Tổng Thống Thiệu sinh ngày 11 Tháng 12, 1924 tại làng Trí Thủy gần tỉnh lỵ Phan Rang, tỉnh Ninh Thuận. Ông lập gia đình tại Mỹ Tho với Cô Nguyễn Thị Mai Anh, có ba con và một con nuôi. Ông thụ huấn Khóa Sĩ Quan Căn Bản Bộ Binh tại trường Coetquidan (Pháp quốc, 1949 và tốt nghiệp tháng Sáu 1950). Ông được bổ nhiệm Chỉ huy trưởng Trường Võ Bị Đà Lạt QGVN tại Đà Lạt tháng 3, 1955. Ông đi Okinawa, Nhật năm 1962 thụ huấn tại trường Chỉ Huy Tham Mưu Thái Bình Dương, sau giữ chức Tư Lệnh Sư đoàn 5 Bộ Binh Biên Hòa . Năm 1964 được vinh thăng Thiếu tướng, rồi Trung Tướng năm 1965 và bắt đầu vào chính trường với chức vụ Phó Tổng Thống kiêm Tổng Trường Quốc Phòng trong chính phủ Phan Huy Quát, kiêm luôn chức vụ Chủ Tịch Hội Đồng Quân Lực. Năm 1965 ông được tín nhiệm trong chức vụ Chủ Tịch Uỷ Ban Lãnh Đạo QG. Đắc cử Tổng Thống nền Đệ Nhị CH trong hai nhiệm kỳ kể từ tháng 9, 1967.
Tháng Tư, 1975 trước áp lực của HK và CS Hà Nội ông từ chức Tổng Thnốg VNCH. Sau khi rời quê hương ông sống một thời gian tại Luân Đôn, Anh Quốc. Năm 1985 ông định cư tại HK và sống tại West Newton và sau đó Foxboro thuộc tiểu bang Massachusetts.
Ông tạ thế ngày 29 tháng 9, 2001 tại Bệnh viện Beth Israel Deaconess, Thành phố Boston, MA, hưởng thọ 78 tuổi.
President Thieu s patriotic role as the leader of Free Vietnam during the second Indochina war have assured him an enduring place in world history. The memory of this great leader and fighter for freedom and independence of South Vietnam will be with us for generations to come. His enormous contributions to the free nations of East Asia and to millions of people who long for free and prosperous futures and who stand in defense of principles of justice and human rights will mark the pages of history for many decades and will leave a lasting effect on the future of humanity. The free world has lost a dedicated leader in the fight against tyranny and communist control. Contrasting with so many statesmen who bend and retreat in front of Communism, President Nguyen Van Thieu gave an exaple of unflinching fortitude, even amidst of great sorrow and when abandoned by his allies, a fortitude based on a rare political insight. His life dedication to freedom, peace, democracy and self-determination rights will remain an inspiration for millions of people around the world. He will remain alive forever in our hearts and in our thoughts. In his quiet transition from this life of mortality to the life elysian the late President Nguyen Van Thieu hast left the world deprived of his inspiring leadership and his enlightened statesmanship. A great soldier and a strong believer in and advocate of democratic ideals, President Thieu will be remembered not only for his heroic deeds and the outstanding accomplishments of his political career but also for his great patriotic spirit and his courage. His steadfast devotion to a free Vietnam in a free world are an inspiring example to all of us who value these virtues. He exemplified the traditional virtues of vietnamese civilization that will never die. He was one of the world s most far-sighted anti-communist leaders of incredible vigor and resource and leaves behind an delible imprint on this history of mankind. GENERAL NGUYEN VAN THIEU PRESIDENT, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM : First Statesman, General and Man, He lived a long and rugged span; His virtues wore the badge of pride, His honor has been glorified; His name takes on celestial rhyme He is a monument in time.
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All the freedom-loving people in the world mourn for Present Thieu and will never forget his strong commitment to freedom, peace and democracy in Vietnam. All Vietnamese should be pround of President Thieu who is the greatest son of their country and a true anti-communist hero. TONG THONG NGUYEN VAN THIEU MUON MAM !
