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Le Duc Tho
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    (October 14, 1911-October 13, 1990)
    Born in Nam Dinh Province, Viet Nam
    Birth name was Phan Dinh Khai
    Founding member of the Indochinese Communist Party (1930)
    Member of the Politburo of (North) Vietnam (1955-86)
    Negotiated the Paris Peace Accords with Henry Kissinger (signed January 23, 1973)
    Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Kissinger (1973)
    Name pronounced ‘Lay dook toe’
    His official biography said he was the son of peasants, but other sources indicate that his father was a civil servant in the French colonial government.
    He supported a bloody purge of the North Vietnamese Communist Party (1963).
    He was considered one of the hardliners in pushing for combat to reunify Vietnam under Communist rule.
    He turned down the Nobel Peace Prize.
    He was one of the planners of Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia (1978).
    His secret talks with Kissinger resulted in an agreement for American withdrawal from Vietnam after the official negotiating sessions had become hopelessly bogged down.
    Kissinger admitted, ‘In all the years of negotiation with me he never lost his poise; he never made a mistake.’
    He was the first person from Asia to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
    One of his reasons for declining the Nobel Prize was that the Paris Accords had not ended the war between North and South Vietnam.

Credit: C. Fishel

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