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Aleksei Kosygin
Алексей Косы́гин

Kosygin at the Glassboro Summit Conference, June 23, 1967

In office
15 October 1964 – 23 October 1980
Preceded by Nikita Khrushchev
Succeeded by Nikolai Tikhonov

Born 20 February 1904(1904-02-20)
Saint Petersburg, Imperial Russia
Died 18 December 1980 (aged 76)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Russian

Aleksei Nikolayevich Kosygin (Russian: Алексе́й Никола́евич Косы́гин, Aleksej Nikolajevič Kosygin; February 20, 1904 – December 18, 1980) was a Premier of the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1980, during the reign of general secretary Leonid Brezhnev. As premier, Kosygin led a series of economic reforms, most of which were not fully completed.


Kosygin joined the Red Army in 1919 at the age of 15 and fought in the Russian Civil War. Afterwards, he received his education at the Leningrad Co-operative College and then worked in Siberia joining the Communist Party in 1927. In the 1930s he attended the Leningrad Textile Institute after which he worked as an engineer rising to become managing director of the Oktyabrskaya textile factory in Leningrad.

Stalin's Great Purge caused a number of openings in the party administration allowing Kosygin to enter full time party work in 1938 first as head of the Leningrad party's industrial and transport department and then as mayor of Leningrad. In 1939 he joined the Soviet cabinet as People's Commissar for the textile industry. That same year, Kosygin was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party. From 1940 to 1946 he was deputy chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR with responsibility for consumer industries. He also served as Premier of the Russian SFSR from 1943 to 1946.

After World War II, Kosygin became a candidate member of the Politburo becoming a full member in 1948. He briefly served as minister of finance of the USSR in 1948 and then as minister for light industry until 1953.

Following the death of Stalin in March 1953 Kosygin was demoted but as a staunch ally of Nikita Khrushchev his career soon turned around. He became chairman of the USSR State Committee for Planning in 1959 and then a full member of the Presidium (as the Politburo was then called) in 1960. When Khrushchev was dismissed as Soviet leader in October 1964, Kosygin took over Khrushchev's position as Soviet Premier in what initially was a troika with Leonid Brezhnev as General Secretary and Anastas Mikoyan, and later Nikolay Podgorny, as Chairman of the Presidium.

Kosygin and U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson during the 1967 Glassboro Summit Conference.

Kosygin attempted to implement economic reforms to shift the emphasis in the Soviet economy from heavy industry and military production to light industry and the production of consumer goods. Brezhnev did not support this policy and stymied Kosygin's reforms. By the end of the decade Brezhnev had become the unquestioned leader of the USSR. While Kosygin retained his position as Premier and remained on the Politburo until 1980 his position became increasingly weak.

Kosygin fell ill and voluntarily resigned as premier on October 23, 1980. Although such resignations of Soviet leaders for "health reasons" were generally viewed as a euphemism for being dismissed, Kosygin died less than two months later.

He was married to Klavdia Andreyevna (died May 1, 1967).

The name of Alexey Nikolayevitch Kosygin was given to the Moscow State Textile Institution (After 1991 - Moscow State Textile Academy (MSTA) and after 1999 - Moscow State Textile University (MSTU A.N. Kosygin)). A street in the Sparrow Hills area of Moscow was given his name as well.

Political offices
Preceded by
Nikita Khrushchev
Premier of the Soviet Union
15 October 1964–23 October 1980
Succeeded by
Nikolai Tikhonov

Simple English

Alexei Nikolayevich Kosygin (Russian: Алексе́й Никола́евич Косы́гин, Aleksej Nikolajevič Kosygin; 20 February 1904 – 18 December 1980) was a Soviet-Russian man who was Premier of the Soviet Union.

Preceded by
Nikita Khrushchev
Prime Minister of the Soviet Union
Succeeded by
Nikolai Tikhonov


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