Born in a land-owning farm family in Fuping, Shaanxi, Xi joined the Communist Youth League in May 1926 and the Communist Party of China in 1928. Xi was the Deputy Prime Minister of China from 1959 to 1962, and the Governor of Guangdong from 1979 to 1981.
He made major contributions to China, firstly as the man who mentored future leaders of China such as Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao and second as the man who proposed and implemented China's first , Shenzhen, which later was used as the standard model for the other economic zones.
He was remembered for his friendship to his colleagues, his tolerance to diverse cultures and religions, his idealism of an open market socialist country and his integrity in his beliefs. He was one of the few upper level leaders who voted during the 1980s for open reform and was persecuted afterwards for this bold move.
His famous lines include, "We need to reform China and implement this economic zone even if it means that we have to pave a bloody road ahead and I am to be responsible for it." which he uttered to Deng Xiaoping when trying to convince Deng of the necessity of market socialism in China.
Xi Zhongxun married Qi Xin, his second wife, and had four children: Xi Qiaoqiao, Xi An'an, Xi Jinping, and Xi Yuanping. Xi Jinping is the the current .
*China's New Rulers: The Secret File, Andrew J. Nathan and Bruce Gilley, The New York Review Book
*The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Vol. 3 : The COming of the Cataclysm, 1961-1966