Prokof’ev, Mikhail Alekseevich
Born Nov. 5 (18), 1910, in the village of Voskresenskoe, now in Temkinskii Raion, Smolensk Oblast. Soviet statesman and party figure. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1966, the chemistry of biological polymers and other natural compounds); member of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the USSR (1967). Member of the CPSU from 1941. Son of a peasant.
Prokof’ev graduated from Moscow State University in 1935. He was in the Soviet Army from 1935 to 1937 and from 1941 to 1946. From 1937 to 1941 he was a graduate student, and from 1946 to 1951 he engaged in scientific and party work at Moscow State University. From 1951 to 1959, Prokof’ev served in the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Culture of the USSR. From 1959 to 1966 he was first deputy minister of higher and special secondary education of the USSR. In May 1966 he became minister of education of the RSFSR, and in December 1966, minister of education of the USSR.
Prokof’ev was elected a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU at the Twenty-fourth Congress of the CPSU in 1971. He was a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR at the seventh through ninth convocations. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, four other orders, and various medals.