Joseph Stalin Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Joseph Stalin Net Worth 

Joseph Stalin had an estimated net worth of $7 trillion at the time of his death. Joseph Stalin ruled the Soviet Union for more than two decades, instituting a reign of death and terror while modernizing Russia and helping to defeat Nazism. It is virtually impossible to separate the wealth of Joseph Stalin from that of the Soviet Union – one of the world’s largest economies. It equates to $7 trillion if he had control of 9.6% of global GDP.

After the death of Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin rose to power as General Secretary of the Communist Party of Russia, becoming a Soviet dictator. Stalin forced rapid industrialization and agricultural land collectivization, resulting in millions dying of famine and others being sent to labor camps. During World War II, his Red Army aided in the defeat of Nazi Germany.

To calculate the net worth of Joseph Stalin, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Joseph Stalin
Net Worth: $7 Trillion
Monthly Salary: $1 Thousand
Annual Income: $1 Billion
Source of Wealth: Politician

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Early Life

Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili – later known as Joseph Stalin – was born on December 18, 1879, in the Russian peasant village of Gori, Georgia.

Stalin was a frail child, the son of cobbler Besarion Jughashvili and washerwoman Ketevan Geladze. He contracted smallpox at the age of seven, leaving his face scarred.

A few years later, he was injured in a carriage accident, which left his left arm slightly deformed (according to some accounts, his arm trouble was caused by blood poisoning from the injury).

The other village kids were cruel to him, instilling in him a sense of inferiority. As a result, Stalin embarked on a quest for greatness and respect. He also developed a cruel streak toward those who dared to cross him.

Stalin’s mother, an ardent Russian Orthodox Christian, desired that he become a priest. She was able to enroll him in church school in Gori in 1888. Stalin excelled in school, earning him a scholarship to Tiflis Theological Seminary in 1894.

Stalin met with Messame Dassy, a secret organization that supported Georgian independence from Russia, a year later. Some of the members were socialists who introduced him to Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin’s writings. Stalin became a member of the group in 1898.

Despite his success in seminary, Stalin left in 1899. The reason for his withdrawal varies according to accounts; official school records state he was unable to pay the tuition and withdrew. It is also speculated that he was asked to leave because his political views challenged Nicholas II’s tsarist regime.

Stalin chose to stay in Tiflis rather than return home, devoting his time to the revolutionary movement. He worked as a tutor and later as a clerk at the Tiflis Observatory for a time. He joined the Social Democratic Labor Party in 1901 and began working full-time for the revolutionary movement.

Russian Revolution

He was arrested and exiled to Siberia in 1902 for coordinating a labor strike, the first of many arrests and exiles during the early years of the Russian Revolution. During this time, he took the name Stalin, which means “steel” in Russian.

Stalin excelled in the mundane operations of the revolution, calling meetings, publishing leaflets, and organizing strikes and demonstrations, despite never being a strong orator like Vladimir Lenin or an intellectual like Leon Trotsky.

After escaping exile, he was labeled an outlaw by the Okhranka (the tsar’s secret police) and went into hiding, raising money through robberies, kidnappings, and extortion. Stalin became famous for his involvement in the 1907 Tiflis bank robbery, which resulted in several deaths and the theft of 250,000 rubles (approximately $3.4 million in US dollars).

The Russian Revolution began in February 1917. The tsar had abdicated the throne and was placed under house arrest by March. For a time, the revolutionaries backed a provisional government, believing that a peaceful transfer of power was possible.

However, in April 1917, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin denounced the provisional government, arguing that the people should rise up and seize control by seizing land from the wealthy and factories from industrialists. By October, the revolution had been completed, and the Bolsheviks had taken control.

Communist Party Leader

Following the revolution, the fledgling Soviet government experienced a period of violence as various individuals vied for position and control.

Stalin was appointed to the newly created position of Communist Party general secretary in 1922. Though it was a minor position at the time, it gave Stalin control over all party member appointments, allowing him to consolidate his power.

He made astute appointments and consolidated his power so that nearly all members of the central command eventually owed their positions to him. It was too late by the time anyone realized what he had done. Even Lenin, who was gravely ill at the time, was powerless to retake control from Stalin.

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Great Purge

Following Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin set out to demolish the old party leadership and seize total power. Initially, he removed people from positions of power through bureaucratic shuffles and denunciations.

Many people, including presumed Lenin successor Leon Trotsky, were exiled to Europe and the Americas.

However, paranoia set in, and Stalin soon established a vast reign of terror, arresting people in the middle of the night and putting them through spectacular show trials.

