Vladimir Gruzdev was born in 1967 in Bolshevo, Moscow oblast, to a military officer and a teacher. He initially studied as a cadet of military institute, then served in the Russian foreign intelligence service as a translator.
In 1993 he abandoned his military career and founded The Seventh Continent hypermarkets net. The company grew in the following years, becoming one of the largest retailers in Russia, and making its founder a millionaire.
In 2000 Gruzdev was elected to the Moscow City Duma, and in 2003 was elected as a deputy of State Duma. He is a member of the United Russia political party. Since his appointment as governor of Tula Oblast, a distressed industrial area south of Moscow, Gruzdev has held a series of townhall meetings at which he has listened to citizen complaints, which are many, and has attempted to respond to them, sometimes firing local administrators on the spot.
Gruzdev is also known for his extreme tourism and exploration. He took part in the Russian expedition Arktika 2007 to the North Pole and on January 10, 2008 was awarded the Order of Merit Before the Fatherland, 3rd Class "for courage showed in extremal conditions during High-Latitude Arctic Deep-Water Expedition."  He was expected to become the first Russian space tourist in 2009, launching on board a Soyuz-TMA spacecraft. He has not, however, visited space as of 2011.
Vladimir Gruzdev is married and has three children.
|Governor of Tula Oblast
- Депутаты Тульской областной Думы приняли решение о наделении В. С. Груздева полномочиями губернатора Тульской области
- Ellen Barry (November 25, 2011). "In Quiet Part of Russia, Putin’s Party Loses Steam". The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
Mr. Gruzdev has responded with a kind of populist shock therapy that voters seem to love. His town hall meetings are jokingly referred to as “execution visits” because he calls on local officials to respond to citizens’ complaints on the spot. Occasionally he tells them on the spot to tender their resignations. In October, after a roomful of citizens vented their complaints against a regional administrator, he recommended that the official shoot himself.
- Президент России | Указ «О награждении государственными наградами Российской Федерации»
- "First Russian space tourist will not lift off until 2009". RIA Novosti. 2007-10-05.