Ngo Dinh Diem was born January 3, 1901 into a noble Vietnamese Catholic family. A staunch anti-Communist, he joined the U.S.-backed government, making himself president in 1955. He imprisoned and murdered hundreds of Buddhists, causing the U.S. to remove its support. Diem's assassination in 1963 left Vietnam vulnerable to the Communist threat from the north, eventually resulting in civil war.
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