1890 - 1969 (aged 79)
Nothing is more precious than independence and liberty.
He married nationalism to communism and perfected the deadly art of guerrilla warfare.
An emaciated, goateed figure in a threadbare bush jacket and frayed rubber sandals, Ho Chi Minh cultivated the image of a humble, benign "Uncle Ho." But he was a seasoned revolutionary and passionate nationalist obsessed by a single goal: independence for his country. Sharing his fervor, his tattered guerrillas vaulted daunting obstacles to crush France's desperate attempt to retrieve its empire in Indochina; later, built into a largely conventional army, they frustrated the massive U.S. effort to prevent Ho's communist followers from controlling Vietnam. For Americans, it was the longest war — and the first defeat — in their history, and it drastically changed the way they perceived their role in the world.