Joseph Stalin was one of the most influential and controversial political figures of the previous century and existed the undisputed leader of the extremely powerful USSR for over thirty years. There are many questions about him that have yet to be answered with certainty. His admirers call him a great leader who cared for his people and did anything for his country. His haters describe him as a brutal dictator just like Hitler, if not worse. All this is pretty debatable and for that reason we will attempt to bring some light to Stalin’s life by presenting 25 facts that many of you might not know.
He was an even bigger fan of John Wayne
Despite being the dominant figure in what some called the Eastern Bloc, Stalin was a huge fan of Westerns, cowboys, and director John Ford, but most of all he loved “the Duke,” whose films Stalin collected.
Stalin was the “original” Superman
Not many know that Stalin’s real name was Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jugashvili, which he later changed to Stalin. Why Stalin of all names? Well Stalin means “man of steel.” So take that, Superman!
He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice
Despite Stalin going down in history as one who’s responsible for the murder of millions, he was still nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and not just once like his rival Hitler (1939), but twice—in 1945 and 1948.
He wasn’t a Russian, as many falsely believe
Stalin wasn’t really born in Russia but rather in the town of Gori, Tiflis Governorate, in present-day Georgia, which was then part of the Russian Empire. Regardless of his actual nationality, in December 2008 he was named the third-most-influential Russian in history by Name of Russia, a project by a Russian TV channel aimed at electing the most notable personality in Russian history.
Lenin didn’t like him as much as you might think
Even though Lenin helped Stalin rise to the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1922, soon after Lenin became very concerned with Stalin’s growing power. However, when Lenin tried to remove Stalin from the position, Stalin had already grown too powerful.