Facts about Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong, known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the founding father of the People's Republic of China, who ruled as Chairman of the Communist Party of China from the founding of the PRC in 1949 until his death in 1976. Mao Zedong was born on December 26, 1893 in Shaoshan, Hunan Province, China, to the wealthy farmer Mao Yichang and the Buddhist Wen Qimei. Mao Zedong's father was known for beating him and his brothers. In 1911 he joined the Revolutionary Army and the Nationalist Party. In 1921 he joined the Chinese Communist Party. His political ambitions began to grow and in 1949 he became the founding father of the People's Republic of China.

He’s credited with stabilizing China and greatly increasing both the life expectancy and overall population of its citizens.

Mao Zedong's father arranged his marriage to a 17 year old girl at the age of only 14 in order to unite the two families. Mao never accepted the marriage and his wife Luo Yigu died in 1910.

Chairman Mao had a sexual relationship with Chen Luwen, a self-described “imperial concubine.” She was 14 at the time, and he was 68. The relationship lasted almost a decade, from 1962-1971.

Mao Zedong initially supported the National Party Kuomintang, which was led by Sun Yat-sen.

According to Dr. Li, Chairman Mao’s personal doctor, the ruler was infertile despite the observed pregnancy of at least one of his young mistresses.

In 1918 Mao Zedong became a certified teacher.

Despite his infertility, Chairman Mao had four wives who gave birth to 10 children.

Unable to find work as a teacher Mao Zedong moved to Beijing and worked as a librarian assistant at the university.

Chairman Mao also was the grandfather to 12 grandchildren.

In 1921 Mao Zedong joined the Chinese Communist Party.

Chairman Mao’s favorite food was hong shao rou—braised cubes of pork belly glazed with caramelized sugar and Shaoxing rice wine. 

For a few years the National Party and the Communist Party worked in cooperation, and Mao Zedong rose in the political ranks in the Communist Party.

At the age of 13, Chairman Mao was forced to leave school and return home to help on the family farm.

When the leader of the National Party - the Chinese President Sun Yat-sen died in 1925, the new leader was not in favor of the Communist Party's ideas and tried to eradicate them.

Chairman Mao didn’t brush his teeth. Instead, he rinsed his mouth with tea, then chewed the leaves. 

The Chinese Civil War began and it continued until after World War II when Mao Zedong's Communist forces defeated the Kuomintang National Party.

Chairman Mao also considered bathing a “waste of time.” He would swim and receive rubdowns with hot towels instead.

Mao Zedong founded the People's Republic of China in 1949, making him the absolute leader of China.

Mao Zedong was the carrier of a parasitic STD. He refused treatment for the infection, likely spreading the STD to multiple female partners.

Those who disagreed with Mao Zedong were executed. He was considered to be a brutal leader.

Mangoes were used under Chairman Mao’s rule as an offering to the working class. 

Mao Zedong set up many labor camps in China, where millions were sent, and many died.

Three years before his death, Chairman Mao offered to send 10 million women to the United States.

Mao Zedong announced a plan in 1958 to industrialize his country. He named it the Great Leap Forward, and instead of making China great, it backfired.

Mao suffered from such severe insomnia that he would take up to 10 times the normal dosage of sleeping pills.

Because of Mao Zedong's industrialization plan for China, approximately 40 million people died of starvation. The famine destroyed Mao's reputation and he lost his absolute power.

Insomnia also led the Chairman to suffer bouts of addiction with barbiturates and chloral hydrate.

In 1966 Mao Zedong made a comeback with his Cultural Revolution. His Red Guard helped him take over China once again.

When he died, Chairman Mao’s body was embalmed and put on display inside of a crystal coffin. Visitors can still see his preserved body at the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

The Cultural Revolution resulted once again in executions and labor camps for those who dared disagree with Mao Zedong.

At the age of 73, Chairman Mao plunged into the Yangtze River and swam 15 kilometers in 65 minutes (9.3 miles)–according to the Chinese Central Government. This would mean that Chairman Mao swam a mile in under 8 minutes when, at the time, the record was one mile in 20 minutes.

Mao Zedong died of Parkinson's disease on September 9th, 1976, at the age of 82. He had suffered a few heart attacks in the year leading up to his death as well.

During the civil war led by Chairman Mao, he refused to use a toilet. Instead, he’d round up his bodyguards, head out into the fields, dig a hole, and empty his bowels.

Mao Zedong married four times in his life and had a total of ten children.

Mao redistributed the land to the peasant class and landless workers by ordering the execution of the wealthier landlords. Estimated death tolls put the result of the Chairman’s order into the millions.

Some give Mao Zedong credit for China's growth that continues even today, while others believe his time as leader resulted in stagnation in the country.

Before committing to becoming a revolutionary and statesman, Chairman Mao tried out a variety of career paths. He enrolled in police school, law school, and business school.


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