Gheorghiu-Dej, Gheorghe [key], 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. In 1945 he was elected secretary-general of the party, which became the Romanian Workers' party in 1948. He became premier in 1952. In 1954 he relinquished his party post; in 1955 he resumed party leadership as first secretary of the central committee, yielding the premiership. Elected president of the newly created state council in 1961, he served as head of both state and party until his death. He stressed a more rational economic policy, including emphasis on the manufacture of consumer goods and Romanian independence within the socialist context.
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