Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Aleksey Nikolayevich Kosygin (1904-1980) was the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR or premier from 1964 to 1980. Kosygin joined the Communist Party in 1927. Trained as an engineer he became managing director of a textile factory in Leningrad. After the Great Purge opened up positions, Kosygin became a full time party worker in the late 1930s. He served as mayor of Leningrad before joining the Soviet Union's Council of Ministers or cabinet. He became a full member of the Politburo in 1948 but was excluded from the body after the death of Stalin but rejoined the Presidium (as the Politburo was now called) in 1960. When Khruschev was dismissed in 1964, Kosygin took over as Chairman of the Council of Ministers becoming head of the government. Initially, he was part of a triumvirate with Leonid Brezhnev who became General Secretary and Nikolay Podgorny who became President of the Soviet Union but by the end of the decade Brezhnev had eclipsed the other two and became the true leader of the Soviet Union.
As premier, Kosygin attempted to introduce economic reforms that would modernize the economy and move the emphasis in production from heavy industry and military goods to light industry and the production of consumer goods. Brezhnev stymied Kosygin's reforms and his position in the power structure declined. He remained Premier and a full member of the Politburo until October 1980 when he fell ill and was relieved of his duties two months prior to his death.
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