President of the Soviet Union, Soviet Statesman. Originally an engineer, he became deputy commissar of the Ukraine food industry before entering the official ranks of the Communist Party in 1950. During the 1950s and early 1960s, Podgorny served on the party's Central Committee and then the governing Politburo. In 1965 He became President of the Soviet Union, succeeding Anastas Mikoyan. Podgorny's tenure as President greatly enhanced the position's importance. His meetings with Pope Paul VI in 1967 helped bring about more openness for the Catholic Church in Eastern Europe. After a power struggle with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in 1977, Podgorny was relieved of his duties as President.
Bio by: Mr. Badger Hawkeye