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Joseph Stalin or Iosef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili was bornDecember 21 1879 He was born in Gori a village inTranscaucasian Georgia a province of the Russian Empire withinthe Caucasus mountains Stalin was the only of four children tosurvive infancy Stalins father was named Visarion Dzhugashviliwho was an unsuccessful cobbler Stalins father drank heavilyand sometimes beat his son Stalins mother YekaterinaDzhugashvili worked as a house servant for various upper-classGeorgian families Joseph Stalin was sickly as a child he wasscarred by smallpox and septicemia crippled his left arm Nevertheless he was in excellent shape as a teenager Stalin wasenrolled at a local Orthodox prochial school in Gori in 1888 at theage of nine When he was 14 his father died from wounds heIn 1894 Stalin won a free scholarship to the OrthodoxRussian theological seminary at Tiflis to be educated forpriesthood In his fourth year he joined Mesame Dasi a secretgroup supporting Georgian nationalism In 1899 Stalin wasexpelled from the seminary when he was about to graduate Stalinfirst tried tutoring and then clerical work at the Tiflis Observatorybut abandoned the job in May of 1901 when he was about to bearrested He then became a paid agitator trying to start a revoltagainst the czar He edited illegal pamphlets and helped distributethem secretly At first he called himself Koba after a legendaryGeorgian hero Later he changed his name to David SosoChujikov Nijeradaze and finally Stalin He was then arrested forthe first time on April 18 1902 and imprisoned for eighteenmonths in Bantum Afterwards in 1903 he was exiled to Siberiafor three years Stalin escaped in 1904 and reappeared in Tiflis Joseph Stalin and Lenin met for the first time in 1905 at aBolshevik conference in Finland Stalin was reportedly highlyunimpressed by Lenin in their first meeting In June of 1904 Stalin had already been married toYekaterina Svanidze who was a simple peasant girl who wasdevoted to him She died on April 10 1907 leaving a son namedYakov Dzhugashvili Joseph Stalin was
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