Born 1901 in Quang Ngai Province; died September 1931. Seminal figure in the Vietnamese communist movement.
Tran Phu was a teacher by profession. In 1918, while still in secondary school, he founded the Society of Progressive Youth for Struggle Against the Colonialists. In 1925 he helped create the Hoi Phuc Viet (Society for the Renewal of Vietnam), later renamed the Tan Viet Cach Menh Dang (Revolutionary Party of New Vietnam).
In July 1927, Tran Phu conducted negotiations that led to the merger of the Tan Viet Cach Menh Dang with the Fellowship of Revolutionary Youth of Vietnam, thereby helping to establish the nucleus of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), founded in February 1930 and renamed the Communist Party of Indochina (CPI) in October of that year. Later, as a member of the Fellowship of Revolutionary Youth of Vietnam, he studied in Moscow at the Communist University for Workers of the East. He was sentenced to death in absentia by a royal court.
Beginning in July 1930, Tran Phu, as a member of the Provisional Central Committee of the CPV, did important work toward convening a plenum of the committee. He was the author of the political theses for the first and second plenums, held in October 1930 and March 1931. The theses, based in part on the program of the Comintern, became the first program of the Communists of Vietnam. In October 1930 he became secretary general of the CPI. Tran Phu was arrested in Saigon on Apr. 18, 1931, and after five months of torture died in a prison hospital.
S. A. MKHITARIAN