Leon Trotsky was on November 7, 1879 and named Lev Davidovich Bronstein in the Kherson governorate of the Russian Empire now part Ukraine. He was sent to Jewish school in Odessa and moved to Nikolayev where he became involved in revolutionary activities.
Trotsky was arrested and sent to Siberia at the age of 19 for being a member of a Marxist group. He escaped and joined Lenin in London in 1902. Trotsky participated in the abortive revolution of 1905. In 1917 he returned to Russia with Lenin to lead the revolution. He became the new Communist state's first Foreign Minister, and negotiated the Russian peace treaty with Germany. He then became the Commissar of War, leading the Communist forces in the Civil War.
After Lenin's death, his influence waned, and in 1927, Stalin ousted him from the Party. His continued criticism of Stalin led to his expulsion from Russia in 1929. In 1940, he was assassinated in Mexico by Soviet agents.