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Former South Vietnamese President Dies BOSTON (Sept. 30) - Former South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu, who led his nation in the war that tore apart his homeland and bitterly divided the United States, then was forced to step down as North Vietnamese troops closed in, has died. He was 78. Thieu collapsed Thursday at his home in suburban Foxboro and died late Saturday at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, hospital spokesman Jerry Berger and cousin Hoang Duc Nha said Sunday. Thieu had been in a coma and was kept on a respirator until relatives could gather in Boston, Nha said. Nha said the family had contacted many members of the Vietnamese expatriate community. ''Most of the expatriates now, with the more than 35 year of history, can see his role in a much clearer way, how he contributed to Vietnam,'' he said. Thieu assumed power as chief of state in 1965, the same year President Johnson ordered the first major escalation of the war, sending more than 100,000 U.S. troops to Vietnam. He presided over the U.S.-backed South Vietnam until the fall of its capital city, Saigon, in 1975, to Communist-led troops from North Vietnam. He then largely disappeared from public view and lived quietly in exile, first in London, then in the Boston area, a symbol of the war in which nearly 60,000 American troops died. After the ceremonial post of chief of state, Thieu was elected president in September 1967 after pulling off a stunning switch with his rival, Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky, who had previously wielded the most influence in the South Vietnamese military regime. ''I gave him that position and responsibility,'' Ky said Sunday in Los Angeles. He said he spoke with Thieu's wife and family by telephone on Saturday after receiving news of Thieu's death. The two had not seen each other since they fled South Vietnam in 1975, and Ky declined to comment further. ''I don't think it is the right time to make a comment about someone who has just passed away,'' he said. In Washington, a White House spokesman said Sunday there was no immediate comment on Thieu's death. Thieu's legacy as the man who presided over the fall of South Vietnam cannot be separated from decisions of the American government, said Chau Tran, former secretary general of South Vietnam's House of Deputies. ''He was a very intelligent and nice person, but as a leader, his successes and failures were associated with the American leaders at the time,'' Tran said Sunday. ''He must be remembered as kind person, a good family person, a good husband, a good father.'' Even with the assistance of 500,000 U.S. troops and massive amounts of military aid, Thieu was never able to turn the tide against the Communist North. When North Vietnamese troops were closing in on the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon, and the war was all but officially lost, Thieu still declared: ''We will fight to the last bullet, the last grain of rice.'' But he left power defeated, despised and bitterly denouncing the superpower nation that had befriended him for more than a decade. He claimed the United States broke a promise to continue providing military support after pulling out its combat troops in 1973, and that, he said, ''led the South Vietnamese people to death.'' When the end did come, his resignation was demanded by all sides to make way for peace talks with the North Vietnamese. Thieu reluctantly stepped down on April 21, 1975, and left the country. South Vietnam was overrun shortly after his departure. ''The main thing that propped him up was the presence of American forces. He was not terribly effective. He was very difficult (for the U.S.) to deal with,'' historian Stanley Karnow, author of ''Vietnam: A History'' and a 13-part television history of Vietnam, said Sunday. ''People called him a puppet, but if he was a puppet he pulled his own strings,'' Karnow said from his home near Washington. Born in a southern coastal fishing village, Thieu became involved as a youth in the national liberation movement led by Ho Chi Minh, who went on to become president of North Vietnam. Thieu grew disillusioned and eventually switched sides, and was one of the key participants in the overthrow of the Diem regime during the early 1960s. He became chief of state in 1965, the same year President Johnson ordered the first major escalation of the war, sending more than 100,000 U.S. troops to Vietnam. Thieu's entry into office initially brought stability and unity to a country in political chaos. In the years that followed, he ruled with an iron hand, making decisions alone or with the advice of only one or two trusted aides and swiftly crushed any dissent. In the years after the war, Thieu shunned almost all requests for interviews. He re-emerged nearly two decades later in 1992 to denounce rapprochement between the United States and the Communist government in Vietnam. But a year later, his tone had changed. Thieu spoke of his willingness to take part in national reconciliation talks that would allow members of the Vietnamese exile community to go home. The Vietnamese showed no interest in having him act as a go-between.
