Nicu Ceaușescu (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈniku tʃe̯a.uˈʃesku] (1 September 1951 – 26 September 1996) was the youngest child of Romanian leader Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu. He was a close associate of his father's political regime and considered the President's heir presumptive.
Life during Communism
Ceaușescu wanted Nicu to become his Foreign Minister and for that, he instructed two high-ranked Party members, Ștefan Andrei and Cornel Pacoste (whom he considered brilliant Communist intellectuals) to take care of Nicu's education; however, unlike his older siblings, he disliked school and was allegedly derided by them for never being seen reading a book.
He graduated from Liceul no. 24 (now named Jean Monnet High School) and then studied physics at the University of Bucharest. He was involved in Uniunea Tineretului Comunist while a student, becoming its First Secretary and then Minister of Youth Issues, being elected to the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party in 1982.
As an apprentice in politics, he was mentored by Ștefan Andrei, Ion Traian Ștefănescu and Cornel Pacoste. Toward the end of the 1980s, he was made a member of the Executive Committee of the Romanian Communist Party and in 1987 its leader for Sibiu County, being prepared by his parents to be Nicolae Ceaușescu's successor.
Post-Communist life and legacy
Nicu had a reputation of being a heavy drinker and a playboy since high school. Ion Mihai Pacepa alleged that he scandalized Bucharest with his rapes and car accidents. Latif Yahia claimed that Nicu was good friends with Uday Hussein, son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and the two would visit each other in Switzerland and Monaco. Ceaușescu heard about Nicu's drinking problem, but his solution was the one given to every Romanian problem: he advised him to work harder. He was also known for losing large sums of money gambling around the world.
The documentary Videograms of a Revolution shows him exhibited as a prisoner on state television on 22 December 1989 after being arrested on accusations of holding children as hostages and other crimes. He was also arrested in 1990 for misuse of government funds under his father's regime, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Released in November 1992 because of cirrhosis, he died of the disease four years later, aged 45, in a Vienna hospital.