Mao Zedong is one of the most famous political leaders in Asia and is well known for many different reasons. He is said to be the most influential leader in the history of China, which is quite the claim because of the records of the Chinese people and the length of their history.
1. Mao Zedong was born in 1893 in the village of Shaoshan, in the Hunan Province. At the age of 20, he left his hometown and went to the Changsha Teachers School. While he was studying at the school, he met several thinkers from the left of the political spectrum and began to study the theories of Carl Marx. After finishing his studies in 1918, he left Changsha and went to Beijing with all of his new ideas and schooling.
2. Mao was married at least two times, but he didn’t consider his first betrothed marriage real as it was unconsummated. Yang Kaihui was the first woman that Mao actually considered to be his wife. She was the daughter of Professor Yang who taught him at school and introduced him to many of his political ideas. He had two other wives, one of whom was an influential leader in the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976.
3. Mao did a very famous interview with an American journalist, Edgar Snow for Life magazine. Snow traveled to China in the 30s and interviewed Mao. The article published was entitled Red Star Over China and Snow became a national hero for China during the revolution. Snow and Mao became life-long friends.
4. The Chinese are very interested in the stars and signs of the zodiac. Mao Zedong was born in the year of the snake, 1893. Many people believe that it is interesting that he was born in the year of the snake and died in the year of the Dragon as some consider a snake to be a small dragon.
5. Mao Zedong was married a total of 4 times including the unconsummated marriage early in his life. The names of his wives were Yang Kaihui, He Zhizhe, and Jiang Qing.
6. Some people think that it is just coincidence, but there were two other significant Chinese leaders who passed away the same year as Mao. 1976 is considered a very significant year because it was a year of the dragon and also saw the end of an entire dynasty. Some people believe that the year of the dragon is a sign of political change, but this is not always the case. Many also note that in 1976, a great earthquake killed over 300,000 people. It really was an extraordinary year.
7. The Immortals is a famous poem that was written by Mao to help a friend mourn the loss of his wife. A poet, Mao wrote the poem in 1957 and, despite the political messages embedded within the poem, it is considered one of the greatest love poems in modern Chinese poetry. Mao was also considered one of the greatest modern calligraphers in China.
8. The People’s Republic of China was founded on October 1, 1949 by Mao. He began his speech with the phrase ’China has stood up’ alluding to the power of the Chinese people and their nation.
9. Jiang Qing was the last wife of Mao Zedong and she was a notable actress in China. She was a film actress before she joined the communist guerillas in Yan’an. She didn’t really make any significant films, but during the Cultural Revolution she became the leader of the Gang of Four and attempted to take power after the death of her husband Mao.
10. Mao was recently honored at the Olympic Games that were hosted in Beijing in 2008. Several of the buildings were dedicated to Mao and his image was found on many of the buildings in the country. His popularity is sealed forever and Mao will always be a symbol of the Chinese Republic and their accomplishments.