Joseph Originally Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili. 1879-1953
Soviet politician. The successor of Lenin, he was general secretary of the Communist Party (1922-1953) and premier (1941-1953) of the USSR. His rule was marked by the exile of Trotsky (1929), the mass imprisonment and execution of government and military officials, the forced collectivization of agriculture, a policy of industrialization, and a victorious but devastating role for the Soviets in World War II.