‘When I saw him, I thought his strong peasant face demanded a frame. It was Moscow’s first warm spring day, but the Chairman cheerfully sent for the biggest fur coat I have ever seen.’ (Karsh)
Nikita Sergeyevich Krushchev was born in 1894 in Kalinovka, KurskProvince, the child of peasants. Involved in Soviet politics from the 1920s and holding a number of prominent positions, he became First Secretary of the Communist Party after the death of Stalin in 1953. He was prominent in the de-Stalinisation program starting in 1956 when he made a historic speech denouncing the former leader. The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis nearly brought the USSR into war with the USA. Brezhnev and Kosygin ousted him from office in 1964 mainly over his antagonism towards China. Krushchev died in 1971 after living the final seven years of his life in relative obscurity.