General Le Duc Anh, former President of Vietnam, died Monday. He was 99.
“Former President, General Le Duc Anh passed away at 8:10 p.m. Monday at his house on Hoang Dieu Street, Hanoi,” his son Le Manh Ha said. Ha is former Vice Chairman of the Government Office.
The former president had been ailing for sometime and underwent treatment for many months at the 108 Military Hospital in Hanoi.
Born 1920 in Phu Loc District, Thua Thien-Hue Province in central Vietnam, Anh joined the revolution in 1937 and became a member of Vietnam’s Communist Party a year later.
He participated in the fight against the French for 10 years between 1945 and 1954, and later, in the Vietnam War against the U.S. for 12 years, starting in 1964.
After the August Revolution launched by the Viet Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam) against French colonial rule in Vietnam, he worked as platoon leader, and went on to become a political officer in a battalion and then a regiment. From October 1948 to 1950, he was Chief of Staff of Military Region No. 7 and 8 that fought in the southeast of Vietnam.
From 1951 to 1954, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff and acting Chief of Staff of Cochinchina. From August 1963, he served as Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army.
Le Duc Anh was the Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the People’s Liberation Armed Force in South Vietnam from February 1964 to 1974.
He was promoted from colonel to lieutenant general in June 1974, before becoming deputy commander of the Ho Chi Minh campaign, a large-scale offensive launched by Vietnam that contributed significantly to ending the Vietnam War in 1975.
In May 1976, he was appointed commander of Military Region No. 9, which is tasked with organizing, building, managing and commanding armed forces to defend the Mekong Delta. From June 1978 to 1981, he was commander and political commissar of the Military Region No. 7 in Ho Chi Minh City.
He became a colonel-general in 1980.
In 1981, he was appointed Deputy Minister of National Defense and Head of the Political Department in the Ministry of Defense.
The same year, he became commander of the Vietnamese army in Cambodia where Vietnamese troops helped remove the Khmer Rouge from power.
He was instrumental in the K5 plan, which aimed to seal off the Thai border.
In 1984, he was made General of the Vietnam People’s Army.
Between 1982 and 2001 he was also a member of the Vietnam’s Communist Party Politburo, the decision-making unit of the party.
He served as Minister of National Defense from 1987 to 1991 and in September, 1992, was elected the President of Vietnam, a position he retained until 1997.
He was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party and advisor to the Party’s Central Committee from 1997 until 2001.