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Deng Xiaoping

Political Leader

Born: 22 August 1904
Died: 19 February 1997 (respiratory failure)
Birthplace: Paifang, Sichuan province, China
Best known as: Leader of China, 1978-89
One of the old guard of the Chinese Communist Party, Deng Xiaoping became the party's Secretary General in 1954, but was purged by Chairman Mao in 1966 for his strong objections to the excesses of the Great Leap Forward. By 1974 Deng had been "rehabilitated" and returned to power. After Mao's death, Deng was the de facto leader of China until he finally expired in 1997. He was succeeded by his protege Jiang Zemin.
Extra credit: Deng lived and studied in Paris from 1920-26.

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