Chen Boda (1904-1989) was a communist writer, propagandist and, until the early 1970s, a senior leader of the Chinese Communist Party. Born in Fujian province, Chen joined the CCP in 1924 and spent the late 1920s studying in Moscow. He returned to China and in 1937 moved to Yan’an, where he trained party cadres and Red Army personnel. Within a few weeks Chen was appointed Mao Zedong’s political secretary; he also contributed to the Yan’an rectification campaigns in the early 1940s. His loyalty to Mao saw Chen become a member of the Central Committee in 1945 and the Politburo a decade later. However he was best known for his continuing role as Mao’s secretary, editor and publisher; in this position Chen served as the guiding hand that delivered Mao Zedong Thought in written form to the masses. Chen was a high profile figure during both the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. His association with both the leadership of the Cultural Revolution and the Lin Biao faction saw Chen removed from the CCP hierarchy in 1971. He was later imprisoned for his connections to Lin Biao but was paroled due to poor health.
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