Vladimir Lenin was born Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov on April 22, 1870, in the Russian town of Simbirsk, which is now Ulyanovsk. He was the son of a school inspector, Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov and Maria Alexandrovna. He was the third of six children.
Lenin was very bright, and he graduated top of his high school class. However, as a teenager, two important things happened that later influenced his decision to join a revolution. First, his father was threatened before his death with premature retirement by the government, which was fearful about the spread of public education. Additionally, in 1887 his brother, Aleksandr, a student at the University of St Petersburg, was accused of conspiring to assassinate Emperor Alexander Ⅲ and, as a consequence, was hanged.
Lenin was admitted in 1887 to Kazan University but was expelled within three months after he was accused of involvement in an illegal protest. During his time after being expelled, he met revolutionaries of older times and engaged in political literature that influenced his perception of things. He became a Marxist.
He later re-enrolled at St Petersburg Imperial University, where he received his law degree and started practicing law in Samora.
In 1897 Lenin and other Marxists were arrested, and Lenin was exiled to Siberia for three years.
He adopted the name Lenin in 1901 during his clandestine party work after exile in Siberia.
He returned to Russia in 1917. He led the October Revolution, a coup d’etat against the provisional government and advocated for a Soviet government. This was followed by three years of civil war.
In 1922 he became the leader of the USSR. In that same year, he suffered a stroke in May and another in December but continued to govern. On March 10th, 1923, he suffered another stroke that left him unable to talk, which ended his political work.
On January 21, 1924, he died in a village now known as Gorki, Leninskye. His body was embalmed and placed in Moscow’s Red square in a mausoleum.