Stalin, Joseph Vissarionovich, 1879-1953, Soviet Communist leader and head of the USSR from the death of V. I. Lenin (1924) until his own death, b. Gori, Georgia. His real name was Dzhugashvili (also spelled Dzugashvili or Djugashvili); he adopted the name Stalin (man of steel) about 1913.
After the October Revolution of 1917, Stalin, already a member of the central committee since 1912 entered the Soviet cabinet as people's commissar for nationalities and began to emerge as a leader of the new regime. During the civil war from 1918 to 1920 he played an important administrative role on the military fronts and in the capital. He was elected (1922) general secretary of the central committee of the party, enabling him to control the rank-and-file members and to build an apparatus loyal to him.
After Lenin's death in 1924 there was a struggle for power in the USSR. They were four men who tried to get the leadership of the Soviet Union:
Leon Trotsky, the famous writer, creator of the Red Army and Commissar for foreign Affairs, a very bright man.
Grigory Zinoviev, who had been with Lenin from the early years of the Bolshevik Party and was close friend of the leader, he was not thought to be very capable.
Lev Kamenev, another old Bolshevik leader and close follower of Lenin
Joseph Stalin, who was a hard-working party official but was not very well-known: Lenin thought he was too rude to become leader of Russia and nobody thought he had much of a chance of succeeding Lenin.
Communist leaders, including Trotsky didn't think that Stalin could be the suitable candidate for the leadership of the USSR as Stalin was not famous and well-known person in the USSR as Trotsky was. He came from working class family. He didn't have good...