Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Улья́нов; IPA: [vɫɐˈdʲimʲɪr ɪlʲˈjit͡ɕ], alias Lenin (Russian: Ле́нин; IPA: [ˈlʲenʲɪn]) (22 April [O.S. 10 April] 1870 – 21 January 1924) was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. He served as head of government of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917, and of the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death.
Born to a wealthy middle-class family in Simbirsk. Lenin's father, Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov, came from a serf background but had studied physics and math at Kazan State University, going to teach at the Penza Institute for the Nobility. Lenin's great-grandfather was a serf, and he married Anna Alexeevna Smirnova, a baptized Kalmyk. He was introduced to Maria Alexandrovna Blank; they married in the summer of 1863. Hailing from a relatively prosperous background, Maria was the daughter of a Russian Jewish physician, Alexander Dmitrievich Blank, and his German-Swedish wife, Anna Ivanovna Grosschopf. Dr. Blank had insisted on providing his children with a good education, ensuring that Maria learned Russian, German, English and French, and that she was well versed in Russian literature. Soon after their wedding, Ilya obtained a job in Nizhni Novgorod, rising to become Director of Primary Schools in the Simbirsk district six years later. Five years after that, he was promoted to Director of Public Schools for the province, overseeing the foundation of over 450 schools as a part of the government's plans for modernisation. Awarded the Order of St. Vladimir, he became a hereditary nobleman. Ilya Ulyanov died of a brain haemorrhage in January 1886, when Vladimir was 16.
The couple, now nobility, had two children, Anna (born 1864) and Alexander (born 1868), before Vladimir "Volodya" Ilyich was born on 10 April 1870, and baptised in St. Nicholas Cathedral several days later.
Throughout his adult life, Lenin was in a relationship with Nadezhda Krupskaya, a fellow Marxist whom he married.
In May 1922, Lenin suffered the first of three strokes. In December 1922, he suffered the second stroke. In March 1923, he suffered a third stroke; it ended his career. Lenin was mute and bed-ridden until his death. Lenin died at 18.50 hrs, Moscow time, on 21 January 1924, aged 53, at his estate at Gorki settlement. Lenin was embalmed and permanently exhibited in Lenin's Mausoleum, in Moscow, on 27 January 1924, where it still remains, unburied.
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