Sverdlov, Yakov Mikhailovich

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SVERDLOV, YAKOV MIKHAILOVICH (1885–1919), Russian revolutionary and Communist leader. Born in Nizhni-Novgorod (now Gorki), Sverdlov founded the revolutionary movement in his youth. He established the Nizhni-Novgorod Revolutionary Committee on an organized basis. He was imprisoned on two occasions and in 1910 was exiled to Siberia. Sverdlov returned to Petrograd in April 1917 and was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Shortly after the October Revolution he was elected chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and thereby titular head of state. He died suddenly on his way to a congress of the Soviets in Kharkov. Sverdlov was considered one of the outstanding figures of the Bolshevik Revolution. Lenin paid a warm tribute to him as a brilliant organizer. In 1924 the name of the city Yekaterinburg was changed to Sverdlovsk in his memory.


K.T. Sverdlova. Yakov M. Sverdlov (Rus., 19602); T.S. Bobrovskaya, Der erste Praesident der Republik der Arbeit (1933); L. Shapiro, The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1960, 19622), index: E.H. Carr, The Bolshevik Revolution, 19171923, 3 (1950), index.