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Former Vietnam president dies at his Foxboro home by Franci Richardson The former wartime president of South Vietnam - who had quietly retreated to the tranquility of an upscale waterfront neighborhood in Foxboro - has died of a stroke, relatives revealed yesterday. Clutching his chest, Nguyen Van Thieu, 78, fell in his driveway Thursday at noon and was taken to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He was pronounced dead Saturday night after two days in a coma, according to his son, a neighbor, and police records. ``He died (Saturday) night. He had a stroke with a hemorrhage,'' said Thieu's son, who didn't want to give his name, and declined much more comment. ``It's not a good time. Things are pretty hectic right now.'' Neighbors, who had heard that their neighbor was president of South Vietnam, were saddened by his death. ``Oh God. It's so sad,'' said Toni Hadge, who went to the Thieu home yesterday afternoon to offer prayers to the family. ``He was such a wonderful, wonderful man.'' Another neighbor, whose husband went to help Thieu on Thursday, felt for the family. ``This was not expected. This was not supposed to happen,'' said the woman, who didn't want to be identified. ``It's been terrible for the family.'' Thieu, a Catholic anti-communist, was president of South Vietnam from 1967 until April 21, 1975, when political opponents and allies alike prevailed on him to resign.
A staunch opponent of the United States' proposed treaty with North Vietnam, he declared: ``We will fight to the last bullet, the last grain of rice,'' even as the communists moved closer to occupying Saigon. Finally, hoping to aid peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam, he resigned. But the two sides never negotiated, and North Vietnam captured the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon and overran the country. Thieu left power despised by his countrymen and bitterly blaming the defeat on the United States, which lost 60,000 troops. He claimed the United States broke a promise to continue to provide military support after pulling out its combat troops in 1973, and that, he said, ``led the South Vietnamese people to death.'' In Washington yesterday, a White House spokesman said there was no immediate comment on Thieu's death. Thieu's legacy as the man who presided over the fall of South Vietnam cannot be separated from decisions of the American government, said Chau Tran, former secretary general of South Vietnam's House of Deputies. ``He was a very intelligent and nice person, but as a leader, his successes and failures were associated with the American leaders at the time,'' Tran said yesterday. ``He must be remembered as a kind person, a good family person, a good husband, a good father.'' Thieu went into exile, first in Taiwan and then in London, but he often visited a daughter who had settled in Boston. He eventually made his home in Newton in 1990 and later settled with his wife in Foxboro nearly eight years ago. Many neighbors on Thieu's street, which runs along the edge of the Neponset Reservoir, didn't know much about the ``quiet'' man until last year, when local newspapers mentioned him in the 25th anniversary of the end of the war. ``None of us know who lives among us, of course, but it was in the paper that he was living (here),'' said State Rep. Michael Coppola (R-Foxboro). ``If he wanted to live a private life, Foxboro was a good place to do that. No one really searched him out or bothered him here.'' Hadge, a 10-year resident of the neighborhood, said she always suspected Thieu was a ``special man'' by the way he walked up and down the street - hands clasped behind him - with his dog, Buddy, by his side. ``He would walk the neighborhood like a king - tall and with dignity,'' she said. ``I knew he was someone special by the way he walked. When I found out that he was (the president), it just all connected.'' Hadge said the Thieus had just celebrated a well-attended milestone wedding anniversary party and were parishioners at St. Mary's Church, where she worships. Born in the southern coastal fishing village of Ninh Thuan, Thieu was educated in a Roman Catholic secondary school. He initially became involved as a youth in the national liberation movement led by Ho Chi Minh, who went on to become president of North Vietnam. But after growing disillusioned, he switched sides. A revered military strategist, Thieu rose to the office of chief of state in 1965 while U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the first major escalation of the war, sending more than 100,000 American troops to Vietnam. A series of costly military mistakes that left the South Vietnamese running from their northern counterparts was the key to his - and the country's - downfall. In a rare interview in 1992, Thieu revealed his personal wish to return home before he died. ``When democracy is recovered in Vietnam, I can say that my dream has come true,'' he told the Boston Globe. ``I can go back to my life. I would like to go back to my own province, my native province. That's the best place.''
