Đỗ Mười (Vietnamese: [ɗǒˀ mɨ̂əj]; 2 February 1917 – 1 October 2018) was a Vietnamese communist politician. He rose in the party hierarchy in the late 1940s, became Chairman of the Council of Ministers in 1988 and was elected General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) at the 7th Congress in 1991. He continued his predecessor's policy of ruling through a collective leadership and Nguyễn Văn Linh's policy of economic reform. He was elected for two terms as General Secretary, but left office in 1997 at the 3rd plenum of the 8th Central Committee during his second term.
Đỗ Mười was an advisor to the Central Committee from 1997 until 2001, when the institution of Advisory Council of the Central Committee was abolished. He was a delegate to the 9th, 10th and 11th Congresses. While he officially retired from politics in 1997, Đỗ Mười continued to influence decision-making. He died on 1 October 2018 at Central Military Hospital 108.
Đỗ Mười was born on 2 February, 1917 originally known as Nguyễn Duy Cống, he began working in nationalist politics during the French colonialism in Indochina, during the Second World War when Indochina was colonized by Imperial Japan under the rule of Emperor Bao Dai, he joined the Communist Party of Vietnam as a part of the Viet Minh, but he was later imprisoned. He later managed to escape prison during last days of the war shortly before the surrender of the Japanese forces. Đỗ rose up through the ranks during much of the Cold War. He served in the military during both Indochina Wars (French Indochina War and Vietnam War respectively) and after the Vietnam War ended, he was appointed as the Deputy-Premier of Vietnam under Phạm Văn Đồng's government. During the era of Nguyễn Văn Linh's rule, Đỗ was appointed as the Premier of Vietnam in 1988 and oversaw the changes in Vietnam throughout the late-1980s. By the early 1990s when the Cold War was nearing its end, Nguyễn Văn Linh has already been suffering a few counts of health problems during much of the early 1990s. On 28 June 1991, Nguyễn resigned from his position as the General Secretary after his ill health got the best of him. Premier Đỗ was chosen as the new party leader to replace Nguyễn while still retaining his position as Premier until August of that year.
On August of 1991, Đỗ conceded his position of Premier over to Võ Văn Kiệt who replaces him as Premier. Đỗ plans to continue pushing the policies that his predecessor had implemented and had seen a lot of economic and diplomatic change taking place throughout his reign. He met with the then-South Korean president Kim Young-sam in 1993, and then oversaw the repair of the broken ties between Vietnam and America slowly started to weave back together as a result from a visit from the then-American president Bill Clinton along with many other American officials in 1994. He has met with Chinese chairman Jiang Zemin in 1995. In 1996 during the 8th central committee, the communist party was unable to find a successor to replace him, which prolonged his reign as a result. But it also doesn't help with the fact that Đỗ was becoming more corrupt the longer he stayed in power. But from late-summer to fall of 1997, his power had eventually began to wane. In August of 1997, Premier Võ Văn Kiệt was forced to step down from office and was replaced with the more moderate Phan Văn Khải, while President Lê Đức Anh was also forced to step down just to be replaced with Trần Đức Lương. By 29 December, 1997 the party had finally voted to remove Đỗ from power ousting him after 9 years of gripping on to political power. Đỗ was replaced with the more conservative and unpopular Lê Khả Phiêu near the end of 1997.
Despite no longer holding power, Đỗ Mười's influence is still present in the Communist Party of Vietnam as he continued to show up in party meetings, military parades, ceremonies, and new central committees. Đỗ Mười would eventually pass away on 1 October 2018 at the age of 101 years old, making him the 2nd longest living Vietnamese communist leader.