Vietnamese leader and the icon of his nation's independence. A nationalist and revolutionary, he founded the Vietnamese Communist party and was its leader during the first 50 years of its existence. He guided the Vietnamese people against Japan in the Second World War and in its struggles for Vietnamese independence and unification, including conflicts with France and the United States. Minh also served as president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam from 1945 until his death. He is memorialized via a Hanoi mausoleum and the renaming of Vietnam's principal city from Saigon to "Ho Chi Minh City."