the Information Bureau of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, and in November 1917 he became secretary of the Council of People’s Commissars and personal secretary to V. I. Lenin.
As the head of the scientific and technical department of the Supreme Council on the Economy in 1918–19, he performed very important work in drawing the Russian Academy of Sciences and other scientific institutions into collaboration with Soviet power. In 1919 and 1920 he was assigned to political work in the Red Army, serving as a member of the Revolutionary Military Council in the Fourteenth and Thirteenth armies. He was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for his combat service.
In December 1920, at Lenin’s suggestion, Gorbunov was named business manager of the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR, and in 1922 he became business manager for the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR and of the Council on Labor and Defense. He carried out numerous assignments for Lenin in scientific, technical, and cultural matters. He combined his government work with an active role in academic affairs. From 1923 to 1929 he was rector of the Moscow Higher Technical School; in 1928–32 he was chairman of the scientific commission of the Committee for the Introduction of Chemical Processes and one of the founders of the V. I. Lenin Agricultural Academy. From 1931 to 1933 he was deputy director of the L. Ia. Karpov Chemistry Institute, and from 1931 to 1934 he was a member of Gosplan (State Planning Commission of the USSR). From 1932 to 1935 he headed the combined Tadzhik-Pamir Expedition. In 1935 he became permanent secretary of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
A. A. PARKHOMENKO