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Thay mat tang gia dang boi roi, chung toi xin thanh that cam on chung tat ca quy Dong Huong, Nien Truong, Chien Huu, Than Huu gan xa da co loi chia buon cung y dinh goi hoa phan uu. Ban to chuc Tang Le rat mong duoc don tiep tat ca quy vi. Gio vieng tham bat dau tu 4 gio chieu ngay thu nam 4 thang 10 nam 2001. Vong hoa co the goi thang den Eaton & Mackay Funeral Home, 465 Centre Street, Newton,MA 02458.
Nay kinh, Hoang Duc Nha Cuu Thieu Tuong Dao Duy An Cuu Thieu Tuong Le Minh Dao Doan Huu Dinh
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Thank you very much for sharing. My deepest sympathy to the family of former President's family
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The Vietnam Veterans of America expresses its condolances to the Family of former President Nguyen Van Thieu, the Veterans and people of the former Republic of Vietnam, and to all those who grieve his passing. The Republic of Vietnam and the United States were allies in the defense of freedom and democracy, and we look forward to the dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial in Westminster that will honor those veterans who fought and sacrificed their lives in the defense of freedom.
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Cam on anh Doan Huu Dinh CT/LHCCS/HTD da chuyen cho chung toi hinh anh tang le Co Tong Thong VNCH Nguyen Van Thieu. Xin chuyen loi cam on anh Hoa Pham da thuc hien that cong phu va day du hinh anh tang le. Chung toi cung da chuyen hinh anh nay den tat ca gia dinh Quan Canh co web side de anh em nhin lai hinh anh cuoi cung cua vi nguyen thu quoc gia. Chan thanh cam on.
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Truoc tien xin chia buon voi Phu nhan Co TT Nguyen Van Thieu va tang quyen. Chan thanh cam on cac Anh thuoc NKT da pho bien hinh anh dam tang Co TT VNCH. Tuan bao chung toi da dang va pho bien bai vo ve TT va hinh anh ve tang le. Xin cac Anh cho dia chi, chung toi se gui bao den tan noi de nho chuyen den gia dinh Co Tong Thong. Xin goi ve E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Chan thanh cam ta
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Thank you very much for your pictures. Cau xin Nguoi duoc an binh noi dat chua
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THANK YOU! THANK YOU AGAIN! WE ARE VERY TOUCHED. said mydao 2001.10.12 at 01:44:36 PDT
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Thanks for sharing these precious memories of a president who has done so much for the freedom of our country but was not able to enjoy the fruits of his works!
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Ai luan viec khong thanh cu xet.Mac cho nguoi suy thiet tinh hon. Chung ta suc may ma buon. Tiec chang chang duoc chien truong phoi thay. (10/10/2001) Xin cam on Ong Pham Hoa
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Cam on that nhieu. Toi dang muon xem lai hinh anh cua Co Tong Thong Nguyen Van Thieu, nguoi ma sau khi doc nhung quyen sach cua My noi ve chien tranh VN, toi thay mot long thuong cam voi ong. Cam on anh da cung cap hinh anh. Cau cho linh hon Tong Thieu duoc vao coi hang song. Cam on anh Pham Hoa da chup hinh
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Chan thanh cam on cac anh thuoc NKT , va ca nhan anh Hoa da cung cap nhung hinh anh cuoi cung cua vi nguyen thu quoc gia , vi tong tu lenh , da tung co mat tren khap cac chien truong cung cac quan binh chung VNCH . Cau xin huong linh NGUOI luon phu tro cho chung ta tren buoc duong quang phuc de co mot ngay ve Que Me. ( LPH ) Lien Doan An Ninh Danh Du.
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Gia dinh chung toi da nhan duoc nhung hinh anh ve tang le cua TT VNCH Nguyen Van Thieu tu than nhan cua chung toi hien dang song tai Hoa Ky goi ve qua trang WEB cua quy vi . Chung toi nhu dang duoc song lai voi nhung hoi uc cu khi duoc xem tan mat nhung hinh anh that su song dong cua cong dong nguoi Viet Nam tai Hai ngoai qua viec to chuc tang le cua Tong Thong . Da 26 nam troi qua , bay gio moi duoc thay lai duoc nhung hinh anh kieu hung . Xin chan thanh cam on anh Pham Hoa va thong qua anh - cho chung toi goi den tang quyen cua TT Nguyen Van Thieu loi chia buon sau sac nhat cua chung toi . Tran trong !
