Joseph Stalin was an epic leader of the powerhouse known as the USSR for more than 30 years. He is considered the dictator/person who is responsible for more deaths than any other dictator/person in history. Here are a few factoids of his life.
~He was born in the small village of Gori, Georgia (formerly the Georgian Empire in Medieval times) on December 18, 1879. Most people are taught that Stalin was Russian but he was actually Georgian.
~His birth name was Ioseb Besarionis dze Junghashvili. The name Stalin comes from the Russian word for steel which is the name Stalin was given while he was a revolutionary.
~He experienced many difficulties growing up (don't we all?) for example, he was born with two adjoined toes on his left foot, he suffered from Smallpox around the age of seven which left his face scarred and caused his left arm to be permanently damaged with a length discrepancy compared to his right arm, at the age of 12 he was in an accident involving a horse-drawn carriage, and he was the victim of domestic violence/abuse by his alcoholic father.
|The Russian Orthodox Theological Seminary |
from the side of the Soldier's Bazaar, 1870s.
~In 1906, he married Ekaterina Syanidze who was presumably already one month pregnant. Ekaterina gave birth to a baby boy, Iakob. Ekaterina died in August 1907 from typhus. Their son, Iakob died in prison during WWII in Germany of a gunshot wound to the head; suicide was not ruled out.
~Stalin gave marriage a second chance with Nadezhda Alliluyeva, the youngest child of a Russian Revolutionary. They were married from 1919 until 1932. Alliluyeva, allegedly, shot herself in the head after she fought with Stalin pubicly at a party but official documents claim she died of an appendicitis.
Other interesting facts include:
~As I previously stated, Stalin killed more people than any other person in history but ironically he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, not once but twice.
~Did I mention he was only 5'4?
~He was a lover of red wine.
~He used to air brush his photos to make himself appear more attractive.
~He claimed to be John Wayne's biggest fan.
~Can you believe that the legendary Johnny Cash knew that Stalin had died even before President Dwight Eisenhower? Yep, turns out, Johnny Cash was trained to decipher Russian Morse Code. Cash was working as a radio operator that very day when the message came through. Another side note on Johnny is that job bought him his first guitar.
~It is alleged that Stalin was trying to make a hybrid ape-man. He wanted to create semi-intelligent super beings. Strong, super beings that could eat bad food and work long hours. Basically, he wanted war machines. He ordered a Russian scientist to create this being but when he failed, he was arrested and exiled. You can check out this documentary here.
~Stalin died March 5, 1953. He was 74 years old.
Find out more:
Archive of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia.
More about the ape-man super beings here.