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Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) was a Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army. Before his hour of glory, Trotsky did time in prison, in 1898, for propagating revolutionary ideas and pamphlets under the Imperial regime. He joined the Bolsheviks before the start of the Russian Revolution and quickly became one of their leaders in the first Politburo founded in 1917, along with Lenin and Stalin. He gained full control of the Red Army in 1918, after receiving the title of 'People's Commissar of Army and Navy Affairs.'