Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.

Georgy Maximilianovich (love that name) Malenkov was born on January 13, 1902 in Kazakhstan.

Malenkov graduated school with flying colors and enlisted in the Red Army to fight during the Russian civil war in 1919. He left the army in 1920 to join the Communist party. Malenkov quickly became one of Joseph Stalin’s confidants, which helped him rise in rank in the Party. Stalin made Malenkov his personal secretary in 1934, the day before the Great Purges began. The Great Purges were a political campaign directed by Stalin that lessened the power of the government, police, and other such people of great status.

When Stalin died in 1953, Malenkov rose to Stalin’s height of power and became first secretary of the Communist Party, but was quickly pushed back by Nikita Khrushchev. Malenkov desired revenge and joined a group in 1957 that was secretly planning to kill Khrushchev. But the plot failed and Malenkov was kicked out of the Communist Party entirely.

Malenkov, disgraced, went back to Kazakhstan and became manager of a hydroelectric operation.

Malenkov died in 1988.

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