It is the 60th anniversary of Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin's death.Joseph Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death in 1953, was one of the key Bolshevik revolutionaries in Russian history.After taking part in the Russian Revolution in 1917, Stalin was appointed General Secretary of the party's Central Committee in 1922. He was able to consolidate power following the 1924 death of Vladimir Lenin through expanding the functions of his role, all the while eliminating any opposition. He held this nominal post until abolishing it in 1952, when he started serving as the Premier of the Soviet Union after establishing the position in 1941.
Stalin's health deteriorated towards the end of World War II. He suffered from atherosclerosis from his heavy smoking. He suffered a mild stroke around the time of the Victory Parade, and a severe heart attack in October 1945.
Stalin died on March 5, 1953, at the age of 74. He was embalmed four days later.