Russian Leaders Alternate Between Balding And Not

It turns out that at least since the Tsars were deposed in Russia, the presidents of the Soviet Union — and now Russia once more — follow a pattern of baldness. Below are pictures of all of them and the years during which they reigned.

Lenin, 1917-1924


Stalin, 1924-1953


Krushchev, 1953-1964


Brezhnev, 1964-1982


Andropov, 1982-1984


Chernenko, 1984-1985


Gorbachev, 1988-1991


Yeltsin, 1991-1999


Putin, 1999-2008

Medvedev, 2008 - Present (2011)


The only weak links are Andropov and Putin, who aren’t as much bald as balding — but they definitely don’t have the full heads of hair their successors and predecessors have. Some argue that the pattern goes back about 200 years further, to Catherine The Great in the 1700s, but then you have to start doing mental gymnastics with emperors that shaved their heads, wigs, infants and things like that.

As a side note, the reason for the widely differing number of years the leaders ruled is because in the Soviet Union, they generally held office (technically called General Secretary of the Communist Party) until death. The sole exception was Krushchev, who was forced to retire because he started acting erratically. And of course, Gorbachev didn’t die in office, but rather the Soviet Union died during his term. Since then, Russian presidents have been in office for up to two four year terms. Starting in 2012, they’ll be six year terms.

From NPR

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