Born on May 19, 1890, Ho Chi Minh was the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam. He was president and dictator of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and a critical figure in the foundation of the Republic in 1945. He served the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
In 1941 Ho Chi Minh led the independence movements and established communist ruled Vietnam in 1945. He defeated the French Union in 1954 at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Due to poor health in 1965 he stepped down from the dictatorship, but remained a very visible figurehead and inspiration for the North Vietnamese fighting for a united and communist Vietnam.
Vietnamese independence was announced at the end of WWII, but the French refused to let go of their colony and in 1946 war with France broke out. After eight years of fighting, the French agreed to peace talks and Vietnam was split into a communist north (headed by Ho Chi Minh) and non-communist south. He was determined to bring the entire country of Vietnam under communist rule.
In the early 1960s North Vietnamese guerrillas or the Vietcong attacked South Vietnam. The US stepped in and provided increasing levels of support . By 1965 the Vietnam conflict had escalated.
Ho Chi Min never did see an untied Vietnam. Due to poor in the middle of the conflict he died on September 2, 1969. When the Communists took over Saigon in 1975, they renamed the city Ho Chi Minh City.