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President of South Vietnam between 1967 and 1975. He headed the South Vietnamese government during the most intensive fighting of the Vietnam War, and resented the US withdrawal from the war in 1973.
He was obliged to resign shortly before the fall of Saigon to pro-communist forces and went into exile.
Nguyen Van Thieu was a native of the southern half of Vietnam. He joined the French army and received a military education in France, which led to a commission in the new Vietnamese army created in 1951.
He received further military training in the USA, and was a colonel by 1963.
He participated in the coup which overthrew Ngo Dinh Diem, and by 1965 he had emerged as ”head of state” in the successor regime, becoming president in the election of 1967.