Ngo Dinh Diem - After refusing Ho Chi Minh's invitation to join the Communist movement, Ngo Dinh Diem led South Vietnam from 1954 to 1963, when he was killed by his generals in a coup. His autocratic rule, exemplified by the imprisonment and execution of hundreds of Buddhists, and his refusal to institute land reforms, probably contributed to increasing popular support for Ho Chi Minh.
Ngo Dinh Nhu - The younger brother and chief political advisor of South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem, Nhu ran his brother's regime of secret political movements, the Can Lao. He was assassinated, along with his brother, during the 1963 coup.
Vietnam's last emperor ascended to the throne in 1932 and cooperated with the Japanese occupying Vietnam during World War II. After the war, he briefly joined ranks with Vietnamese communist leader Ho Chi Minh and the Vietminh, only to flee into exile in Hong Kong and France from 1949-1955. He returned to Vietnam to rule under French control until he was ousted by South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem in a rigged election in 1954.