Alexander Kerensky

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Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky (Russian: Алекса́ндр Фёдорович Ке́ренский, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ˈkʲerʲɪnskʲɪj]; 4 May [O.S. 22 April] 1881 – 11 June 1970) was a major political leader before and during the Russian Revolutions of 1917.

Kerensky served as the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government until Vladimir Lenin was elected by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets following the October Revolution. He died in exile.



Early life and activism

Alexander Kerensky was born in Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk) on the Volga River into the family of a secondary school principal (headmaster). His father, Fyodor Kerensky, was a teacher. His mother, Nadezhda Adler, was the daughter of a nobleman, Alexander Adler, head of the Topographical Bureau of the Kazan Military District. Her mother, Nadezhda Kalmykova, was the daughter of a former serf who had bought his freedom before serfdom was abolished in 1861, allowing him to become a wealthy Moscow merchant.[1][unreliable source?]

Kerensky's father was the headmaster of Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) at a secondary school for boys in Simbirsk, and members of the Kerensky and Ulyanov families were friends. In 1889, when Kerensky was eight, his family moved to Tashkent, where his father had been appointed the main inspector of public schools (superintendent). Kerensky graduated with honors from a Tashkent secondary school in 1899. The same year he entered St. Petersburg University, where he studied history and philology in his first year. The next year he switched to the Law Department and received a law degree in 1904, getting married in the same year to the daughter of a Russian general.[2] He worked as a legal counsel to victims of government violence in early December 1905. At the end of the month he was jailed on suspicion of belonging to a militant group. Afterwards he gained a reputation for his work as a defense lawyer in a number of political trials of revolutionaries.[3]

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