Ho Chi Minh (1890–1969) (Nguyen That Thanh)
Vietnamese statesman, president of North Vietnam (1954–69). He founded the Vietnamese Communist Party in 1930. Forced into exile, he returned to Vietnam in 1941 to lead the Viet Minh against the Japanese. In 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnamese independence. After the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu (1954), Vietnam split and he became president of North Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh organized and supported the Viet Cong against South Vietnam and committed North Vietnamese forces against the USA in the Vietnam War.