Short Info

DiedApril 15, 1998, Anlong Veng District, Cambodia
SpouseMea Son, Khieu Ponnary
FactCoined the term "Year Zero".

Pol Pot was the leader of the Khmer Rouge and the Prime Minister of Cambodia from 1976 to 1979. During his time in power, an estimated 1.5 to 3 million people were killed, making him one of the most brutal dictators in history.

Born in 1925 in the village of Prek Sbauv, Cambodia, Pol Pot was the eighth of nine children. His father was a wealthy farmer and his mother was a housewife. Pol Pot’s family was devoutly Buddhist and he attended a local monastery school as a child.

In 1949, Pol Pot went to Paris to study radio electronics at the Sorbonne. It was here that he became involved in communist politics. He joined the French Communist Party and later the Indochinese Communist Party.

After returning to Cambodia in 1953, Pol Pot became a teacher at a private school. He later joined the Cambodian Communist Party and rose through the ranks, becoming the party’s secretary-general in 1963.

In 1975, the Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot’s leadership, overthrew the Cambodian government. They imposed a brutal regime known as the “Year Zero” policy, which aimed to re-educate the Cambodian people and create a classless society.

During Pol Pot’s time in power, an estimated 1.5 to 3 million people were killed through execution, starvation, and forced labor. In 1978, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and ousted the Khmer Rouge from power. Pol Pot fled to the jungle and remained there until his death in 1998.

Pol Pot’s exact net worth is unknown, but it is estimated to be in the millions. He amassed his wealth through his years as a dictator, as well as through investments made by his family.

Pol Pot was married twice and had seven children. His first wife, Khieu Ponnary, was a fellow Khmer Rouge leader. His second wife, Mea Son, was a nurse who he met while in hiding from the Vietnamese.

Pol Pot was a small man, standing at just 5’2″. He had dark hair and brown eyes. In his later years, he wore glasses and had a long beard.

General Info

Full NamePol Pot
DiedApril 15, 1998, Anlong Veng District, Cambodia
ProfessionTeacher, Politician
EducationEFREI, Lycee Sisowath


SpouseMea Son, Khieu Ponnary
ChildrenSaloth Sitha
ParentsSok Nem, Pen Saloth
SiblingsSaloth Chhay, Saloth Roueng

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1I'm quite modest. I don't want to tell people I'm a leader.
2When I die, my only wish is that Cambodia remain Cambodia and belong to the West. It is over for communism, and I want to stress that.
3I want you to know that everything I did, I did for my country.
4I did not join the resistance movement to kill people, to kill the nation. Look at me now. Am I a savage person? My conscience is clear.


1Founded the Khmer Rouge in 1963.
2Coined the term "Year Zero".
3Leader of the Marxist Khmer Rouge movement. Between 1975 and 1979 Pot was prime minister of Cambodia, responsible for the infamous "killing fields" in which between 1 and 3 million Cambodians died.


Archive Footage

Enemies of the People2009DocumentaryHimself
The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom2007TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Faces of War1999Video documentaryHimself
Executions II1995Video documentaryHimself
The Many Faces of Death, Part 31995Video documentaryHimself
Vietnam: A Television History1983TV Series documentaryHimself
Die Angkar1981DocumentaryHimself

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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