Potential rivals were accused of allying with capitalist nations, convicted of being “enemies of the people,” and executed summarily. The Great Purge eventually extended beyond the party elite to include local officials suspected of anti-revolutionary activities.

Reform and Famine

Stalin reversed the Bolshevik agrarian policy in the late 1920s and early 1930s by seizing land previously given to peasants and organizing collective farms. This effectively returned peasants to serfdom, as they had been during the monarchy.

Stalin believed that collectivism would boost food production, but peasants resented losing their land and being forced to work for the state. Millions died as a result of forced labor or starvation during the ensuing famine.

Stalin also set in motion rapid industrialization, which initially resulted in huge successes but eventually cost millions of lives and caused massive environmental damage. Any form of resistance was met with a swift and lethal response; millions of people were exiled to the Gulag labor camps or were executed.

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World War II

As war clouds gathered over Europe in 1939, Stalin made what appeared to be a brilliant move: he signed a non-aggression pact with Germany’s Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.

Stalin was convinced of Hitler’s honesty and disregarded military commanders’ warnings that Germany was mobilizing armies on its eastern front. When the Nazi blitzkrieg struck the Soviet Army in June 1941, it was completely unprepared and suffered massive losses.

Stalin was so upset by Hitler’s treachery that he went into hiding for several days. By the time Stalin regained his composure, German armies had occupied all of Ukraine and Belarus, and their artillery had encircled Leningrad.

To make matters worse, the Soviet Army and government leadership had been depleted to the point where both were nearly dysfunctional as a result of the 1930s purges. The Germans were defeated at the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943, thanks to the heroic efforts of the Soviet Army and the Russian people.

Even before the Allies mounted a serious challenge against Hitler on D-Day the following year, the Soviet Army was liberating countries in Eastern Europe.

Stalin and the West

Stalin had been suspicious of the West since the Soviet Union’s inception, and once the Soviet Union joined the war, Stalin demanded that the Allies open a second front against Germany.

Both British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt argued that such an action would result in a large number of casualties. As millions of Russians died, Stalin’s distrust of the West grew.

As the tide of war began to turn in favor of the Allies, Roosevelt and Churchill met with Stalin to discuss postwar arrangements. The recent victory in Stalingrad put Stalin in a strong bargaining position at the first of these meetings, held in Tehran, Iran, in late 1943. He demanded that the Allies establish a second front against Germany, which they did in the spring of 1944.

The three leaders met again in February 1945 at the Yalta Conference in the Crimea. With Soviet troops liberating Eastern European countries, Stalin found himself in a strong position and negotiated virtually free rein in reorganizing their governments. He also agreed to go to war with Japan after Germany was defeated.

The situation changed in July 1945, at the Potsdam Conference. Roosevelt died in April of that year, and President Harry S. Truman took his place. Following British parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Churchill was replaced as Britain’s chief negotiator by Clement Attlee.

By this point, the British and Americans were skeptical of Stalin’s intentions and wished to avoid Soviet involvement in postwar Japan. The use of two atomic bombs in August 1945 compelled Japan to surrender before the Soviets could mobilize.

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Stalin and Foreign Relations

Stalin became obsessed with the threat of a Western invasion after becoming convinced of the Allies’ hostility toward the Soviet Union. Between 1945 and 1948, he installed Communist governments in a number of Eastern European countries, establishing a vast buffer zone between Western Europe and “Mother Russia.”

Western powers interpreted Stalin’s actions as proof of his desire to subjugate Europe, and thus formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to counter Soviet influence.

Stalin imposed an economic blockade on Berlin, Germany, in the hopes of gaining complete control of the city. The Allies responded by launching the massive Berlin Airlift, which supplied the city and eventually forced Stalin to back down.

Stalin suffered another setback in foreign policy when he encouraged North Korean Communist leader Kim Il Sung to invade South Korea, believing that the US would not intervene.

He had previously directed the Soviet representative to the United Nations to boycott the Security Council because it refused to admit the newly formed Communist People’s Republic of China. When the Security Council voted on a resolution to support South Korea, the Soviet Union was unable to use its veto.


Despite his popularity as a result of his World War II victories, Stalin’s health began to deteriorate in the early 1950s. Following the discovery of an assassination plot, he directed the head of the secret police to launch a new purge of the Communist Party.

Stalin, however, died on March 5, 1953, before the sentence could be carried out. Even as he transformed a backward Russia into a world superpower, he left a legacy of death and horror.

Stalin was finally condemned in 1956 by his successor, Nikita Khrushchev. He has, however, regained popularity among many of Russia’s young people.

Further Reading

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