Joseph Stalin, or Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin (, born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jugashvili, , 18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953), was the de facto leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953.
Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stalin was appointed general secretary of the party's Central Committee in 1922. He subsequently managed to consolidate power following the 1924 death of Vladimir Lenin through suppressing Lenin's criticisms (in the postscript of his testament) and expanding the functions of his role, all the while eliminating any opposition. By the late 1920s, he was the unchallenged leader of the Soviet Union. He remained general secretary until the post was abolished it in 1952, concurrently serving as the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 onward.