Pospelov, Petr Nikolaevich
Born June 8 (20), 1898, in Konakovo, now in Kalinin Oblast. Soviet party official and scholar, academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1953; corresponding member, 1946). Hero of Socialist Labor (1958). Member of the CPSU from 1916. Son of an office worker.
Pospelov studied at the Moscow Agricultural Academy. He graduated in 1930 from the economics division of the Institute of the Red Professors. He was involved in party and trade union work in Tver’ (now Kalinin) in 1917 and engaged in underground work in Cheliabinsk in the Civil War of 1918–20. From 1920 to 1924, Pospelov was a member of the provincial trade union council and was in charge of agitation and propaganda in the provincial committee of the RCP (Bolshevik) in Tver’ as well as head of the provincial department of public education in Novgorod. He was an instructor in the agitation and propaganda department of the Central Committee of the ACP (Bolshevik) from 1924 to 1926. From 1931 to 1934, Pospelov was involved in editorial work for the journal Bol’shevik and served as a member of the editorial board and head of the department of party life of the newspaper Pravda. From 1934 to 1937 he was a member of the Commission of Party Control of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) and head of the press group.
From 1937 to 1940, Pospelov was deputy chief of a department and deputy head of the Propaganda and Agitation Board of the Central Committee of the ACP(B). He was editor of Pravda from 1940 to 1949, director of the Institute of Marx, Engels, and Lenin under the Central Committee of the ACP(B) from 1949 to 1952, and deputy editor in chief of Pravda in 1952–53. From 1953 to 1960, Pospelov was secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU. He was director of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1961 to 1967 and became a member of the presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1967.
Pospelov was elected a member of the Central Control Commission at the Sixteenth Party Congress, a member of the Commission of Party Control at the Seventeenth Congress, and a member of the Central Committee at the Eighteenth through Twentieth and Twenty-second and Twenty-third Congresses. He was a candidate member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1957 to 1961 and a deputy to the second through sixth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
The author and editor of several works on party history, Pospelov coauthored the second volume of the History of the Civil War in the USSR, which was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1943. He was chairman of the editorial commissions of the multivolume History of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union and History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He was also the head of a group of authors working on a scholarly biography of V. I. Lenin. Pospelov was awarded four Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, two other orders, and various medals.