Chinese revolutionary. Born to upper class parents. Involved in student organizations from an early age. Founded European branch of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) 1927. Actively involved in the early struggle to liberate China from feudalism. Fought with Communist revolutionaries against Kuomintang and with the United Front during the War of Resistance against Japan. Consistently loyal to Mao Zedong beginning in 1942.
Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1949 until his death in 1976. He was never purged from the CCP, although attempts were made to discredit him late in his career during his power struggle with Mao's wife, Jang Qing, who was part of the "Gang of Four." Often credited with curbing the excesses of campaigns such as the Cultural Revolution. Died of cancer several months before the death of Mao in 1976.