The son of a peasant farmer, Mao zedong was born in the village of Shao Shan, Hunan province in China. At age 27, Mao attended the First Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai, in July 1921. Two years later he was elected to the Central Committee of the party at the Third Congress.
From 1931 to 1934, Mao helped established the Chinese Soviet Republic in SE China, and was elected as the chairman.
Starting in October 1934, "The Long March" began - a retreat from the SE to NW China. In 1937, Japan opened a full war of aggression against China, which gave the Chinese Communist Party cause to unite with the nationalist forces of the Kuomintang. After defeating the Japanese, in an ensuing civil war the Communists defeated the Guomindang, and established the People's Republic of China, in October 1949.
Mao served as Chairman of the Chinese People's Republic until after the failure of the Great Leap Forward, in 1959. Still chariman of the Communist Party, in May 1966 Mao initiated the Cultural Revolution with a directive denouncing "people like Khrushchev nestling beside us." In August 1966, Mao wrote a big poster entitled "Bombard the Headquarters."
Served as Party chairman until his death in 1976.