Podgornyi, Nikolai Viktorovich
Born Feb. 5 (18), 1903, in the city of Karlovka, in what is now Poltava Oblast. Figure in the Communist Party and Soviet state affairs; twice Hero of Socialist Labor (1963, 1973). Member of the CPSU since 1930. Son of a foundry worker.
Podgornyi began his work career in 1917 as an apprentice at the Main Machine Shops in Karlovka, where he later became a metalworker. He helped create the local Komsomol organization and from 1921 to 1923 was secretary of the Karlovka raion Komsomol committee. He graduated from a workers’ school in 1926 and from the Kiev Technological Institute of the Food-Processing Industry in 1931. From 1931 to 1937 he worked at sugar-industry enterprises. From 1937 to 1939 he was assistant chief engineer of the Vinnitsa Oblast Sugar Trust, later becoming chief engineer of the Kamenets-Podol’skii Oblast Sugar Trust. Podgornyi became deputy people’s commissar of the food-processing industry of the Ukrainian SSR in 1939 and deputy people’s commissar of the food-processing industry of the USSR in 1940. He was active in building a modern food-processing industry in the USSR, including a modern sugar industry. From 1942 to 1944 he was director of the Moscow Technological Institute of the Food-Processing Industry.
As parts of the Ukraine were liberated from fascist occupation, Podgornyi served as a commissioner of the governments of the USSR and the Ukrainian SSR and took an active part in creating bodies of Soviet power. He assisted in organizing food supplies for the population, putting food-processing enterprises back in operation, and restoring the republic’s economy, which had been ruined by the invaders. He carried out government assignments involving the repatriation of Soviet citizens. From 1944 to 1946 he was deputy people’s commissar of the food-processing industry of the Ukrainian SSR, and in 1946 he became the permanent representative of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR in the government of the USSR.
From 1950 to 1953, Podgornyi served as first secretary of the Kharkov oblast committee of the Communist Party of the Ukraine. He became second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Ukraine in 1953 and was first secretary from 1957 to 1963.
Podgornyi became secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1963 and from 1965 through 1977 he served as chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in December 1965.
At the Nineteenth Party Congress, Podgornyi was elected a member of the Central Auditing Commission of the CPSU. He was elected a member of the CPSU at the Twentieth, Twenty-second, Twenty-third, and Twenty-fourth Party Congresses. He became a candidate member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1958 and a member in 1960. From 1966 through 1967 he was a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU. He served as a deputy to the fourth through ninth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and from 1958 to 1977 was a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He was elected a deputy to the supreme soviets of the RSFSR and the Ukrainian SSR.
Podgornyi has been awarded five Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, various medals, and high state awards of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, the Mongolian People’s Republic, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, and Finland. Since 1977, he has been on a pension.