Yuri Andropov Biography
Yuri Andropov was born on June 15, 1914 in Nagutskoye, Russia. As a youth, he studied at the Rybinsk Water Transport Technical College, but left to join the Komsomol, or Communist Union of Youth, in 1930. In 1939, he joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and was appointed first secretary of the Komsomol in the Karelo-Finnish Republic in 1940.
When World War 2 started, Andropov was involved in the organization of guerillas to fight the advancing German Army. In 1951, he moved to Moscow and joined the party secretariat. In 1954, he was appointed as Soviet Ambassador to Hungary and helped to make the decision to invade the country in 1956.
In 1957, he was recalled to Moscow and appointed as chairman of the Department for Liaison with Communist and Workers' Parties in Socialist Countries. In 1961, he was given full membership in the Communist Party's Central Committee. A year later, he was promoted to Secretariat of the Central Committee.
In 1967, Andropov was chosen to serve as head of the KGB and introduced to the Politburo. In 1973, he became a full member of the Politburo, but continued to work as head of the KGB. In May of 1982, he was appointed to the Secretariat as a replacement for Mikhail Suslov and was forced to resign from the KGB. On November 12, 1982, he was elected as General Secretary of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union.
As leader of the Soviet Union, Andropov mostly worked towards improving the country's economy and reducing rampant corruption. When he took office, the Soviet Union was in the process of invading Afghanistan, but he did nothing to stop it, despite protests from other countries. He proposed that the United States and the Soviet Union reduce nuclear weapons levels, but the Reagan administration refused to do so. While in office, he also made a famous move of inviting a young American girl named Samantha Smith to the Soviet Union after she wrote him a letter.
On February 9, 1984, Yuri Andropov died from kidney failure. He was buried in Moscow's Kremlin Wall Necropolis.
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