Ho Chi Minh hoped the Americans would join him to fight the French.
Author Archives: Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) was a Vietnamese revolutionary leader and politician known for founding the Indochina Communist Party and the Viet Minh, and for serving as the President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, also known as North Vietnam, from 1945 to 1969. Born as Nguyen Sinh Cung to an impoverished family in Vietnam under French colonial rule, he traveled the world as a laborer, living in the United States, London, and France. The young man became a socialist and later, after being inspired by Vladimir Lenin, embraced Communism. Traveling to the Soviet Union, China, and Thailand, he took the name Ho Chi Minh, meaning “He Who Enlightens,” and worked to rally communist revolutionary forces. Ho’s goal was to lead Vietnam to independence from French colonial rule. In 1941 he organized and led the Viet Minh commandos who worked alongside the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to fight the Japanese during World War II. After World War II, Ho’s followers took up arms against the French during the French Indochina War and later against the United States in the Vietnam War in their bid for unification of Vietnam under communist rule. Popularly known to Vietnamese as Uncle Ho, he died at age 79 in 1969. After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, the former South Vietnamese capital of Saigon was named Ho Chi Minh City in his honor.