Klement Gottwald (23 November 1896 – 14 March 1953) was a Czechoslovakcommunist politician and longtime leader of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ). He was Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia from 1946 to 1948 and President from 1948 to 1953. A willing puppet of Joseph Stalin, Gottwald came to power through a political coup in 1948, using the implicit threat of Soviet military intervention to force incumbent President Edvard Beneš to cede power to the communists and ultimately resign. At Stalin's direction, Gottwald introduced purges and tightened his grip on the country.
Gottwald remained devoted to Stalin until the end. On 9 March 1953, after attending Stalin's funeral, one of Gottwald's arteries burst, and he died on 14 March.