Pham Van Dong
Dong, Pham Van (fäm vän dông) [key], 1906–2000, prime minister of the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam (1954–76) and of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (1976–87). Scion of a prominent Mandarin family, he joined the activist Communist underground in the 1920s, was imprisoned by the French for seven years, and twice forced to flee to China. A close associate of Ho Chi Minh, Dong was one of the founders of the Viet Minh, a nationalist organization. After leading the Vietnamese delegation to the 1954 peace talks with France, which resulted (to Dong's dismay) in an agreement dividing Vietnam into North and South, Dong assumed the office of prime minister, also serving as minister of foreign affairs (1954–61). After Ho Chi Minh's death (1969), Dong's position became even more important. Prime minister of a reunited Vietnam beginning in 1976, he resigned from the politburo in 1986, and was replaced as prime minister in 1987, although he remained a government adviser. Dong was the author of Vietnam: A History (tr. 1983).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.