(1893 - 1976)
Mao Zedong counted among his heroes the Qin emperor Shihuangdi, Napoleon Bonaparte, and George Washington. He became chairman of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and was known to call members of his party who didn’t share his views “old women with bound feet.” The first edition of “The Little Red Book,” containing excerpts from his collected writings and speeches, was published under the direction of Lin Baio in 1964, and within a few years it became almost required reading throughout China. It is now considered one of the most-printed works in history. Mao served as chairman of the People’s Republic of China until 1959 and remained head of the Communist Party until he died at the age of eighty-two.