Nicolae Ceausescu

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Ceauşescu, Nicolae

(nēkŏlī` choushĕs`ko͞o), 1918–89, Romanian statesman. The son of a peasant, he early became active in the Romanian Communist movement and was arrested as a revolutionary; he spent the late 1930s and early 40s in prison, where he became acquainted with the future first secretary of the Romanian Communist party, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-DejGheorghiu-Dej, Gheorghe
, 1901–65, Romanian Communist leader, b. Moldavia. He joined the Communist party in 1930 and while in prison (1933–44) was elected (1936) to the central committee. Escaping in 1944, he became a leading figure in Romanian Communist politics.
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. Escaping in 1944, Ceauşescu held a variety of posts within Communist party and government ranks after the Communist takeover in 1948. He soon became a member of the party's central committee and then, in 1955, a member of the politburo. Upon Gheorghiu-Dej's death in Mar., 1965, he was chosen first secretary of the central committee of the Communist party and in Dec., 1967, he assumed the office of president of the state council, or head of state. As supreme leader, he continued his mentor's policy of nationalism and independence from the USSR within the context of Marxism-Leninism. He promoted closer relations with the People's Republic of China and with the West, as well as industrial and agricultural development. His domestic rule, however, was marked by frequently disastrous economic schemes and became increasingly repressive and corrupt. In Dec., 1989, a popular uprising, joined by the army, led to the arrest and execution of him and his wife, Elena.

Ceauşescu, Nicolae


Born Jan. 26, 1918, in the village of Scorniceşti, Olt District. A leader of the Rumanian and international communist and working-class movements; political and state figure of the Socialist Republic of Rumania (SRR).

The son of a peasant, Ceauşescu became active in the revolutionary working-class movement in 1932. He joined the Union of Communist Youth (UCY) in 1933 and shortly thereafter became a member of its central committee. In 1936 he joined the Rumanian Communist Party (RCP). He was persecuted for his revolutionary activities. In 1939 and 1940, Ceauşescu served as secretary of the Bucharest city committee of the UCY and was a member of the Central Commission on Work Among Youth of the Central Committee of the RCP. He was arrested in 1940 and remained in prison until 1944.

Ceauşescu served as secretary of the Central Committee of the UCY in 1944 and 1945. In 1945, at the National Conference of the RCP, he was elected a candidate member of the Central Committee. In 1945 and 1946 he served as secretary of the party committee of the first city district of Bucharest, and from 1946 to 1948 he was secretary first of the Dobruja regional party committee and then of the Oltenit̡a regional party committee. Ceauşescu served as deputy minister of agriculture from 1948 to 1950 and as deputy minister of national defense from 1950 to 1954. He became a member of the Central Committee of the RCP in 1952.

Ceauşescu was elected a candidate member of the Politburo and secretary of the Central Committee of the RCP in 1954, and he became a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the RCP in 1955. He was elected first secretary of the Central Committee in March 1965 and general secretary of the Central Committee in July 1965. He served as a member of the Executive Committee and of the Permanent Presidium of the RCP from 1965 to 1974.

Ceauşescu became general secretary of the RCP in August 1969, a member of the Political Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the RCP in 1974, and chairman of the State Council of the SRR in December 1967. He was elected president of the SRR in March 1974. He became chairman of the National Council of the Democracy and Socialist Unity Front in 1968 (from 1968 to 1980 he was chairman of the Socialist Unity Front).

Ceauşescu was named a Hero of Socialist Labor of the Republic in 1964 and a Hero of the SRR in 1971 and was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1978.

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