Pham Van Dong
|Phạm Văn Đồng|
|Pham Van Dong in 1954|
|Chairman of the Council of Ministers|
2 July 1976 – 18 June 1987
|Preceded by||Post established|
|Succeeded by||Phạm Hùng|
|Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam|
20 September 1955 – 2 July 1976
|Preceded by||Hồ Chí Minh|
|Succeeded by||Post abolished|
|Member of the Politburo|
1 March 1906|
Đức Tân village, Mộ Đức district, in Quang Ngai province, Indochina
|Died||29 April 2000
Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam
|Political party||Communist Party of Vietnam|
Phạm Văn Đồng ( listen; March 1, 1906 – April 29, 2000) was an associate of Hồ Chí Minh. He served as prime minister of North Vietnam from 1955 through 1976, and was prime minister of a unified Vietnam from 1976 until he retired in 1987 under the rule of Lê Duẩn and Nguyễn Văn Linh. He was considered one of Hồ Chí Minh's closest lieutenants.
Early life 
According to an official report, Dong was born into a family of civil servants in Đức Tân village, Mộ Đức district, in Quang Ngai province on the central coast on March 1, 1906.
In 1925 at the age of 18, he joined fellow students to stage a school sit-in to mourn the death of the famous patriotic scholar Phan Chu Trinh. About this time he developed an interest in the Communist party and in the unification of Vietnam. In 1926, he traveled to Guangzhou in southern China to attend a training course run by Nguyen Ai Quoc (later to be known as Ho Chi Minh), before being admitted as a member of the Vietnam Revolutionary Youth Association, the predecessor of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).
In 1929, he worked for the revolutionary association in Saigon. In the same year, he was arrested, tried by the French colonial authorities and sentenced to ten years in prison. He served the term in Poulo Condor Island Prison until 1936 when he was released under the general amnesty granted by the government of the Popular Front in France after its recent electoral successes.
The First Indochina War 
He joined the Indochinese Communist Party in 1940 and then continued to take part in activities led by Ho Chi Minh. After Ho Chi Minh rose to power during the August Revolution in 1945, Pham Van Dong was appointed minister of finance of the newly established government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), a position he occupied till 1954. Before he assumed the position of Minister of Finance, he was well known as head of the Vietnamese delegation to the Vietnam-France post-war negotiations at Fontainebleau (France) in May 1946.
Following the defeat of Japan, nationalist forces fought French colonial forces in the First Indochina War that lasted from 1945 to 1954. The French suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and peace was sought. In May 1954, he led the delegation of the Ho Chi Minh government to the Geneva Conference. After intense negotiations a peace treaty was signed and the French forces withdrew from direct conflict with the newly-independent North Vietnam. He signed the peace accords with French Premier Pierre Mendès France.
1954 to 1987 
During 1954 he served as Vice-Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the 5th session of the DRV First National Assembly convocation (1955), Dong was appointed prime minister. He is well known for being one of the leaders of Vietnam during the war with the United States. He was known to have close links with the Chinese government, who helped fund the conflict with South Vietnam. He was also one of the figures involved in peace talks to end the conflict under the administrations of Lyndon Baines Johnson and Richard Nixon.
In general, Pham Van Dong was considered a staunch communist and a great nationalist leader; one of the most faithful disciples of Ho Chi Minh and a major figure in Vietnam's fight for independence and unity. He was known as a politician who tried to maintain a neutral position in the various conflicts within the party, particularly after the unification of Vietnam in 1975. In a 1981 interview with Stanley Karnow, Pham Van Dong remarked
"Yes, we defeated the United States. But now we are plagued by problems. We do not have enough to eat. We are a poor, underdeveloped nation. Vous savez, waging a war is simple, but running a country is very difficult."
This pragmatism might explain how he stayed in the position of Prime Minister for 32 years until 1987, when his retirement was approved by the 6th National Party Congress.
Although retired from public office, he served as an Adviser to the Party Central Committee from December 1986 to 1997. He often urged the party to make greater efforts to stop corruption, which is still a widespread problem in Vietnam today. He gave advice on similar issues, even after his term as an advisor to the Central Committee had ended. During his last years he became extremely ill. He lost the ability to use his hands and had to have someone else write down his words on paper.
On May 2, 2000, the Vietnamese Communist Party and the Vietnamese government announced that Pham Van Dong, former Politburo member, former prime minister, had died in Hanoi on April 29, 2000 after several months of serious illness at the age of 94. Commemoration and funeral service was held on May 6, 2000 in Hanoi.
See also 
- David G. Marr Vietnam: State, War, and Revolution (1945–1946) University of California Press 0520954971 2013 p166 "Replacing him with Phạm Văn Đồng, probably Hồ Chí Minh's closest lieutenant, would help to ensure that the ongoing struggle in south-central Vietnam served national strategic interests."
- Karnow, Stanley (1997). Vietnam: a history. Penguin Books. pp. 27–28. ISBN 978-0-14-026547-7.
|Prime Minister of North Vietnam
Himself as prime minister of Vietnam
Vu Van Mau – Prime Minister of South Vietnam and Nguyen Huu Tho – Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam
|Prime Minister of Vietnam