A Russian revolutionary leader of the early twentieth century, highly honored in the former Soviet Union as the founder of the modern Soviet state. Lenin, a founder of the Bolshevik party, contributed much to the success of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Lenin held that a dedicated group of intellectuals had to spearhead the revolution. He became chief of government of the Soviet Union after the revolution and served until his death in 1924. Joseph Stalin succeeded him. Lenin's real name was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov.