Nông Đức Mạnh

In this Vietnamese name, the family name is Nông. According to Vietnamese custom, this person should properly be referred to by the given name Mạnh.
Nông Đức Mạnh

Nông Đức Mạnh in 2010
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam
In office
22 April 2001  19 January 2011
President Trần Đức Lương
Nguyễn Minh Triết
Prime Minister Phan Văn Khải
Nguyễn Tấn Dũng
Preceded by Lê Khả Phiêu
Succeeded by Nguyễn Phú Trọng
Secretary of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party
In office
22 April 2001  19 January 2011
Preceded by Lê Khả Phiêu
Succeeded by Nguyễn Phú Trọng
Chairman of the National Assembly
In office
23 September 1992  27 June 2001
Preceded by Lê Quang Đạo
Succeeded by Nguyễn Văn An
Personal details
Born (1940-09-11) 11 September 1940
Na Rì, Bắc Kạn Province, French Indochina
Political party Communist Party of Vietnam
Alma mater Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Academy of Politics

Nông Đức Mạnh ( listen; born 11 September 1940) is a Vietnamese politician and was the general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the most powerful position in the Vietnamese government, from 22 April 2001 to 19 January 2011.[1] Although his official biography states that his parents were Tày peasants,[2] it has long been rumoured that Mạnh is the son of former North Vietnamese leader Hồ Chí Minh.[3]

Mạnh was born in Cường Lợi, Na Rì District, Bắc Kạn Province. His own son is Nông Quốc Tuấn, party secretary for Bắc Giang Province.


It has long been rumoured that Mạnh is the illegitimate son of Hồ Chí Minh (1890-1969) and Nông Thị Trưng (1920–2003), Hồ's housekeeper from 1941-42. This story may have been a factor in his selection as party boss.[3] In a profile of Mạnh published in the official press immediately after he gained this position, Trưng was identified as his mother.[4]

Mạnh's official biography gives his date of birth as 11 September 1940,[5] when Hồ was still in China.[6] Ho returned to Vietnam in February 1941[7] and met Trưng in July. Hồ wrote a four-line poem for Trưng in 1944, and gave her a notebook as "a token of my love".[8]

This poem was later taught to elementary school students. In April 2001, shortly after Mạnh was named as party boss, a reporter at a news conference asked him to confirm or deny the rumor. He responded, "All Vietnamese people are the children of Uncle Hồ." When asked again about the rumor in January 2002 by a Time Asia reporter, he denied he was Hồ's son and stated that his father was named Nông Văn Lai and his mother Hoàng Thị Nhị.[9]


In 1958-61, Mạnh attended the Hanoi Higher School. From 1962-63, he worked as a forestry supervisory technician in the Bắc Kạn Forestry Service. He joined the Communist Party on 5 July 1963 and received full membership on 10 July 1964. From 1963-65, Mạnh was the deputy chief of the Bạch Thông wood exploitation team; he later returned to his studies, learning Russian at the Hanoi Foreign Languages College (from 1965–66). He traveled to Leningrad, where he studied at the Forestry Institute until 1971. After returning to Vietnam, he became the deputy head of the Bắc Thái provincial forestry inspection board.[2]

From 1973-74, Mạnh served as director of the Phú Lương State Forestry Camp in Bắc Thái province. From 1974-76, Mạnh studied at the Nguyễn Ái Quốc High-Level Party School. From 1976-80, he served as the deputy director of the provincial forestry service and director of the construction company of the provincial forestry service. Rising through the party ranks, Mạnh was a member of the Bắc Thái Provincial Party Committee from 1976-83. In 1984, he was named deputy secretary of the committee, and in November 1986, the secretary of the committee. At the 6th National Congress he was elected as an alternate member of the Central Committee. At the sixth party plenum in March 1989, he was elevated to full central committee member. Since 1991, he has been in the politburo.[10]

Mạnh was selected General Secretary of the Communist Party in April 2001. His term was renewed in April 2006. He is the first Vietnamese party head with a university degree. He announced his plans for Vietnam's future as an industrialised country, to be completed by 2020.[11]

Mạnh with George W. Bush


  1. Vietnam: Foreign Policy and Government Guide International Business Publications, USA. - 2007 Page 8 "Vietnamese Government Communist state - General Secretary Nông Ðức Mạnh - President Nguyễn Minh Triết - Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng "
  2. 1 2 Biography of Nông Đức Mạnh, the General Secretary of the CPV, VNA, 22 April 2001
  3. 1 2 Duiker, William J. (2000). Ho Chi Minh. New York: Hyperion. Kindle location 11915. eBook ISBN 978-1-4013-0561-1.
  4. A footnote reads, "Mrs. Nông Thị Trưng is the mother of Comrade Nông Đức Mạnh" ("Tổng Bí thư Nông Đức Mạnh trong ký ức của một người thầy" ("A teacher remembers General Secretary Nông Đức Mạnh"), Thế Giới Mới (New World), Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam, 30 April 2001, No. 434.)
  5. Từ điển Bách khoa Việt Nam (The Encyclopedia of Vietnam), volume 3 (N-S), Hanoi, 2003. p. 302.
  6. "Great 'Uncle Ho' may have been a mere mortal". The Age. 15 August 2002. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
  7. Green, Richard E. Hồ Chí Minh biography
  8. "This notebook I endear it to my beloved niece/As a token of my love/With the wish that you try to study/To build the nation later on..." (Hồ Chí Minh, "Tặng cháu Nông Thị Trưng" ("Present for Nông Thị Trưng"), 1944); in Vietnamese, see here and here.
  9. "We don't want to keep secrets anymore", Time Asia, 22 January 2002.
  10. Communist Party of Vietnam. 9th National Congress: Documents. Hanoi: Thế Giới Publishers, 2001. pp. 261-63.
  11. "Modernising leader for Vietnam", BBC News, 22 April 2001.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nông Đức Mạnh.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Lê Khả Phiêu
General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam
Succeeded by
Nguyễn Phú Trọng
Political offices
Preceded by
Lê Quang Đạo
Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam
Succeeded by
Nguyễn Văn An
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