Stalin, The Original Man of Steel.
The Basics: Joseph Stalin [wiki] is stirring proof that if you get into an organization at its very beginning, you can rise to great prominence even if you happen to be an evil, tyrannical murderer whom no one ever liked. Stalin became a Marxist in the late 19th century, and although Lenin mentored him for a long time,
he grew to mistrust him, and other Communists thought he was crazy. But Stalin managed to hang around the circles of power. After Lenin’s death, he muscled Leon Trotsky and others out and took the reins himself. He went on to consolidate his power in the late 1930s by killing everyone who’d ever said or thought anything vaguely negative about him. Unfortunately, he also threw the country into a disastrous famine with his farm collectivization project, and he sent millions to Soviet concentration camps known as gulags. In short, he was pretty horrible.