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Xin ca?m o+n anh Pha.m Hoa dda~ cho chu'ng to^i xem nhu+~ng hi`nh a?nh tang le^~ cu?a TT VNCH Nguye^~n Va(n Thie^.u. Chu'ng to^i nghi~ O^ng dda~ la`m tro`n nhie^.m vu. cu?a mo^.t qua^n nha^n, va` li.ch su+? se~ phe^ pha'n cu~ng nhu+ dda'nh gia' co^ng cu?a O^ng. Vo+'i su+. bo^.i pha?n cu?a chi'nh quye^`n My tu+` 1972-1975 thi` ba^'t cu+' ngu+o+`i na`o o+? va`o cu+o+ng vi. cu?a O^ng cu~ng se~ bi. tai hoa. nhu+ O^ng. Xin Tha`nh Ki'nh Pha^n U+u cu`ng Ba` Nguyen Van Thieu va` gia ddi`nh. Nguye^.n ca^`u linh ho�`n O^ng ddu+o+.c an bi`nh o+? co~i vi~nh ha(`ng. V u Uyen Giang/ Tap chi DA^'T SO^'NG
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Vo cung thuong tiec co Tong Thong VNCH Nguyen Van Thieu. Viec lam cua anh Hoa Pham (va Nha Ky thuat VNCH?) co y nghia vo cung. Day vua chung to mot su chia buon co y nghia voi gia dinh co TT va con la bieu to long kinh trong doi voi co TT cua nen De Nhi Cong Hoa. No cung con la phuong tien de nguoi Viet hai ngoai cung nhu o trong nuoc co dip bieu to niem thuong tiec cua minh bang cach ghi cam tuong cua ho sau khi vieng.Doi voi toi, vong hoa thanh kinh phan uu voi phu nhan Tong Thong va dai-tang-quyen da goi di van chua lam minh thoa nguyen vi khong the du Tang Le co TT duoc. Vao vieng linh cuu co TT tren Net nay da lam toi thoa nguyen phan nao moi thuong cam ve su ra di cua co Tong Thong Nguyen Van Thieu. Chung toi muon co hinh anh va cuon video Tang Le. Xin vui long lien lac qua email Dnguyentan@aol.com, toi xin hoan tra moi chi phi. Cam on quy vi rat nhieu.
Little Saigon, ngày 27 Tháng 9 Năm 2009. THÔNG BÁO Kính gởi: - Quý vị Lãnh đạo tinh thần các Tôn giáo.- Quý vị Lãnh đạo các Đoàn thể đấu tranh, các Hội đoàn Ái hữu.- Quý vị Đại diện các Cộng đồng Việt Nam tại miền Nam California.- Quý vị Đại diện các Cơ quan Truyền thông Báo chí Việt ngữ.- Quý vị Nhân sĩ, Chiến sĩ VNCH và Đồng hương Người Việt Tỵ nạn. Để Tưởng Niệm một Cựu Nguyên Thủ Quốc Gia Tổng Tư lệnh QLVNCH, một Tổng Thống mở đầu cho nền Đệ Nhị Cộng Hòa. Trân trọng kính mời Quý vị vui lòng tham dự:Lễ Tưởng Niệm Cố Tổng Thống VNCHNGUYỄN VĂN THIỆUHuý Nhật Năm Thứ 8 Cử hành vào ngày: Thứ Bảy 3 tháng 10 năm 2009 tại Nam California theo lịch trình như sau:
Từ 9AM đến 10AM: Đặt vòng hoa Tưởng Niệm Chiến sĩ tại Tượng Đài Chiến sĩ Việt - Mỹ, Thành phố Westminster, California.
Từ 12PM đến 3PM: Lễ Tưởng Niệm chính thức tại Hội trường Regent West. số 4717 W. First Street, Thành phố Santa Ana, California. ( Với sự hiện diện của Gia đình Cố Tổng Thống ).
Ban Tổ chức Lễ Tưởng Niệm rất hân hạnh được tiếp đón Quý Ông Bà và Chiến hữu. Sự hiện diện của Quý Vị là một vinh dự cho Gia đình Cố Tổng Thống, cho Ban Tổ chức và làm tăng thêm phần long trọng cho buổi Lễ.