Nicolae Ceaucescu was born on January 26th 1918 in Scornicesti Romania He joined Romania's then-illegal Communist Party in 1933. He was arrested twice for his politcal activities by the pro-German Romanian government. After the war, he rose rapidly in the Communist Party and in 1965 became the Party Secretary General, rising in 1968 to become President. Ceaucescu maintained a foreign policy independent from that of Moscow, while implementing a strict Communist regime at home. He was executed in 1989 after being overthrown in a coup.