In 1967 he was made head of the state security force (KGB) from 1967 to 1982 and in 1973 a member of the Politburo, He took over a party leader in November 1982 and became a President of the Soviet Union during 1983 and 1984.
Yuri Andropov played a central role in the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, thus delaying political reforms in the Soviet satellite nations for over 20 years.
Yuri Andropov was born in Stavropol province in southern Russia on 15 June 1914. His father was a railway worker.
In 1932, he entered the Technical Institute of Water Transportation at Rybinsk in Yaroslavl province, north of Moscow. He graduated in 1936.
At the age of sixteen, he joined the Communist Youth League (Yaraslav Komsomol), the vehicle for his early rise to positions of authority. He became a full Party member in 1939.
Andropov served in a number of Komsomol posts before becoming a top Komsomol secretary in the newly formed Soviet Karelo-Finish Republic in early 1940.
As German troops advanced into the Soviet Union, he took part in organizing guerillas activities with Soviet partisans who were present on the war’s front lines.
Andropov, Yuri Vladimirovich (1914-1984)